Bernie Sanders: Democratic Socialist
To vote for Bernie Sanders or not? You decide.
Bernie Sanders is a democratic socialist.
Should I give you a minute?
When many Americans hear ‘democratic socialist’, all they hear is ‘socialist’, and when they hear ‘socialist’, they hear ‘communist’ (*cue ominous sounding music*).
It is understandable that the word communist should cause some Americans trepidation. For the better part of a century communism represented the nefarious ‘other’ in the lexicon of American propaganda, a mantle now taken up by ‘terrorism’. But in truth democratic socialism is no more communism than flying an airplane is flying a kite. At its most elemental, democratic socialism is, precisely as the name would suggest, a combination of democratic and socialist mechanisms. In this way it is fundamentally inconsistent with the single party, and totally centralized system of Lenin/Stalin communism. A helpful quote comes from the political theorist Bernard Crick, who said that democratic socialism “struggles against the evils that flow from private…
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