“Bernie Sanders isn’t a radical — he’s a pragmatist who fights to un-rig the system.”


It’s so very tiresome having to explain these matters again and again — to Democrats, whose prefer keeping the system rigged, and whose idea of “resistance” is to become as much like their opposition as humanly possible while expressing dismay that nothing ever changes. Then it’s back to the imaginary Star Wars and Marvel canons, and another half-decade of decline.

Opinion: Bernie Sanders isn’t a radical — he’s a pragmatist who fights to un-rig the system, by Mark Weisbrot (Market Watch)

 … He is a “socialist,” his opponents cry, leaving out the first part of the term “democratic socialist” that Sanders always uses when this issue is discussed. There is much room to induce confusion here because the term “socialist,” in English, has a number of different definitions that have all become common usage over the years.

It can be used to mean anything from “communist,” as in the former Soviet Union, to the European social democratic or socialist parties that have governed for much of the past 70 years in countries such as France, Germany, Spain, and the U.K., not to mention the Scandinavian countries.

It should be clear to anyone who is not trying to frighten voters that Sanders is a social democrat of the latter, European variety. There will be no U.S. government takeover of the means of production under a Sanders administration.

The biggest expansion in government will be in public funding of health insurance. Like traditional Medicare, where less than 2% of expenses are administrative costs, public health insurance will be much more efficient than the current six times as much spent by the private insurance industry. And we won’t have 8 million people falling into poverty every year due to medical expenses, or worse, tens of thousands actually dying because of lack of access to affordable health care.

Sanders’ program is targeted at correcting a very harmful transformation of the U.S. economy that has taken place over the past 40 years …

“From V-J Day 1945 to this has been, my fellow countrymen, a perfect nightmare.”
— Gore Vidal (1987)