Throughout most of the 20th century and beyond, the term "socialism" has carried a lot of baggage in U.S. political history. Socialism itself has deep historical roots in the U.S. But the ideology became a toxic brand thanks in part to the Cold War, as Soviet republics and their imitators around the world saw authoritarians seize power under the guise of socialism.
But almost 30 years after the fall of the Soviet Union, socialism is once again having a moment in mainstream U.S. politics. As politicians like Senator Bernie Sanders and Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez pitch their Democratic Socialism to a generation not familiar with Cold War rhetoric, skeptics remain unconvinced about the promise of sweeping social reform.
Bernie Sanders, United States Senator from Vermont, Democratic presidential candidate
Peter Beinart, contributing editor for The Atlantic and professor at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism
Sheryl Gay Stolberg, Congressional Correspondent for The New York Times
Ilya Somin, Professor of Law at George Mason University