Author’s Note: This series was first published on TNB on May 2, 2018. As there is much speculation and hand-wringing about the very possibility of Bernie Sanders becoming the Democrat nominee for President, it seemed timely to run this series again. I believe most of the points and information holds up well.
So, were you Feelin’ the Bern in 2016? It seemed to be all the rage, didn’t it?
It really is an amazing thing that’s going on. I mean, Bernie Sanders is a socialist. I know, I know…he’s a “democratic socialist” and there’s a big difference. Except that I believe that going down the path, be it “socialism” or “democratic socialism”, will lead to the same results, so I contend it’s really a distinction without a difference in the end.
I am confident that if it was Trump vs Bernie in Election 2016, Bernie would probably be our current President.
I’ve seen a recent poll that suggested over 40% of Democrats identify with socialism and over 70% say they would vote for a socialist (this poll didn’t even qualify it with “democratic” socialist).
Those numbers are incredible to me. Just ten short years ago, when President Obama was accused of being a socialist, the left bent over backwards disputing that formerly disparaging assertion. Now, they are embracing it.
Before I continue, I guess I should provide a definition for socialism.
The most commonly used and accepted definition is that socialism is an economic system in which the public (usually in the form of the government) owns and controls the means of production (factories, land, equipment, infrastructure, etc.).
Socialists believe in a system that is set-up in order to provide for more equalized results (reduce income inequality, for example). Not equal opportunities, but equal results. In order to do this, they depend on centralized planning by so-called “experts”. I guess it’s presumed that these experts would not be influenced by political agendas or special interests or their own ambitions for power and wealth. You know, in other words, they’re not human.
When you put “democratic” in front of “socialism”, that basically just means that the people will vote to implement these policies, rather than having a ruler/dictator do it without consent. In any case, a bad ideology is bad whether people vote for it or it is forced upon them. The results will be the same…in the “democratic” form, it just may take a little longer for things to crumble and there will be room to point fingers of blame as to who or what is responsible for the ultimate demise.
So why the sudden love-fest for socialism?
Should we all join Bernie’s economic revolution?
Do most of his supporters even know what socialism is?
Do they know that it has failed, miserably, every time it has been tried throughout the history of mankind?
Example after example have shown us…the U.S.S.R., Cuba, North Korea, Venezuela, and Greece are some modern day failures…even China has moved more toward capitalistic features to drive their economic surge.
Right about now you’re probably thinking, “What an idiot…this guy doesn’t even know the difference between socialism and communism!”
Yes, there are differences, but really only in extremes of the same basic political theory. We can argue the details, but the results still end up to be abject failure.
These ideas have resulted in millions of people living in misery, hunger and squalor and caused untold amounts of untimely death. Over time, they eventually lead to the same end.
But, but, but…DENMARK! Ahhh, yes, Denmark…the happiest place on Earth. We’ll take a closer look at that in the next part of “Will America Elect a Socialist?”
Photo By Mark Dixon