But Bernie Sanders Is A Socialist! How could a socialist be the real deal?
The reason you should vote for Sanders even if you are a Republican
Disclaimer: I am not related to the Bernie Sanders ‘s campaign in any way, shape or form; I am not associated with any of his Super Pacs. I was never in contact with him, anyone in his campaign or anyone in his Super Pacs. Oh, I am not a supporter of any political party or candidate. This is simply an objective opinion about a candidate to help filter through the elevated noise of the campaign this year.
Since he announced his bid for the presidency, I watched in disbelief members of the media – digital, print, radio and television – making a case against Bernie Sanders as unfit to become commander-in-chief because he is a socialist. In a distant past, one could rely on journalists to decipher complex issues our government deals with, policies it proposes and/or implements and to explain them in layman terms for the general public. In that distant past, journalists used to be the eyes and the ears of the constituents and were more or less the conscience of the nation.
Today however, it is extremely difficult if not impossible to differentiate a journalist from a politician. I take that back; journalists and politicians are complementary. They complete each other’s sentence; they speak the same language; they work for the same employer; they belong to the same political party. Put nicely, We The People are screwed. So, it is a futile exercise and misplaced hope to await anyone in the media to be objective about the government, politics or social issues. It is thus no surprise Bernie Sanders is cornered by his opponent as socialist, ambushed by the media on both the right and the left and buried under avalanche of insults from all directions. You, the constituents, are left in the best case scenario with no understanding of what it means that Bernie is a socialist or in the worst case scenario completely misinformed on the meaning of socialism.
It is not an oversight; it is by design that both political Partys and members of the media (I famously referred to as cheerleaders for the two major political Partys) want you to remain misinformed or completely ignorant on the topic of socialism and others so you can rely on them for guidance. Guidance they’ve been giving you, repeating over and over that “socialism is bad and Bernie is a socialist”. In computer parlance, we say “garbage in garbage out”; in this context it means one would not expect a misinformed individual to make the right decision; and that’s exactly what the Partys and the media want; however, that’s not right.
That’s where I come in. I have no allegiance towards one party or the other; in addition, since I’ve added journalism to the long list of my education, I strive to be as objective as humanly possible while providing you with as much information as necessary – about any topic – for you to make the decisions which may impact you and the future generations. But before I open the flood of information about socialism that is relevant to the ongoing presidential campaign, let me address two major troubling aspects of the media behavior:
1.- It’s not the Media job to go against a candidate because it doesn’t share the candidate’s view, doesn’t like the candidate or simply cannot stand the candidate.
2.- It is very insulting for the Media to decide which candidate the constituents should choose.
That may sound weird to you; it “kinda” feels weird writing it. The reason is because most publications (if not all) have been doing it. Fox Opinion (referred to by most as Fox News) is it 24/7, 365 days a year. Other networks and publications usually join in during the course of political campaigns and elections. Just recently, Chris Christie was endorsed by a major newspaper in New Hampshire; John Kasich was endorsed by almost all publications in the state of Ohio where he is the current Governor. So, yes, it kinda feels weird.
News publication shouldn’t be in the business of attempting to sway the constituents one way or the other but they do it regularly and it becomes part of their very existence. When a publication endorses a candidate (and publications have been doing it forever), it serves two major purposes 1) to convince you (the constituents) it’s okay to vote for candidate X; See! We trust candidate X, that’s why we’ve endorsed him/her. So, you should have no reason not to as well. 2) to boost the candidate standing; said candidate usually gets an immediate boost in the polls even if it is temporary. The decision to endorse a candidate usually comes from the owner of the publication. To do it via an editorial piece carries more weight and seems more legitimate. To put it simply, the publication is “cheerleadering” for the candidate. The likely scenario is that the publication’s owner supports the party the candidate belongs to. Said publication acts as an extended arm for the political party. If you pay attention to those types of endorsements – detrimental to the publication in the long run – as an indication of a candidate’s qualification, you are not just duped but you are also contributing to the lingering problem in the election process.
Yep, the watchdogs – those (in the media) you should have been able to rely on for objective and unadulterated opinion and information – have turned into glorified cheerleaders, for a paycheck of course.
But it doesn’t always go in one direction; publications which oppose a candidate go out of their way in full throttle to paint the candidate in very bad light. This is not to say the candidate has no flaws; far from it! But those publications will nitpick everything the “unliked” candidate says or does and blow it out of proportion. Even when the candidate passes muster, you can bet they will think of something; after all, that’s what cheerleaders do, right? Such is in the case of Bernie Sanders. There is really very little mud to throw at Sanders, darn it! Well, as expected, the media quickly came up with something, he is a socialist; that should definitely do it. There! No matter which publication you read, regardless which TV network you watch and irrespective of which radio station you listen to, there is one common refrain across the board, Bernie Sanders is not electable, he is a socialist.
What is Socialism?
Keep in mind that Bernie is (well, he labels himself) a democratic socialist (we’ll come back to that). What exactly do they mean that Bernie is a socialist? Instead of attempting to defend Bernie regarding the label which even he is not doing, let’s ask those who accuse him of being a socialist what they mean. We took to the social medias (we’ve mingled with the Hillary’s camp) where ranting about Bernie as a socialist abounds. Here is what we found, which gets us even more confused. 1) Bernie wants state college education to be free – translation: Bernie wants everyone to be able to go to college without the burden of debt after graduation; outcome: Bernie has an army of supporters, most of whom are either college students or recent graduates loaded with debt but without a prospect of a good job 2) Bernie wants universal healthcare – translation: Bernie wants everyone to have healthcare coverage, to be able to go to a clinic, to a hospital without worrying whether s/he would have enough money or coverage to pay for treatment; outcome: except for the rich and the very rich, most people would face financial ruins to pay for long and expensive treatment 3) Bernie wants to raise taxes on the wealthy – translation: Bernie wants those who have a lot (a minority) to contribute towards helping those who are struggling (a majority); Bernie wants to raise taxes to pay for college education and healthcare; outcome: the rich and the very rich perceive Bernie as a threat to their wealth and their way of life; they are determined to make the word socialist his downfall.
What exactly is socialism? Instead of trying to explain the socialism concept and confuse you some more, let me compare it to capitalism, the system we have here in the United States. The major difference is, in a capitalist system, there are free market conditions i.e. one is free to choose whatever, to create, to innovate, to sell, to buy, to become wealthy or to fail; in a socialist system (and there are various forms of it), the government is more or less involved in the planning, setting guidelines to warrant equality of opportunity. Having said that, here are three principal factors which illustrate the difference outlined in the previous paragraph.
1.- In a capitalist system, businesses and properties are owned and managed by individuals; in a socialist system, the government owns and manages most major means of production although some forms of socialism would allow individual ownership with rigid government regulations.
2.- In a capitalist system, equity is not a concern; there are rich, very rich and wealthy and there are poor, very poor and outright destitute; in a socialist system, equity is a major factor; it seeks to ensure equality in opportunity.
3.- In a capitalist system, businesses are the main employers; in a socialist system, the government is the main employer, thus guaranteeing employment even in time of economic crisis.
Knowing what you know now, do you think Bernie Sanders is a socialist?
In part 3 of “Bernie Is The Real Deal” series, we take a look at why the socialist label has followed Bernie’s political career and is now serving him well towards the path to the presidency.
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