Arguing with socialists, whether the socialists are “left socialists” (broadly Marxists or progressives) or “right socialists” (nationalists), has always been an exercise in futility for a variety of reasons. Chief among these reasons is simply a gross confusion as to what socialism even is, so let’s start with a definition.
So socialism is any sociopolitical economic system where the “public good motive” is prioritized over the “private profit motive” (capitalism). Exactly how often and to what degree the public good motive is prioritized over the private profit motive depends on the specific school of socialism in power.
For example, Marxist socialists, who are fundamentally opposed to the private profit motive in any form, always prioritize the public good motive over the private profit motive. The nationalist socialists, who are more tolerant of the private profit motive, only demand state interference with foreign competition.
Then you have the green socialists, the union socialists, etc, which have different radically political agendas. The green socialists want government to impose itself on producers to protect the environment. Union socialists tend to only care about forcing employers to pay constantly higher and higher wages.
What they all have in common, however, is advocating that the government force producers do something for some “public good motive“. That, as it turns out, is the whole reason “social” is in “socialism“. Socialists believe producers should be forced to behave in a way benefiting society and resort to state power.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Bernie Sanders are examples of radical green socialism and old school progressive socialism. Don’t believe the “democratic socialism” nonsense, either. There’s nothing “democratic” about their socialism once it gets entrenched. Well meaning though they may be, both are unsustainable.
On the “right” side of things, Donald J. Trump is an example of bigoted nationalist socialism. He believes producers should operate their businesses for the public good motive of providing jobs for domestic workers, and he supports interfering in the market through subsidies, punitive tax policy, and tariffs to do that.
So make no mistake, Trump and his supporters are every bit of socialists as AOC and Bernie have ever been. For the most part, however, Trump and his supporters are simply so ignorant that they can’t recognize their support for state intervention in the market “for the good of the country” as being the “public good motive“.
I can see it. Can you?
Liberty is For The Win!