The Peach colored President of the United States (PPOTUS) and his "Republican" cult club are fond of dismissing their Democratic opponents as "Socialists" hell bent on ruining the country. PPOTUS in particular likes to cite Venezuela as the primary example of a failed socialist state. For a definition of Socialism you can search here: but be warned it is less than satisfyingly clear. For argument sake I'll summarize socialism as an idea that the state should be organized around and operate under the principle that all the people equitably benefit from what society can produce. The problems with socialism arise from how to actually pursue it given human nature's inherent selfishness enlightened by the knowledge that working together is necessary for anyone to benefit.

The history of socialism is replete with failures and brutality as various governments try their mightiest to change human nature for what they think is the better, these coercive socialist states feature collectivization of production, central planning of the economy and single party political systems. Other socialist states fail because the ruling elites decide that they are more equal than all of the others. The later is what I call fake socialism. I believe that fake socialism is much more prevalent than real socialism and would point to Venezuela as the latest and perhaps most extreme example of that.

I think it is safe to say that socialism is a laudable ideal but should be pursued with considerable moderation, the better to make it actually work. Which brings me to the Democrats and their leading "Socialist": Bernie Sanders. What does Bernie want that has "Republican" knickers in such a knot that, had PPOTUS not already neutered them, they might feel extreme testicular discomfort?

The Rich (top 1%) pay their fair share of taxes.

One payer (the State) of medical care for all.

Free college tuition

Cancel Student Debt

Limit Election Campaign Spending

Universal Free Meals in Schools

Drug Importation and Patent Breaking to limit drug costs

Slash the Defense Budget (presumably to pay for his other policies - oddly enough few of his opponents mention this one)

Targeted Taxes for the Finance Sector and Corporations

Reduce Income inequality through taxes on the wealthy and new social programs

People can and do argue the merits of any of these policies. I've picked on Bernie here because the "Republicans" hold him up as the worst of the "evil socialists" out to destroy America. There is much more to his platform than what I have listed, but they are not what socialism focuses on. While Bernie's platform is intended to more equitably distribute the bounty of what society produces it does not fall into the traps in which so many failed socialist states have foundered. In fact a classical socialist might argue that he is not a socialist at all. The field of Democratic candidates have many policy overlaps with Bernie but none of them are anywhere close to being a socialist.

So are the Democrats "socialists"? The answer is a resounding NO. But that won't stop the "Republicans" from saying they are simply because the "Republicans" think the voters recoil at the name and won't bother to actually investigate the policies.

Prove them wrong.

You can find Bernie's and others' complete platforms here: