What I respect about Norman Thomas even though he was a Socialist and we probably agree on almost nothing as it relates to economic policy, is that he was a real Democrat. A real American Democrat, a real Democratic Socialist. Who was probably against communism as much as any Conservative, or Liberal and spoked out against communism. Which is different from socialism. Socialism, is democratic and communism is authoritarian. At least in how its been practiced around the world. He wasn’t one of these far lefties that spoke up in favor of Communists and other authoritarians, who were dictators around the world. For a couple of reasons. One, he was against communism, but also because of how badly socialism has been made to look like.
Thanks to the success of right-wingers, going back at least since the late 1960s in America, socialism has been made to look like communism. As if they are part of the same philosophy, because they are not. And Democratic Socialists like Norman Thomas tend to believe in at least a certain level of capitalism and private enterprise. Just not at the expense of the people and what want as many people as possible to benefit from private enterprise. Norman Thomas, was the Bernie Sanders of his time. He and Henry Wallace, another Democratic Socialist, who ran for president for the Progressive Party in 1948, were very similar when it came to economic policy. But Thomas, was perhaps not as much as a dove when it came to foreign affairs and national security.
If you pay attention to this video, you consistently hear Norman Thomas criticize the Soviet Union, totalitarianism and even communism. That the Russian people, were essentially subjects of the Russian Government in the Soviet Union. You didn’t hear him unlike others on the Far-Left in America, try to claim that Russia was misunderstood during the Cold War. Or even try to suggest that America might have been the bad guys in that war of words. Or even the wrong country won that war. Thomas, was a Socialist in the European sense. Democratic in nature and even supported capitalism and private enterprise. But wanted a big central government to manage the resources of the country and support the people with a welfare state. So no one would have to go without, or have too much, according to him.