By Sam Johnson
Healthy conversations spark over a roundtable discussion of socialism.
A full cookie platter and lemonade pitchers welcomed students to the Underground Tuesday evening for a conversation about democratic socialism.
Bethel’s college democrats club, with the help of Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), put on this event for a dozen students and community members attending the roundtable discussion. DSA Twin Cities chapter co-leaders Rita Allen and Nick Raymond led the conversation.
Raymond began by talking about how he became passionate for democratic socialism, citing the 2016 election as his catalyst to begin advocating for socialism.
“It ignited a fire in me,” Raymond said. He wanted to do something. Because of that, he joined DSA.
For Raymond, his passion for socialism goes beyond the label.
“Democratic socialism is about democracy,” he said. “I am a democrat with a lower-case ‘D.’ I believe in democracy.”
Allen discussed the essence of organizing community as a staple of socialism.
“Democratic socialism is about taking care of each other and taking care of ourselves,” she said.
A graduate from the College of Saint Benedict, Allen said that DSA became a tight-knit community for her. “It was the church I never had,” she said.
Raymond echoed that emphasis of community, saying that humans are social creatures who value seeing everyone succeed.
“Community is our lifeblood,” he said. “People really do want to see other people do well.”
After the hour-long discussion, sophomore Caleb Quick said that the event reaffirmed his belief that socialism goes against his Christian values.
“I do not believe that socialism reflects Christianity,” Quick said.
Still, Quick thinks if Christians focus on faith over politics, our nation will be in a better place.
“I believe if we love our neighbor as ourselves, our country will thrive even more.”