Appearing as a guest on Wednesday's CNN Tonight, former ABC News reporter Sam Donaldson cheered for the U.S. to continue marching toward socialism as he predicted there will soon be a single-payer health care system, and declared that the U.S. is "getting to be a better country."
At 10:41 p.m. Eastern, host Don Lemon began the segment by playing a clip of President Donald Trump in his State of the Union speech warning against the U.S. becoming a socialist country. The CNN host then brought aboard Donaldson and asked if the President's attacks on socialism would be a part of his reelection campaign.
The veteran journalist began by arguing that the U.S. is already mostly socialist, and that Americans are demanding more socialism:
Well, it's too late. Over half Americans are already on socialist programs from the federal government. I'm on Medicare -- I'm an old guy. And Medicaid, welfare programs -- not just for the poor, for the rich. "Hey, how about a sugar subsidy?" To the ranchers and farmers, "Let's buy you some wheat since you can't sell it on the market at the moment."
We are already on the way, and, in a few years, we're going to have a single-payer system, I think. The public is pushing toward it. Unless you say, "But that's socialism." "Oh, no, I don't want that! But I do want good medical care, and I want the government to pay for it." We're a socialist country already.
A bit later, he argued that President Trump's supporters don't understand what socialism actually is:
I think they think, what President Trump said it was, is big government telling you how to live, what to do, when to do it. That's not the socialist countries, as I understand it, in Norway, Sweden. Much of the established Western world has socialism to a greater extent than we have, and their people get along.
He added: "I think it's in this country, the fact that we came from this rigid, in the Southwest, 'We got the right to do it ourselves and pull ourselves up by our boot straps! And never mind those people over there who don't seem to have any boots.'"
As Lemon could be heard injecting, "Right," Donaldson added: "That's dying. We are getting to be a better country."
Before changing the subject, Lemon agreed: "Yeah, and, you know, it is, after all, it's called 'social programs.' That's what it is."