The meaning of democratic socialism―a mixture of political and economic democracy―should be no mystery to Americans.  After all, socialist programs have been adopted in most other democratic nations.  And, in fact, Americans appear happy enough with a wide range of democratic socialist institutions in the United States, including public schools, public parks, minimum wage laws, Social Security, public radio, unemployment insurance, public universities, Medicare, public libraries, the U.S. postal service, public roads, and high taxes on the wealthy.

Even so, large numbers of Americans seem remarkably confused about democratic socialism. This April, at a CNN town hall in New Hampshire, an attendee complained to Senator Bernie Sanders, a leading proponent of democratic socialism, that her father’s family left the Soviet Union, “fleeing from some of the very socialist policies that you seem eager to implement in this country.” Sanders responded:  “Is it your assumption that I supported or believe in authoritarian communism that existed in the Soviet Union?  I don’t.  I never have, and I opposed it.”  He added: “What democratic socialism means to me is we expand Medicare, we provide educational opportunity to all Americans, we rebuild our crumbling infrastructure.”

Posted by The non-Conformist

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