Could President Trump's best chance for reelection in 2020 be a rival from the Democratic Party who believes in socialism?
"Donald Trump would love, love, love, love to run against an avowed socialist," Ryan Bourne, an economist with the libertarian Cato Institute, said during an interview on “WSJ at Large with Gerry Baker” on Friday.
Not so fast, says Jacobin Magazine, editor and publisher Bhaskar Sunkara.
"I think [Sen.] Bernie Sanders [I-VT] can get elected in the United States, and part of his appeal is his anti-establishment appeal. Why is the most left wing candidate doing better with centrist voters, let's say in 2016, than he did with Democratic Party primary voters?"
Sunkara believes a large number of Americans are really in favor of the Democrats’ socialistic ideas, but they just don't admit it.
“A lot of people in the United States who call themselves centrist or moderates in fact aren’t really moderates,” he argued. “They believe in a more expensive welfare state. They believe in these things we’ve associated with the left and other countries. They just don’t really have that language.”
Bourne is skeptical. He points to the programs offered by socialists, noting they sound good, but are really what he calls a “Trojan Horse.”
"What they don’t talk about is the more socialistic aspects: forcing companies to become worker cooperatives or mutuals, or all these other different forms of organization,” he explained. “And I think those areas, if you look around the world and historically, they're the real areas where you can do some real severe economic damage to the economy.”
But Sunkara is convinced America is ready for a socialist in the White House.
“Bernie Sanders is the most popular politician in the country and he would win a general election."
You can catch the full interview with Gerry Baker on "WSJ at Large" starting at 9:30 p.m. ET Friday.