In the latest issue of National Review (12/31/09) a series of essays profiles four influential Progressives (Richard Ely, John Dewey, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Herbert Croly) and examines how their ideas helped shape current liberal thinking. The piece on Dewey quotes him as follows.
“The greatest handicap from which special measures favored by the Socialists suffer,” Dewey declared, “is that they are advanced by the Socialist party as Socialism. The prejudice against the name may be a regrettable prejudice but its influence is so powerful that it is much more reasonable to imagine all but the most dogmatic Socialists joining a new party than to imagine any considerable part of the American people going over to them.”
One of the best kept secrets of the Democratic Party is their allegiance to core Socialist principles. They are restrained from openly naming their ideology by admonitions like Dewey's (and others). To the extent that they're prevented from implementing Socialist programs we can thank our Constitution and tradition of individual liberty. However, both of these protections are gradually wearing away under the Democrats' relentless assaults. Thus the unconstitutionality of the current proposed health insurance mandate will likely prove not to be an impediment to its enactment.
Apparently Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders never got the memo and calls himself a Socialist. But all the most powerful Democratic politicians, Nancy Pelosi, Barney Frank, Harry Reid, Barbara Boxer, Charles Rangel, Henry Waxman, Chuck Schumer, Christopher Dodd, Patrick Leahy, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, et al, subscribe to the same ideology as Sanders and seek to advance the same agenda.