On his Tuesday show. Lawrence O'Donnell told Glenn Beck: I am a socialist -- and so are you.
During his debate with Glenn Greenwald on Friday's "Morning Joe," MSNBC's O'Donnell called himself a "socialist." On his Monday show, Beck used this statement as evidence that radicals embedded in the media and the government are beginning to "unmask themselves." He also said he found it disturbing that people at NBC would want to "pal around" with a socialist.
On Tuesday's "Last Word," O'Donnell responded to Beck's criticism. He defended his use of the word "socialist" -- and said that, if he was being accurate, Beck would call himself one too.
O'Donnell said that he was a socialist because he supported programs such as Medicare and Social Security -- which are, he said, explicitly socialistic at heart. He described Medicare as "a socialist idea whose time had come in a capitalist society." Moreover, he said, everyone who supports such programs is supporting socialism.
He quoted economist Milton Friedman;s famous maxim that "we are all Keynesians now," and adopted it for himself: "we are all socialists now."
"The argument in this country is not socialism or no socialism," he said, adding later that the "political sting" of the word needed to be removed.