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Sun Nov 22, 2015, 06:15 PM

Salon: "America has never recovered from Ronald Reagan. That’s why Bernie Sanders is so important." [View all]

Excerpt from the great Salon article "America has never recovered from Ronald Reagan. That’s why Bernie Sanders is so important":

On Thursday, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) gave his long planned speech on Democratic Socialism, invoking great American leaders like Martin Luther King Jr. and Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and reminding everyone that some of the most popular social programs we have today — Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid — were all once labeled socialist and aggressively opposed by monied interests, who FDR called “economic royalists.”

Not only were social programs opposed and called socialism; so were any kind of laws or regulations that intervened with the “free market” for the betterment of society. “Unemployment insurance, abolishing child labor, the 40-hour work week, collective bargaining, strong banking regulations, deposit insurance, and job programs that put millions of people to work were all described, in one way or another, as ‘socialist,’” explained Sanders.
...
Bernie Sanders, FDR, MLK, and many other past and present Americans have a very different view of freedom, and believe that the freedom to starve or to be left untreated after being seriously injured is no freedom at all. As FDR said while listing his Second Bill of Rights, “we have come to a clear realization of the fact that true individual freedom cannot exist without economic security and independence.” ...For Sanders and other Democratic Socialists (or Social Democrats), socialism is not so much about having the individual freedom to do what you wish without ever taking on a role (a major flaw in Marx’s thought was his dismissal of identity and the fulfillment human beings find in roles, e.g. someone who writes or paints would like be known as a writer or a painter), but having the freedom to fully utilize your innate talents and pursue work that you love, without having to worry about medical care or being tens of thousands dollars in debt for a necessary education. It is the right for every single person who works hard, regardless of how skilled or unskilled the labor is, to have a livable wage. And of course, it is democracy, or as Sanders put it:

“Democratic socialism, to me, does not just mean that we must create a nation of economic and social justice. It also means that we must create a vibrant democracy based on the principle of one person one vote.”

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Reply Salon: "America has never recovered from Ronald Reagan. That’s why Bernie Sanders is so important." [View all]
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