Bernie Sanders Explains Democratic Socialism
Bernie Sanders Explains Democratic Socialism
June 12, 2019
Senator Bernie Sanders is flailing and failing to recapture his momentum from 2016. Solution: do-over! Give a speech!
You see, the problem is that the American people just don’t understand what Bernie Sanders means by “democratic socialism.” So he decided to give a speech about the awesomeness of democratic socialism. Because there’s nobody else like him!
Um, Bernie? All the other Democrats, save Biden, are basically you and your ideas in a different package. I’m guessing you haven’t been paying attention to anything the other candidates have said. But the people are paying attention, which is why Elizabeth Warren is right at your heels.
Bernie Sanders went full-out on his Franklin Delano Roosevelt worship today. I don’t think FDR is the president that anyone should emulate, but that’s just me. Bernie Sanders thinks that FDR is just the man for the 21st century.
According to Sanders, completing FDR’s New Deal means finally realizing his vision of a “second bill of rights” ― rights that guarantee economic security and a decent quality of life for every person in the United States.”
“We must take the next step forward and guarantee every man, woman and child in our country basic economic rights ― the right to quality health care, the right to as much education as one needs to succeed in our society, the right to a decent job, the right to affordable housing, the right to a secure retirement and the right to live in a clean environment,” the 2020 presidential candidate said in his speech at George Washington University in the nation’s capital. “We must recognize that in the 21st century, in the wealthiest country in the history of the world, economic rights are human rights. And that is what I mean by democratic socialism.”
In 1944, FDR proposed an economic bill of rights but died a year later and was never able to fulfill that vision. Our job, 75 years later, is to complete what Roosevelt started.
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) June 12, 2019
The TL;dr version of Bernie’s speech (which went a whopping 45 minutes) is that “if you are a Democrat, you are already a socialist, because all good Democrat presidents had socialist policies, so vote for me.”
By positioning his definition of democratic socialism within the pantheon of Democratic Party politics, Sanders hopes to ease some of the anxieties that voters might harbor about the term. He has sought to tie it to popular ideas like “Medicare for All” and tuition-free public college.”
But on Wednesday, he was also eager to turn the bogeyman of “socialism” ― typically a source of doubt about his general election viability ― into an electoral strength.”
To that end, Sanders debuted a new line of attack against Trump, accusing him of supporting “corporate socialism” in the form of tax giveaways, bailouts and other special treatment for large companies.”
“While President Trump and his fellow oligarchs attack us for our support of democratic socialism, they don’t really oppose all forms of socialism,” Sanders said. “They may hate democratic socialism because it benefits working people, but they absolutely love corporate socialism that enriches Trump and other billionaires.”
If you have time to burn out of your life, and brain cells that need to twist themselves into logistical pretzels, then you can watch Bernie’s speech for yourself.
The problem is that Bernie Sanders no longer flies solo. Against Hillary Clinton, Bernie sounded unique and radical to the left. Against 20 other candidates, Bernie sounds like a lead singer in a choir – and others look and sound better when performing their solos.
And the pessimistic-but-reasonable case is that he's probably still in second place nationally, but his overall trajectory is downward, his early-state polls aren't looking so hot, and that Warren and Biden present a fairly difficult two-front problem.
— Nate Silver (@NateSilver538) June 12, 2019
Bernie Sanders has a problem, and it isn’t that Democrats don’t understand “democratic socialism.” It’s that they do, and they are beginning to like the other messengers better, or they’re hoping that Joe Biden will strike a more moderate balance…
Asked about Bernie’s speech about democratic socialism, Biden says he thinks he means what he says and doesn’t put much stock in labels. Says most of the Dem candidates on same page
— Liz Goodwin (@lizcgoodwin) June 12, 2019
Oh. Well, then. These Democrat primary debates are sure to be fun.
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