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Thread: Bernie Sanders Isnít a Socialist

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    Bernie Sanders Isnít a Socialist

    Bernie Sanders Isnít a Socialist
    But he plays one on TV. Thatís a problem.


    By Paul Krugman
    Opinion Columnist

    Feb. 13, 2020

    Bernie Sanders during the Democratic primary debate in Ohio.Credit...Damon Winter/The New York Times
    Republicans have a long, disreputable history of conflating any attempt to improve American lives with the evils of ďsocialism.Ē When Medicare was first proposed, Ronald Reagan called it ďsocialized medicine,Ē and he declared that it would destroy our freedom. These days, if you call for something like universal child care, conservatives accuse you of wanting to turn America into the Soviet Union.

    Itís a smarmy, dishonest political strategy, but itís hard to deny that it has sometimes been effective. And now the front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination ó not an overwhelming front-runner, but clearly the person most likely at the moment to come out on top ó is someone who plays right into that strategy, by declaring that he is indeed a socialist.

    The thing is, Bernie Sanders isnít actually a socialist in any normal sense of the term. He doesnít want to nationalize our major industries and replace markets with central planning; he has expressed admiration, not for Venezuela, but for Denmark. Heís basically what Europeans would call a social democrat ó and social democracies like Denmark are, in fact, quite nice places to live, with societies that are, if anything, freer than our own.

    So why does Sanders call himself a socialist? Iíd say that itís mainly about personal branding, with a dash of glee at shocking the bourgeoisie. And this self-indulgence did no harm as long as he was just a senator from a very liberal state.

    But if Sanders becomes the Democratic presidential nominee, his misleading self-description will be a gift to the Trump campaign. So will his policy proposals. Single-payer health care is (a) a good idea in principle and (b) very unlikely to happen in practice, but by making Medicare for All the centerpiece of his campaign, Sanders would take the focus off the Trump administrationís determination to take away the social safety net we already have.

    PAUL KRUGMANíS NEWSLETTERGet a better understanding of the economy ó and an even deeper look at whatís on Paulís mind. Sign up here.
    Just to be clear, if Sanders is indeed the nominee, the Democratic Party should give him its wholehearted support. He probably couldnít turn America into Denmark, and even if he could, President Trump is trying to turn us into a white nationalist autocracy like Hungary. Which would you prefer?

    But I do wish that Sanders werenít so determined to make himself an easy target for right-wing smears.

    Speaking of unhelpful political posturing, the runner-up in New Hampshire has also been poisoning his own well. Over the past few days Pete Buttigieg has chosen to pose as a deficit hawk, thereby demonstrating that while he may be a fresh face, he has remarkably stale ideas.

    Maybe Buttigieg is unaware of the growing consensus among mainstream economists that the deficit hysteria of seven or eight years ago was greatly overblown. Last year the former top economists in the Obama administration published an article titled ďWhoís Afraid of Budget Deficits?Ē which concluded, ďItís time for Washington to put away its debt obsession and focus on bigger things.Ē

    And where Sanders is playing right into one disreputable Republican political strategy, Buttigieg is playing into another: the strategy of hobbling the economy with fiscal austerity when a Democrat occupies the White House, then borrowing freely as soon as the G.O.P. regains power. If Democrats win, they should pursue a progressive agenda, not waste political capital cleaning up the G.O.P.ís mess.

    Again, if Buttigieg somehow becomes the nominee, the party should back him without reservation. Whatever he may say about deficits, he wouldnít do what Republicans do: use debt fears as an excuse to slash social programs.

    So who will the Democrats nominate? Your guess is as good as mine. Whatís really important, however, is that the party stays focused on its strengths and Trumpís weaknesses.

    For the fact is that all of the Democrats who would be president, from Bloomberg to Bernie, are at least moderately progressive; they all want to maintain and expand the social safety net, while raising taxes on the wealthy. And all the polling evidence says that America is basically a center-left nation ó which is why Trump promised to raise taxes on the rich and protect major social programs during the 2016 campaign.

    But he was lying, and at this point everyone with an open mind knows it. So Democrats have a perfect opportunity to portray themselves, truthfully, as the defenders of Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and the now-popular Affordable Care Act against Republicans who are more or less nakedly favoring the interests of plutocrats over those of working families.

    This opportunity will, however, be squandered if the Democratic nominee, whoever he or she is, turns the election into a referendum on either single-payer health care or deficit reduction, neither of which is an especially popular position. Things will be even worse if the Democrats themselves degenerate into squabbles over either ideological purity or fiscal probity.

    The point is that whoever gets the nomination, Democrats need to build as broad a coalition as possible. Otherwise theyíll be handing the election to Trump ó and that would be a tragedy for the party, the nation and the world.

    NY TIMES
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    Krugman seems to get hung up on the labels... or maybe even the corporate media (which he is a part of) distortion of the label. And of course he does, because Krugman exists as a tool of Wall Street based "economics".

    In the real world though, Bernie Sanders just became the first Presidential Candidate in history to win the first three states. Nobody else - Democrat or Republican - ever did so. Not Obama, not Clinton, not Saint Ronald of Jellybean Himself. So it would appear that Bernie's message is resonating with the American people just fine. They're responding to what he says about the issues, and his solutions for those issues. Not a two word label that some want to distort and associate with the likes of Joe Stalin (who ironically enough, as the source of the Koch family fortune, is the primary influence of right wing conservative politics now.)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nickdfresh View Post
    The point is that whoever gets the nomination, Democrats need to build as broad a coalition as possible.
    That's not going to happen. The next election will be contested by a left wing and a right wing extremist. But as long as it comes down to Bernie vs Trump I don't really care who wins. Bernie would be better for me as an individual but I'm not sure it would be better for the United States. No matter who wins life goes on.
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    Quote Originally Posted by FORD View Post
    So it would appear that Bernie's message is resonating with the American people just fine. They're responding to what he says about the issues, and his solutions for those issues.
    Since you're obviously his rep here what's his position on immigration? Is he for open borders? Does he want the United States to become part of a North American Union? An American union(North and South America), a global union? Should we be assimilated into the Borg?

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    Quote Originally Posted by cadaverdog View Post
    Since you're obviously his rep here what's his position on immigration? Is he for open borders? Does he want the United States to become part of a North American Union? An American union(North and South America), a global union? Should we be assimilated into the Borg?

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    What he said sounds great. America and Americans first. But what about retired and soon the be retired people who live or will live on a fixed income if he increases the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour? When wages go up so do prices if companies and/or businesses that don't make huge profits want to survive. When overhead rises, profit falls. How come nobody wants to discuss that? What would Bernie do about that?
    Last edited by cadaverdog; 02-23-2020 at 03:33 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cadaverdog View Post
    What he said sounds great. America and Americans first. But what about retired and soon the be retired people who live or will live on a fixed income if he increases the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour? When wages go up so do prices if companies and/or businesses that don't make huge profits want to survive. When overhead rises, profit falls. How come nobody wants to discuss that? What would Bernie do about that?

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    Quote Originally Posted by cadaverdog View Post
    That's not going to happen. The next election will be contested by a left wing and a right wing extremist. But as long as it comes down to Bernie vs Trump I don't really care who wins. Bernie would be better for me as an individual but I'm not sure it would be better for the United States. No matter who wins life goes on.
    It would 100% be better for the United States...

    I'm not a Bernie fan, I do not feel the Bern, but he is 100% a better president than that fat, golftard Trump...

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    Quote Originally Posted by FORD View Post
    Krugman seems to get hung up on the labels... or maybe even the corporate media (which he is a part of) distortion of the label. And of course he does, because Krugman exists as a tool of Wall Street based "economics".

    In the real world though, Bernie Sanders just became the first Presidential Candidate in history to win the first three states. Nobody else - Democrat or Republican - ever did so. Not Obama, not Clinton, not Saint Ronald of Jellybean Himself. So it would appear that Bernie's message is resonating with the American people just fine. They're responding to what he says about the issues, and his solutions for those issues. Not a two word label that some want to distort and associate with the likes of Joe Stalin (who ironically enough, as the source of the Koch family fortune, is the primary influence of right wing conservative politics now.)
    Okay yes Ford, he is doing well. And motherfucking YES I'll vote for Bern if he is the Dem nominee! That's not the point of the article. He's not really a socialist, he's pretty close to me - an FDR capitalist! Cocks or not! Why say it?
    Last edited by Nickdfresh; 02-23-2020 at 04:13 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cadaverdog View Post
    That's not going to happen. The next election will be contested by a left wing and a right wing extremist. But as long as it comes down to Bernie vs Trump I don't really care who wins. Bernie would be better for me as an individual but I'm not sure it would be better for the United States. No matter who wins life goes on.
    Are you motherfucking Johnathan Edwards or something with the predictions? Good luck!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nickdfresh View Post
    Okay yes Ford, he is doing well. And motherfucking YES I'll vote for Bern if he is the Dem nominee! That's not the point of the article. He's not really a socialist, he's pretty close to me - an FDR capitalist! Cocks or not! Why say it?
    My guess is that it's his way of saying he's not like the Clinton/Obama types. Who, ironically are more like Eisenhower Republicans than they are traditional Democrats. Obama actually came right out and admitted that he would have been called a moderate Republican in the 80s....



    Unfortunately, you haven't had an actual Democrat as President since 1980, so that's two generations of people since then who literally have no frame of reference as to what a Democratic presidency should look like.

    Bernie's point is that Norway, Denmark, & Sweden are looking more like FDR's vision of America than the US itself is anymore. And that we need to do something about that.
    Last edited by FORD; 02-23-2020 at 04:43 PM.

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    Ford, Obama was closer to Carter than Eisenhower, so was Ike actually...

    But if you want to do the whole ideology litmus test thing, than good luck! You're playing into Drumpfs small hands...

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    Quote Originally Posted by FORD View Post
    I choose Bern and like him to an extent, but the radical chic socialism misnomers are not really helpful...

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    Travis Washington is ready for Sanders to transform the nation’s health care system.

    The 51-year-old retired veteran, who served in the Army from 1984 to 2004, stood outside the Zion Baptist Church at the MLK Day march to the Statehouse holding a sign for Sanders and wearing a T-shirt that read: “If you support these programs, the military, the police, firemen, national parks and social security, then you already support democratic socialism.”

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    Bernie Sanders New Years Resolutions from 1978



    Isn't it great to have a Presidential candidate who doesn't have to hold his fucking finger in the air and feel the direction of the wind before he can tell you his position on the issues?

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    Buttigieg is an annoying fucker. The more I see him the more I dislike him. He's just comes across as completely fake and offers nothing substantive. I'll be glad when he drops out in the next week.

    I don't see the democrats having any choice but Bernie. No one else is inspires any passion at all. Bernie followers are committed. I think like 2016 with trump they will thrash and bitch and moan and finally accept it. I just hope he is effective in bringing about actual change.

    I early voted for him here in Texas. Hoping he can hold Biden back and get the win.
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