This blog blogs about socialism a lot and for good reasons. One socialism is about as popular in America as it has been since the 1920s or so. Another is that more Americans are now learning about what it actually is and not how hyper-partisans on the Right like to talk about it and call people Socialists like they were calling them bastards or something. Socialist is no longer seen as an insult or a four-letter word by a lot of Americans now. Which is why you now see Americans are further to the Left and even far-left of center-left Liberal Democrats such as myself embrace and own the label. Senator Bernie Sanders being the perfect example of that. Even if there are still come closeted Socialists trapped in the closet at MSNBC and the new The New Republic.
I’m not a Socialist and neither is this blog as we’ve made clear for several years now. But there is a type of socialism that I respect and it is the democratic form of it. As Senator Sanders said at Brookings yesterday he believes in capitalism and private enterprise and that it has done a lot of good for America. With competition and the development and creation of all sorts of products that we all use. But that he also believes that all Americans should have the basic necessities in life. And that is where government comes in to see that no one is left behind . The difference being between a Democratic Socialist like Bernie Sanders and a Marxist like Fidel Castro to use as an example. Where the Marxist believes that the job of government is essentially to take care of everyone in society. And that people can’t be trusted with freedom over their own lives.
If you listened to Senator Sanders at Brookings yesterday his speech and interview with E.J. Dionne who I would label as a FDR classical Progressive and not a Liberal, which is different, not once did you hear Senator Sanders talk about nationalizing this industry or that industry. Other than health insurance and wanting to make Medicare the only health insurer in the country. But you also hear in that speech and interview why he’s both a great ideologue and legislature. He said he would be opened to the public option for Medicare and making everyone eligible for it and not just seniors. And leaving in the private health insurance industry as well. What Senator Sanders talked about had to do with infrastructure investment, college affordability for everyone and tax reform so the rich pay what he views as their fair share.
Anyone who believes the auto, banking and even media and internet should be nationalized in America and we still have a few Marxists and leftist fascists on the Left, doesn’t have much of a political future in America as a candidate or politician. Unless you keep your politics to yourself and try to sound much more moderate. The type of socialism that can sell in America even outside of New England the Northwest and San Francisco is the social democratic form of it. Multi-party, private enterprise, mixed in with big government in the form of a welfare state to provide people with the basic necessities that we need to live well and healthy. Like education, health care, health insurance, retirement, to use as example. While the private enterprise provides everything else, especially in areas where you must have competition in order for those services to be as strong as they are. Transportation, food, media, technology, entertainment to use as examples. Socialism mixed in with private enterprise.
Brookings Institution: An Economic Agenda For America: A Conversation With U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders