When you suggest that 2020 Democrats are taking a hard left turn, you can expect social media "pundits" and blue check journalists to treat your proposition like a crazy conspiracy theory or a smear. On CNN in particular, much air time has been exhausted fretting over the dangerous cruelty of referring to things as "socialist", even when they clearly are.
It is one of the more insidious ways in which mainstream press cover for and actively assist Democrats. By protecting them from apt terminology on the grounds that it might have a negative connotation.
The point is that, if you refer to the below tweet as socialist, don't expect a lot of agreement from our societal fact-checkers: they aren't that into some facts.
But it is socialist, nevertheless. This Beto O'Rourke tweet is more "redistribution of wealth" than when Barack Obama literally said "redistribute wealth."
The unprecedented concentration of wealth, power and privilege in the United States must be broken apart. Opportuni… https://t.co/UcCsJgnC5i— Beto O'Rourke (@Beto O'Rourke)1553967651.0
He is going to "break apart" the "concentration of wealth." That does not simmer at wink and nod, nor does it rise to the level of code word. It's just flat-out him saying that the state must break wealth apart from where it is and distribute those parts elsewhere.
O'Rourke hasn't explained how he intends to seize the wealth, remove it and put it elsewhere. As with other Beto promises, he's a big vague on the details. But it is what he said.
Over the last week, the cable networks and the broader media have insisted upon their fairness and strict adherence to factual reporting. But their studied avoidance of inconvenient facts says a lot more about them than their embittered protestations ever could.
This tweet expresses his inner re-distributionist, because like his fellow 2020 candidates, O'Rourke is pandering to the increasingly powerful socialist "caucus" of the Democratic party. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez would certainly approve.
Still, in deference to the media, we don't have to call it "socialist." After all, the implied class warfare and communal ownership of wealth and power sort of brings to mind a different word.