USA Bernie Sanders and Socialism

Romanos

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Why do you feel that some feel that Socialism is the way to go with Bernie Sanders?
 

psalms 91

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I like him a lot better than Hillary
 

Highlander

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Why do you feel that some feel that Socialism is the way to go with Bernie Sanders?

Most people are not thinking completely when they support socialism, including the younger voters. They fail to realize that no socialist nation has ever prospered because socialism, by its very nature, does not work.

As Margaret Thatcher once said, "Socialism works just great -- until you run out of OTHER peoples' money."
 

psalms 91

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Unfortunately the present brand of capitalism is not working either
 

Josiah

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Most people are not thinking completely when they support socialism, including the younger voters. They fail to realize that no socialist nation has ever prospered because socialism, by its very nature, does not work.

As Margaret Thatcher once said, "Socialism works just great -- until you run out of OTHER peoples' money."


I agree. Hey, SOUNDS good - free college, free this, free that. We'll all get paid whatever WE think WE are worth.... Unlimited personal days off with pay..... Min. wage of $10,000 a month (heck, who can live on that? make it $100K per month!).... I just bought a house - the government should have made the down payment for me (cuz it was a lot), heck the mortage payment too - why home ownership would go up with the government paid for the house, can't people understand that?

"The world owes me a living." Sounds good. Doesn't work. Study the Soviet Union..... study the Eastern Block countries during their communist years.... go back to the 80's and compare East and West Germany..... And note that most of those communist countries fell when they ran out of other people's money. Look at North Korea today. China - still technically "communist" has in fact almost entirely abandoned communism.


Bernie - a grown up hippy from the 60's who became "The Man" - is just stuck in the hippy mentality. That nearly HALF of Democrats are too shows how bad things have gotten in the USA. Bernie won't become president, but the whole Democratic Party has moved LEFTIST in response (so in that sense, he has succeeded). Bernie never was a Democrat (he changed party only to run for President now) and could care less about that Party (explains much about his current behavior) and has been attacking the Democratic Party for decades (although votes with the Dems rather than Republicans in the Senate). Nearly HALF of Dems have aligned with him.... Bernie the Socialist Communist grown-up hippy (who became a traitor by becoming The Man).
 

MoreCoffee

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Why do you feel that some feel that Socialism is the way to go with Bernie Sanders?

Do you fear socialism and what is there about it to fear?
 

Highlander

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Yup, Bernie has always been a hippie type. I don't know the exact particulars, but he never even had a job until he was about 40. And I believe it was a government job or an elected office. Even at age 74, he has no real life experience to know how the world works in reality.
 

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Here is Bernie Sanders' biography.

Senator Bernie Sanders is America's longest-serving independent politician in Congress and a candidate for president in 2016.

Synopsis

Born in 1941, politician Bernie Sanders started out his political career as the mayor of Burlington, Vermont in the early '80s. He served four terms as the leader of Vermont's biggest city from 1981 to 1989. Sanders then moved on to the national political arena by winning a seat in the House of Representatives. From 1991 to 2007, he distinguished himself as one of the country's few independent legislators. In 2007, Sanders won election to the U.S. Senate and was reelected in 2012. He announced his plans to run for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2015.

Early Life and Education

Independent politician Bernie Sanders was born on September 8, 1941, in New York. He grew up in Brooklyn as the youngest of two sons of Jewish immigrants from Poland. His father worked as a paint salesman. As part of a struggling working-class family, Sanders recognized early on America's economic disparity. As he told the Guardian newspaper, "I saw unfairness. That was the major inspiration in my politics," he said. Sanders also counts American socialist leader Eugene V. Debs as an important influence.

Sanders attended Brooklyn's James Madison High School and then went on to Brooklyn College. After a year there, he transferred to the University of Chicago. Sanders became involved in the Civil Rights Movement during his university days. He was a member of the Congress of Racial Equality, also known as CORE. With CORE, Sanders participated in a sit-in against the segregation of off-campus housing in 1962. He also served as an organizer for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. In 1963 he participated in the March on Washington.

