Socialism Vs. Capitalism At Core Of Democratic Primary
Income inequality in the United States drives Democrats who are running for president. But they don’t agree on how to fix it.
Bernie Sanders stands on one side with what he calls “democratic socialism.” It includes, for example, health care as a universal right and free tuition at public colleges. Sanders defended those policies, comparing them to those in Northern European countries, like Denmark.
But socialism, “democratic” or not, is not popular in the United States. The latest NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll found that just 28% had a favorable opinion of socialism, while 58% had an unfavorable one. In contrast, 57% had a favorable view of capitalism.
Billionaire and former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg retorted, regarding the argument of socialism versus capitalism, that he can’t think of a way to get President Trump reelected more quickly.
“We’re not going to throw out capitalism,” Bloomberg said. Other countries tried that, he said: “It’s called communism, and it just didn’t work.”
Sanders took offense. “Let’s talk about democratic socialism, not communism, Mr. Bloomberg,” Sanders said. “That was a cheap shot.”
Bloomberg fired back, saying it’s proof of the great country that America is that the “best-known socialist in the country is a millionaire with three houses.”
If Sanders wins the nomination, he certainly will have to draw the line between “democratic” socialism and socialism, explain it and sell it. He thinks he can do it; many practiced in politics disagree. But we are in unique times.