Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Bernie Sanders said on Thursday his philosophy of democratic socialism was aimed at creating a more fair economy that was not tilted to benefit the rich, portraying it as a logical heir to popular government programs such as Social Security and Medicare.
In a long-promised speech meant to ease the concerns of some voters about the "socialist" label, Sanders cited former President Franklin Roosevelt's Depression-era policies to put Americans back to work and provide a broad social safety net as the model for his democratic socialist agenda.
"Our government belongs to all of us, not just a handful of billionaires," Sanders, a U.S. senator from Vermont, said in a speech at Georgetown University. "We need to develop a political movement which, once again, is prepared to take on and defeat a ruling class whose greed is destroying our nation."
Sanders went on to say:
"The next time you hear me attacked as a socialist, remember this: I don’t believe government should own the means of production, but I do believe that the middle class and the working families who produce the wealth of America deserve a fair deal," he said.
I actually agree with just about everything that Bernie says here, however realistically I still don't think it will make any difference in the long run.
We live in a world of soundbites, and the line "He's a socialist" is more easily digested by the majority of the American people than "We need to develop a political movement which, once again, is
prepared to take on and defeat a ruling class whose greed is destroying
That may seem unfair, but that does not make it untrue.
Hillary Clinton, with all of her baggage and factoring in her gender, still seems like a less risky choice for the American people than electing an admitted socialist in a world where that word is the political equivalent of being called "pedophile."
And this is even before we discuss the fact that Bernie would be the first Jew elected as Commander-in-Chief.