Before we vote (or, better yet, don’t vote) for a ‘democratic socialist,’ like U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, we should understand what Socialism is.
Socialism is defined as a kind of system whereby the means of production and distribution are owned and operated by the community.
The Republican Party insists that government attempts to fight unemployment and poverty, to bolster basic standards of life and labor and to ensure fair and sane methods of business competition, is Socialism. Liberals and democrats say it’s not, and they are correct – except that every degree to which the government controls the means of production and distribution hints at socialism.
Social Democracy is basically a socialist system of government achieved by democratic means.
So here comes Senator Sanders, who has spent 30 years of his political career as an open, self-described Socialist.
It is a real muddle, to be sure. Never before in our history has the line between liberalism and State Socialism been so blurred.
Adding to the muddle is that after years of calling himself a socialist, Sanders now calls himself a ‘Social Democrat’ so he can run with the Democratic Party. He actually believes he can trick us into forgetting the word ‘socialist’ and accepting the more palatable ‘social democrat.’
In fairness, Sanders is one of the most honest and consistent politicians around. His views may have changed a bit from time to time, but not his central motivation. And whatever you may think of his policies, there is an easy way to find out what they are: He will tell you.
Also, he is correct about many issues: As early as June 1997, he criticized property taxes as taking a proportionally greater amount from those with lower incomes, senior citizens, and the poor.
Last February, he openly called President Obama’s bank bailouts “socialism for the rich.” He is correct.
Last March, he said that corporate political spending does not fall under First Amendment protection. He is correct.
He is also correct about the environment. In May of 2007, he advocated factoring global warming into federal project planning. A month later, he voted to make oil-producing and exporting cartels illegal and to remove oil and gas exploration subsidies.
As recently as April 2011, he voted for allowing the EPA to regulate greenhouse gases.
The problem is that Sanders is like a doctor who is excellent at identification of the nature of an illness, but only has one bottle of pills. And that bottle of pills is government intervention in the personal and private lives of our citizenry.
Beyond a certain point, government intervention does not help. As the government controls more and more of the economy, it basically becomes impossible to succeed without government favors. You need to win a tax break, get a subsidy, or some other backroom favor. You have to be on speaking terms with all the senators and their aides and the heads of bureaus.
And who can do that? Not you or me. It is the very 1 percent that Sanders describes.
Sanders has made his views popular not through appeals to courage, tolerance, or compassion, but rather through prejudice against the wealthy. He has said, again and again, that the wealthy don’t pay ‘their fair share of taxes.’ True. But what is his solution? A 90 percent tax rate on income for everyone making a certain amount? I don’t believe that is ever justified, but Sanders has convinced supporters that money is “theirs,” stolen from them by rich crooks.
If elected, Sanders will set up countless new offices and bureaus, each one more unhelpful and expensive than the last, fill them up with loud-mouthed partisans, send out swarms of investigators to harass our citizenry, destroy the morale of our people, and make them dependent upon the government.