Most older folks in this country--whether democrat or repug--have this visceral aversion to anything that smacks of socialism or "communism." It's because the older generations have been brainwashed by anti-communist propaganda of past decades. It's deeply ingrained in their psyche & always will be. Once these older generations die off, I think we'll begin to get somewhere with such things as health care reform, ending regressive taxation, etc.I largely agree with you, especially once we add the proviso that plenty of older folks are among the ones defending the best legacies of the New Deal and Great Society we would build on. Not to mention, if Democrats actually start consistently and proudly defending again the politics of people who work for a living we might discover we can convince enough sensible people and marginalize enough dangerous fools to accomplish sustainable consensual multicultural social democracy even before the Cold War generation dies off! (Speaking as somebody looking his 46th birthday in the face, I certainly hope that is the case.)
But, of course, the real worry is that climate change disruption and the global immiseration in the aftermath of postwar neoliberalism make it profoundly questionable if the world can wait long enough for the change you are talking about here to do its work. Radicals are always wholesomely impatient in the face of injustice and irrationality, of course, but the specter of climate change refugees and overurbanized pandemic vectors is another thing altogether. Tick tock, people!
You know, I think many readers who get annoyed with my focus on the imperfect partisan and organizational tools actually at our disposal for progressive political struggle sometimes mistakenly imagine that I am less aware than they are or even unaware altogether of such looming large-scale environmental and developmental nightmares. I'm not, of course, it's just that I know the tools we have are the tools we have even if they are palpably inadequate to the problems we have.
I've already quoted Michael Harrington -- so here's another one from my archive of inspirational and heartening quotes. Donna Haraway points out that "there is always more going on than we know about." This reminds me -- and, believe me, I need regular reminding -- that we never know enough to be fully justified in feeling despair.