"It was a question for me of just basic justice — the fact that it was not acceptable in America at that point that you had large numbers of African-Americans who couldn't vote, who couldn't eat in a restaurant, whose kids were going to segregated schools, who couldn't get hotel accommodations living in segregated housing," he told the Burlington Free Press. "That was clearly a major American injustice and something that had to be dealt with."

After finishing college in 1964 with a degree in political science, Sanders lived on a kibbutz in Israel before settling in Vermont. He worked a number of jobs, including filmmaker and freelance writer, psychiatric aide, and teaching low-income children through Head Start, while his interest in politics grew.

During the Vietnam War, Sanders had applied for conscientious objector status. Although his status was eventually rejected, by then he was too old to be drafted.

Burlington and Beyond

In the 1970s, Sanders made several unsuccessful bids for public office as a member of the anti-war Liberty Union Party, which he was a member of until 1979. His first taste of political victory came by the thinnest of margins. In 1981, he was elected mayor of Burlington, Vermont, by only 12 votes. Sanders was able to achieve this win with the support of the Progressive Coalition, a grassroots organization. He was reelected three more times, proving that the self-described "democratic socialist" had staying power.

Known for his rumpled clothes and untamed mane, Sanders made an unlikely candidate for national office, but this political underdog scored a 1990 win for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. As an independent, Sanders found himself facing a dilemma. He had to find political allies to advance his issues and legislation. As Sanders explained to The Progressive, he considered working with the Republicans to be "unthinkable," but he did caucus with the Democrats despite "a lot of opposition among conservative Democrats to my being in that caucus."

Outspoken on the issues, Sanders criticized both parties whenever he felt they were in the wrong. He was a vocal opponent on the Iraq War, concerned about the social and financial impact that the conflict could cause. In an address to the House, he said "As a caring Nation, we should do everything we can to prevent the horrible suffering that a war will cause." Sanders also questioned the timing of military action "at a time when this country has a $6 trillion national debt and a growing deficit."

Senator Sanders

Sanders sought to switch to the Senate in 2006, running against Republican businessman Richard Tarrant. As a self-described "democratic socialist," he managed to defeat Tarrant despite the latter's much more substantial funding. Tarrant spent $7 million of his own personal wealth in this election battle.

In 2010, Sanders made the news with his more than eight-hour-long filibuster against the extension of Bush era tax cuts for the wealthy. He felt that this legislation was "a very bad tax agreement" between the president and Republican legislators, he later wrote in the introduction of The Speech: A Historic Filibuster on Corporate Greed and the Decline of Our Middle Class. Sanders ended his time on the Senate floor with a plea to his legislative colleagues to come up with "a better proposal which better reflects the needs of the middle class and working families of our country and to me, most importantly, the children of our country," according to a Washington Post article.

During his time in the Senate, Sanders has served on several committees on issues important to him. He is a member of the Committee on Budget; the Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions; the Committee on Veterans Affairs and the Joint Economic Committee. Sanders also champions campaign reform and advocates for an amendment to overturn the Supreme Court decision on Citizens United. Sanders has advocated for expanding voting rights and opposed the Supreme Court decision to disband part of the landmark Voting Rights Act. He is also an advocate for universal single-payer healthcare system. Driven by his sense of protecting the environment, addressing climate change and interest in renewable energy, Sanders is a member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment & Public Works and the Energy & Natural Resources Committee.
 

MoreCoffee

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Continued ...

Presidential Ambitions

In April 2015, Sanders announced that he was seeking the presidential nomination for the Democratic Party. This longtime independent made the party switch largely out of political necessity. "It would require an enormous amount of time, energy and money just to get on the ballot in 50 states" as an independent, he said to USA Today. "It made a lot more sense for me to work within the Democratic primary system where it's much easier to get on the ballot and have a chance to debate the other candidates."

Experts think it is unlikely that Sanders will be able to wrestle the Democratic nomination away from frontrunner Hillary Clinton. But, according to an Associated Press report, Sanders isn't worried about being an underdog in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination. "People should not underestimate me." As a veteran independent, he has "run outside of the two-party system, defeating Democrats and Republicans, taking on big-money candidates."

In fact, Sanders has made impressive strides in challenging Clinton during the presidential primaries and gaining favor in the polls. The most recent Quinnipiac University poll (released in February 2016) shows that he was favored above all the top running candidates and would even beat out Republican frontrunner Donald Trump — 49 to 39 percent, respectively — in a general election. (Sanders's numbers surpassed Clinton's 46 to 41 percent matchup with Trump.)

Sanders's platform focuses on issues of inequality in the United States. Economically, he favors tax reform that increases rates for the wealthy, greater governmental oversight of Wall Street and balancing the disparity between wages for men and women. He also believes in a state-administered health care system, more-affordable higher education — which includes tuition-free public college and universities — and an expansion of the Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid systems. A social liberal, he also supports same-sex marriage and is pro-choice.

Trademarks of His Campaign

One of the trademarks that defines Sanders's campaign is his call for a "political revolution," which asks for everyday citizens to become active in the political process and be the change they want to see on any given issue.

The other trademark is his fight to take corporate money out of politics, specifically, overturning the Citizens United ruling, which allows corporations and the wealthy elite to pour unlimited amounts of money into campaigns. Such money, Sanders vehemently argues, undermines democracy by skewing policies that favor the extremely rich.

Of the ruling, he has said: "As a result of the Citizens United Supreme Court decision, American democracy is being undermined by the ability of the Koch brothers and other billionaire families. These wealthy contributors can literally buy politicians and elections by spending hundreds of millions of dollars in support of the candidates of their choice. We need to overturn Citizens United and move toward public funding of elections so that all candidates can run for office without being beholden to the wealthy and powerful."

Record-Breaking Online Grassroots Fundraising

Staying true to his principles, Sanders relies almost solely on small individual donations rather than Super PACs to run his presidential primary race. To the surprise of many and admittedly, to Sanders himself, he has made an unprecedented mark on campaign fundraising in American politics. In December 2015 Time magazine wrote "Bernie Sanders has broken the fundraising record for most contributions at this point in a presidential campaign," even surpassing President Obama's fundraising record for his 2011 re-election bid.

In February of 2016, it was reported that Sanders had "received 3.7 million contributions from some 1.3 million individual contributors," averaging $27 a person. In March, Sanders's campaign reportedly raised over $96 million dollars in total contributions.

Historical Michigan Primary Victory

Sanders's Michigan primary victory is considered to be one of the greatest upsets in modern political history. He won 50 to 48, despite the latest polls showing he was trailing Clinton at least 20 percentage points.

The only time such an egregious polling error was recorded was during the 1984 Democratic primary when polls showed Walter Mondale leading Gary Hart by 17 percentage points. Hart actually won Michigan by more than nine points.

Sanders's shocking win was a testament that his liberal populist message could resonate within a diverse state such as Michigan and beyond. It was also a huge psychological blow to Clinton's campaign which had hoped to seal her nomination with ease.

Democratic Primary Abroad Win, AIPAC Absence

In March 2016 Sanders won the Democrats Abroad international primary by 69 percent. Over 34,000 American citizens cast their votes in 38 countries, with 13 delegates for the taking.

Sanders also made more headlines news in March as the first presidential candidate — and the only Jewish one — in the 2016 race to abstain from attending the AIPAC conference, an annual pro-Israel lobbying event. Although Sanders cited his busy campaign schedule for preventing him from participating, some considered his absence controversial. Pro-Palestinian groups, to their satisfaction, viewed his move as a defiant political statement.

Despite the different interpretations, Sanders gave a foreign policy speech remotely as a way of expressing what he would have said if he had attended AIPAC. In the speech he stressed the need for mutual respect and a push for eventual direct talks between Israel and Palestine.

Visit to the Vatican

Sanders made history as the only presidential candidate to ever be invited to the Vatican to speak on moral, environmental and economic issues.

Amid a contentious New York primary, Sanders flew out for a brief visit to a conference on social sciences in Rome in April 2016. Sanders and Pope Francis have often been cited as carrying similar moral anthems in regard to the economy and the environment.

Sanders had the opportunity to meet the Pope briefly, but the latter stressed the meet-and-greet was purely out of courtesy so as to not politicize the event.

Personal Life

In 1964 Sanders married his college sweetheart Deborah Shiling, but the couple divorced two years later. In 1968 he met Susan Mott and the two had a son, Levi, in 1969.

Sanders met his second wife Jane O'Meara right before becoming mayor of Burlington, Vermont in 1981. A long-time educator, O'Meara would eventually become president of Burlington College. The two married in 1988. O'Meara has three children from a previous marriage. Between them, the couple has four children and seven grandchildren.

Sanders's older brother, Larry, is a British academic and politician, who is currently the Health Spokesperson for the leftist Green Party of England and Wales.

(source)
 

JPPT1974

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Can't believe Bernie's brother is now from England. Really that is something else.
 

psalms 91

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Bernie has a lot of support both in voites and record fundraising
 

tango

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Why do you feel that some feel that Socialism is the way to go with Bernie Sanders?

Although I personally don't think I could vote for Bernie's brand of socialism because I don't think it will work for very long, I don't find it all that difficult to see why people would vote for him.

As I see it Hillary is pretty much everything that's wrong with Washington condensed into one person. Trump seems like little more than a loudmouth and recent reports of him attempting to stop someone hearing a case because he was Hispanic are concerning. All the other Republicans have dropped out, which pretty much leaves Bernie.

As far as young people are concerned it's easy to see why they are angry at the state of the economy. Even those who truly support the idea of working hard to get ahead are likely to be annoyed at graduating university with enormous debts only to find they end up flipping burgers because there isn't as much demand for their qualifications as they had hoped (in some cases it doesn't take a genius to figure out a degree is useless but it's not much fun to be a qualified engineer sweeping the roads because you can't find even an entry-level engineering job).

It seems to me that the education system is broken and the healthcare system is broken. Sometimes people just want someone to Do Something To Fix It even if they don't look too deeply at just what the person might do or whether it would actually work.
 

tango

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Do you fear socialism and what is there about it to fear?

Personally I think what might be called the extent of socialism makes a huge difference.

My leanings are essentially libertarian so my view is that the government should be as small as possible to still function and protect the fabric of society. Since people generally aren't very good at voluntarily supporting people in genuine need I don't have a problem with some form of welfare state that provides temporary support for people unable to find work and some form of basic support for those genuinely unable to work. But a system like that needs to be reasonably well policed so you don't see people filling their shopping carts with junk food and sugary fizzy drinks and paying for it with state support. It's one thing to give people assistance if they genuinely can't afford to eat but it's silly to pay for someone to have literally dozens of large bottles of Coke.

The problem with the term "socialism" is that some people seem only to apply it to regimes that are perhaps closer to communism while others are very quick to scream "socialism" any time the government tries to do anything that even looks like wealth redistribution.

Sometimes spreading some of the wealth around helps maintain a bit of social order - if people truly can't afford to eat it's only a matter of time before they riot. On the other hand the state shouldn't enable people to choose living on welfare as a lifestyle choice because they don't particularly feel like working for a living.

The question really is about striking a balance between constantly soaking "the rich" (who are generally never defined) and making sure people don't starve to death in the streets because the only skills they have are in physical labor and they can't work any more because of injuries sustained while working.

As Highlander mentioned further up the thread, Margaret Thatcher was quoted as saying that socialism is great until you run out of other peoples' money to spend. On the other hand "let them eat cake" may be an urban legend but things didn't end too well for the French monarchy when the people decided they had had enough of being hungry.
 

psalms 91

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Really doesnt matter since Bernie will not be the nominee
 
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