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Democratic Socialists of America (DSA)

Membership in the Democratic Socialists of America has tripled in the past year

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Socialism in the U.S. is growing fast. 

That's not a critique of the government. Membership in the Democratic Socialists of America has tripled in the past year, the Los Angeles Times reports. It now boasts more than 19,000 members, a record for the 35-year-old organization. 

That's certainly far smaller than the major political parties and even other grassroots groups. But it's the biggest openly socialist group in America in decades. 

A large portion of our members were radicalized by the election and the Democrats failing over and over again.
Josh Androsky, Los Angeles chapter of DSA

Many members say they believe the Democratic Party has failed them. For example, 24-year-old Los Angeles native Kevin Joerger said he "rooted, sort of" for Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election but felt Wall Street and capitalism in general had failed America. He's now a DSA member.

Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2016, to deliver over million petition signatures demanding that President-elect Donald Trump, House Speaker Paul Ryan, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell "keep their hands off the American people's earned Medicare benefits."  (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2016, to deliver over million petition signatures demanding that President-elect Donald Trump, House Speaker Paul Ryan, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell "keep their hands off the American people's earned Medicare benefits." (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

While Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) isn't a member, he is a self-described democratic socialist. Many DSA members supported Sanders.

Our vision is of a society in which people have a real voice in the choices and relationships that affect the entirety of our lives.
DSA website

The group doesn't advocate a full-on socialist revolution, but small changes to capitalism over time.

They're fairly visible on social media. Members often add red rose emojis to their Twitter handles. 

Here's an example of the rose handle.

Eugene Debs.jpg

Eugene V. Debs, member of the Socialist Party of the USA and presidential candidate, speaks to members of the worker's union on Aug. 17, 1912, at an unknown location in the USA. (AP Photo) --- Eugene V. Debs, Mitglied der Sozialistischen Partei der USA, haelt als Praesidentschaftskandidat vor der Arbeiter-Gewerkschaft eine Rede, aufgenommen am 17. August 1912. (AP Photo)

If DSA nominated anyone for president in 2020, it wouldn't be the first candidate. Eugene Debs ran in 1912 on the Socialist Party of America ticket, winning 6 percent of the popular vote, the Times reports.

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