Letter to the Editor: Why do we fear democratic socialism

The youth of America is ecstatic about a senator from Vermont, Bernie Sanders, who describes his political views as democratic socialism. Many voters and politicians quiver in fear when they hear this word “socialism.” Socialism in its most basic form means that a population collectively owns and controls the means of production and distributes the end result proportionally. It’s worth mentioning that there is currently no 100 percent socialist country.

The best examples of socialism today are Nordic and Scandinavian nations such as Iceland, Norway, Finland, Sweden and Denmark, all of which rank in the Top 10 happiest countries in the world, according to Forbes. Democratic socialism prioritizes improving quality of life by focusing on equal rights and opportunities as well as a state-run welfare system. Democratic socialism does not empower a dictatorship.

Democratic socialism, when taken to the extreme, has been compared to communism. The father of communism himself, Karl Marx, wrote in “The Communist Manifesto” that the truly communist society wants abolition of land as private property, free education, everyone is required to work, the centralization of banks, communication, and transportation via a violent uprising of average people to over throw the government. This is what scares today’s politicians. Democratic socialism does not go to such extremes to change the financial hierarchy.

Democratic socialism does, however, seek to provide a safety net to the average worker. This safety net includes free healthcare, free education, affordable housing, free public transportation, paid maternity leave, and a government funded retirement.

Democratic socialism is exactly what the top one percenters do not want because it will be the end of their supremacy over the rest of the world. This one percent own the majority of major media broadcasters and for this reason you will never hear democratic socialism be spoken of fondly on any of the major new networks.

Sanders states “it is immoral and wrong that the top one tenth of one percent own as much wealth at the bottom 90 percent, and it wrong today that in a rigged economy that 57 percent of all new income is going to the top 1 percent, and that when you look around the world that you see every other major country provides healthcare to all people as a right except the United States.”