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Bernie Sanders' Presidential Bid Represents a Long Tradition of American Socialism


Bernie Sanders' Presidential Bid Represents a Long Tradition of American Socialism

Peter Dreier

Now that Bernie Sanders has entered the contest for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination, Americans are going to hearing a lot about socialism, because the 73-year old U.S. senator from Vermont describes himself as a “democratic socialist.”


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If by Socialist you mean voting for military expenditures and supporting our escapades in the Middle East to support Israel, sure.


Bernie Sanders is not a Socialist. I really do not think the author has a clue as to what Socialism is. It another word those that are really on the right seem intent on hi-jacking for themselves as they see it might garner them some votes.


Well everyone agrees and I agree with them. bernie is just a shiny object for the demodogs.


Thank you for the history lesson, Mr. Dreier.

Since I live in the Bible belt and have unfortunate occasions to hear what the locals think, I can say with certainty that they have ZERO understanding of Socialism. To them, it’s Hitler’s version.

Anyone who could seriously equate Obama with Socialism is tragically ill-informed, but that’s the business of right wing Hate Radio and Fox News.

What is needed–but rendered missing thanks to mass media capture (by corporate entities that do not WANT this understanding to be made widespread)–are ACTUAL discussions on what Socialism means and entails. Ideally, informed TV news show and talk show guests would delineate with real examples.

Imagine if this discussion were to honestly demonstrate and depict the type of health care offered to most European citizens in contrast with the now legalized form of bribery (Obama “care”) that prospers Insurance Companies while robbing citizens of access to necessary health care?

Michael Moore showed the contrast in his film, “Capitalism: A Love Story.” He exposed how Europeans get sick leave, paid maternity leave, and vacation time… these items are becoming rare thanks to the new U.S. 3rd world economy featuring Temp Work, “Private Contractors,” and minimum wage “opportunities” along with “right to work” (= phuck unions) states.

My point is that not enough Americans understand the premises since the words have been tainted by those paid TO damage the ideas before they can take root.


Like those inside these threads who deliberately use the bastardized version of the word Progressive as self-applied by neocons like Hillary Clinton or Obama as CAUSE to demonize the term along with its authentic advocates, you are using the duopoly’s airtight control of the current U.S. electoral system as cause to bludgeon Mr. Sanders.

The chances of organizing a Socialist Party inside a nation that’s almost entirely under covert right-wing, authoritarian-corporate lockdown is about as likely as seeing pigs fly. What is possible is Bernie Sanders making waves.

I think Mr. Dreier used the witness of former U.S. political history to show that the candidates furthest to the Left may not often obtain positions of power, yet their presence shifts the overall calculus. You might think this form of accommodation is a deal with the devil. However, given the predominance of martial policing forces, Homeland security’s stealth network, right wing hostilities brewing, and lots of nut-jobs who think Obama IS a Socialist (a word used in the place of more racist jargon)… what’s apt to emerge if the duopoly had a SERIOUS challenge is homage (on the part of a large Christian Fundamentalist voting bloc) to a right wing authoritarian.

Often when fissures show up in nations under stress, it’s that ilk that takes command and control. Recent events in Ukraine and Egypt depict this phenomenon. I’ll take Mr. Sanders over THAT in a heartbeat! This forum’s closet right wingers salivate over a Rand or Ron Paul. They want a misogynistic big Daddy to rule it all.


Before anyone slams a misconception on Bernie and decides one way or the other if he fits into their ‘ideal’ of someone fit to run for President they should research his voting record to see how his voting record corresponds with their perception of someone who is on the same page that they are. I think there many who will find he is on ‘their side of the coin on most issues.’


The one thing that is most refreshing about Bernie is that he doesn’t spend or waste any time bashing other candidates. He sticks to his platform and the issues. I can’t name another candidate who does that. In fact I have no idea what the GOP platform is as no one discusses it. Negative campaigning is a real turn off. I will go with positivity any day.


Most of the posts on this thread remind me of people who are desperate for money but would throw away 50 cents because they want at least a full Euro.


Bernie’s idea to provide loans to workers who wish to take over company management is clearly in line with socialist ideas.


As was social security as introduced by FDR. FDR was not a Socialist.


Hopefully at least a few Dixie denizens recall Louisiana icon Huey Long’s 1935 campaign to run against FDR in 1936, thereby pulling FDR leftward and accelerating the passing of FDR’s Social Security legislation. Although Long was assassinated shortly after Social Security was enacted, non-revisionist historians concur that had Long not pushed FDR so hard, changing political tides would have prevented Social Security from ever happening.

Not only did Drier omit Huey Long’s influence, he also failed to mention that socialist and communist candidates regularly garnered 8 to 10% of the popular vote in most presidential elections during the first half of the 20th century. The corporations’ anti-commie gunner Senator Joe McCarthy (R-Wis) quickly ran socialists and communists out of town during the eaerly 50s.


A Democratic Party contender identifying as a socialist would have had little cred prior to the Clinton’s and others forming the Democratic Leadership Council (DLC) in 1985.

The DLC focused the Party’s mission on GETTING MORE CORPORATE CASH THAN THE GOP, making the values of socialism 180 degrees from the Democratic Party’s mission, giving Sanders zero cred.


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Yes, pressure from Socialist and Communist candidates pressured Bismarck to enact the first pension programs and pressured FDR to enact the New Deal.

With 1% of those who voted in the US 2012 election supporting the 2 socialist candidates combined , today’s Democratic Party pays 100% attention to 1% who bankroll them and 0% attention to socialists or the 99%.