The Daily Gamecock

Letter to the editor: Democrats are not socialists

Sen. Berine Sanders, I-VT. AP file
Sen. Berine Sanders, I-VT. AP file

With all due respect to my fellow Americans, most of us simply don't know that a "liberal/progressive" is not the same thing as a "socialist."

A true "socialist" is someone who wants all of the businesses and workplaces to be owned and controlled by "the state" or "the government" or "the workers" or "the people" and not by individuals and groups of people who run them for profit as we have here in the USA.

The overwhelming majority of Democrats want our federal government to spend more on social programs to help the lower and middle classes as they struggle to survive and pay their bills.  They are not "socialists."  They are "liberals/progressives" who want our market-based capitalist economic system to become more humane (and not replaced) by having our federal government spend more to help the lower and middle classes. 

They know all too well that there has never been a true large-scale socialist economic system in which socialism produced enough wealth to meet the basic needs of its citizens. It has never "worked."

Thus, while most Americans seem not to be aware of this, and while conservative-Republican politicians and the conservative news media do not want the American people to be aware of this, most Democrats want our federal government to be more like the federal governments of almost every single one of our traditional allies (Canada and western Europe) which spend more than we do, in proportion to their population sizes, to help their lower and middle class citizens. None of our allies are "socialist," they know it, and they will tell you so.

To put this simply, President Trump and the conservative news media will probably spend the next year calling all Democrats "crazy socialists." In doing so, they are either intentionally lying to the American people, or they are very poorly-informed and just plain wrong.

Lastly, if simply supporting a federal government social program like Social Security and Medicare makes someone a "socialist," then that would make Dwight Eisenhower and Richard Nixon "crazy socialists" because they both signed new federal government social programs into existence and they both supported Social Security.


Stewart B. Epstein