The Patriot Post® · 'Feel the Bern' Sanders Defines Democratic Socialism

By Kelly Bartlett ·

Kudos to Senator Bernie Sanders for candor. Unlike many Democrats who deny their socialist leanings, the presidential candidate from Vermont is proud to call himself a Democratic Socialist, and he made an attempt to define that ideology in a major speech Thursday. Will Sanders draw the heir apparent, Hillary Clinton, further Left during their battle for the Democrat nomination?

Before Sanders spoke at Georgetown University Thursday afternoon, students greeted him by chanting, “Feel the Bern!” They had many questions about the term “socialist.” Senior Joe Luther framed it, “Everybody is like, ‘free everything!’”

Right. And ObamaCare was going to lower your premiums. And you were going to keep the doctor you liked.

To explain the term democratic socialism, Sanders invoked President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who “redefined the relationship of the federal government to the people of our nation” and “restored their faith in government.”

To do so (and that’s arguable), Roosevelt greatly increased government’s power and spending, effectively creating today’s wealth redistribution state. Among other New Deal programs, he instituted the National Recovery Administration (which the Supreme Court later deemed unconstitutional) and Social Security, which will start to run dry in the future, necessitating reduced benefits. (Not so secure.) Of note, Roosevelt’s big government interventions did not end but rather exacerbated the Great Depression — until World War II brought economic revival.

Roosevelt did help change the relationship of the government from upholding the constitution to Big Nanny. Now many Americans have assumed the entitlement mentality.

Sanders said we must “take on and defeat a ruling class whose greed is destroying our nation.” Unfortunately, he’s not talking about the Democrats who took over one-sixth of the economy when they passed ObamaCare. And he’s not talking about the politicians in both parties who nearly doubled the national debt over the last few years to nearly $20 trillion. No, Sanders believes wealthy business owners are destroying the country: “The billionaire class cannot have it all.”

Sanders wants to expand federal power by offering “free” public universities, rebuilding infrastructure, raising the minimum wage to $15, combatting climate change, and most of all, stopping the “massive transfer of wealth” from the middle class to the much-maligned One Percent.

During the Q & A after his speech, Sanders accused Republicans of only caring about billionaires: “The Republican agenda is, among other things, to cut Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid and give huge tax breaks to billionaires and to ignore the planetary crisis of climate change.”

Not exactly. Republicans want higher wages for everybody, especially for working families, but not in a top-down, government-mandated, one-size fits all plan. It’s wise to consider what the market will bear, so businesses aren’t priced into bankruptcy or, more frequently, just not hiring more workers. The GOP presidential candidates have several different plans to tackle entitlement reform, including future cuts, in order to keep them alive for future generations. As for climate change, one volcanic eruption spews more pollutants into the planet than heating your home ever will.

Everyone wants the rich to “pay their fair share” — depending on your definition of “fair.” Socialism allows government to get powerful and greedy as in the recent takeover of the health insurance industry. Consumers are free to do business with the wealthy as they see fit. But if you don’t step in line with the government, you are fined. You can ignore Facebook if you wish, but if you don’t buy health insurance, you have to reckon with the IRS.

Sanders explained he self-identifies as a Democratic Socialist because his “vision” is “not just making modest changes around the edge.”

When asked how he would pay for free public universities, he assured the students that there is already a lot of money out there (the billionaires, remember?). He claims more funds can be tapped by raising the minimum wage and enacting a better trade policy and that Medicare-for-all “will free millions of people” trapped in jobs they don’t like but are sticking with for health insurance.

Regarding foreign policy, Sanders stated, “I am not a pacifist” and noted he voted for the wars against Afghanistan and Kosovo. To combat the Islamic State, he said, “leadership must come from the Muslim nations,” while America has a “supportive” role.

What about allowing in refugees from Syria? “Yes, after thorough screening, which we have the capability of doing, working with the rest of the world, we should accept refugees from that region.” This, despite the administration’s own FBI Director James Comey stating that we do not have sufficient means to vet those refugees.

Sanders defended his position that climate change is linked to terror and claimed that a drought in Syria caused rural dwellers to migrate to cities “causing more instability” where they succumbed to “extremist propaganda.”

The problem with socialism is that when government becomes too powerful, everyone will feel the burn.

On a final note, now that Sanders had his say and we’ve rebutted his assertions, here’s the official Patriot Post definition of his ideology: Democratic Socialism, like Nationalist Socialism, is nothing more than Marxist Socialism repackaged. It seeks a centrally planned economy directed by a dominant-party state that controls economic production by way of taxation, regulation and income redistribution. The success of Democrat Socialism depends upon supplanting Essential Liberty — the rights “endowed by our Creator” — primarily by refuting such endowment.

Of course, you’ll never hear Bernie put it quite that way.