Does calling it ‘Democratic Socialism’ make it less socialisty?

Nah. Not really. But that doesn’t stop Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders from pretending there’s a difference.

“What Democratic Socialism is about, is having a government which reflects the interests of the ordinary people, rather than is currently the case, the billionaire class,” explained Sanders.

Bernie Sanders Explains Why You Shouldn’t Be Scared Of The Ter…Bernie Sanders explains why you shouldn’t be scared of the term ‘socialism’

Posted by NowThis on Monday, August 31, 2015

“If you look at countries throughout Europe, especially in Scandinavia, you find that health care is a right of all their people. And, in fact, they do it in a lot more cost effective way. There is no great debate about the cost of college education in those countries, because by and large a college education is free,” said Sanders.


He continued, “You have in all of those countries, workers having significant benefits in terms of pay, vacation time, and medical leave. You have very strong childcare systems in all of those countries. And by the way, in most of those countries, voter turnout is a lot higher than it is in the United States.”

Maybe Sanders should run for President in Denmark?

“Our political system is dominated by large campaign donors, who are working for the very wealthy,” concluded Sanders.

The New Republic is also a little bit sensitive about the alleged distinction between plain ol’ Socialism and ‘Democratic Socialism.’ In a piece called, Stop Calling Bernie Sanders a Socialist, TNR attempted to explain the difference, though to what end I’m not sure.

But the Vermont senator himself is loose with his terminology, as he has praised the “long social-democratic tradition” of Nordic countries as examples of how the United States should operate as a nation. For instance, points to Finland’s universal healthcare, free childcare, parental leave benefits, free higher education, low income inequality, and overwhelming unionization of workers. And sometimes he does indeed refer to himself, simply, as “a socialist.”

So perhaps it’s better to consider his policies themselves. Sanders wants a level playing field, where everyone born in America actually has the same opportunity for success, instead of “a government of the billionaires, by the billionaires and for the billionaires,” as he puts it. He rails against the influence of the Koch brothers and other wealthy political donors and corporations on both Republicans on Democrats, ensuring that the rich stay rich and making sure the working class remain exactly that. While many Democrats claim to be in favor of leveling the playing field, few use the rhetoric Sanders does. He has suggested things like breaking up the largest banks and frequently refers to the United States as an oligarchy.

I just have one question: Where are all of these billionaires and how do I find one? I’d like to pick their brains, maybe learn a few tricks of the trade so that I too can join this nefarious, monocle-wearing, billionaire club. Sounds like a good time.

Follow Kemberlee Kaye on Twitter @kemberleekaye


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