Sen. Bernie Sanders isn’t running away from his beliefs. In fact, he is challenging Americans to admit to themselves that they love their Democratic Socialism.
Transcript via This Week:
STEPHANOPOULOS: You are asking for a lot of shakeup. Is it really possible for someone who calls himself a socialist to be elected president of the United States?
SANDERS: Well, so long as we know what democratic socialism is. And if we know that in countries, in Scandinavia, like Denmark, Norway, Sweden, they are very democratic countries, obviously. The voter turnout is a lot higher than it is in the United States. In those countries, health care is the right of all people. And in those countries, college education, graduate school is free. In those countries, retirement benefits, childcare are stronger than in the United States of America. And in those countries, by and large, government works for ordinary people and the middle class, rather than, as is the case right now in our country, for the billionaire class.
STEPHANOPOULOS: I can hear the Republican attack ad right now. He wants American to look more like Scandinavia.
SANDERS: That’s right. That’s right. And what’s wrong with that? What’s wrong when you have more income and wealth equality? What’s wrong when they have a stronger middle class in many ways than we do, higher minimum wage than we do, and they are stronger on the environment than we do? Look, the fact of the matter is, we do a lot in our country, which is good, but we can learn from other countries. We have, George, the highest rate of childhood poverty of any major country on earth, at the same time as we are seeing a proliferation of millionaires and billionaires. Frankly, I don’t think that is sustainable. I don’t think that’s what America is about.
According to the Democratic Socialists Of America, Democratic Socialism does not mean government control of the economy, “Democratic socialists believe that both the economy and society should be run democratically—to meet public needs, not to make profits for a few. To achieve a more just society, many structures of our government and economy must be radically transformed through greater economic and social democracy so that ordinary Americans can participate in the many decisions that affect our lives.”
The problem is that Republicans have defined everything that isn’t trickle-down economics as socialism. Republicans define liberalism as socialism. Republicans think progressivism is socialism when in reality, they have no idea what socialism is.
It is refreshing to see a candidate for office proudly defend his ideology instead of trying to hide or run away from it. Bernie Sanders is not a socialist as Republicans are fond of claiming.
Sanders’s question was legitimate. What’s wrong with the idea of a stronger middle-class and higher minimum wage? What’s wrong with making the super wealthy pay their fair share and reopening the doors of economic opportunity for all? The fact is that most Americans love their socialism. For example. Medicare is a beloved program.
Bernie Sanders isn’t shying away from his beliefs, and he is combating Republican perpetuated ignorance one interview at a time.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association