May 3, 2015

The whole idea of Democratic Socialism is met with suspicion and often, scorn, when it is mentioned in this country. This is because our media is corporate-owned, and the last thing they want is to show how other systems of government work in a manner superior to our own. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt) is labeled a Democratic Socialist, and this is a terrific strategy for a presidential candidate, but you'd never know it if Sanders didn't get a chance to explain.

STEPHANOPOULOS: You are asking for a lot of shakeup. Is it really possible for someone who calls himself a socialist to be elected president of the United States?

SANDERS: Well, so long as we know what democratic socialism is. And if we know that in countries, in Scandinavia, like Denmark, Norway, Sweden, they are very democratic countries, obviously. The voter turnout is a lot higher than it is in the United States. In those countries, health care is the right of all people. And in those countries, college education, graduate school is free. In those countries, retirement benefits, childcare are stronger than in the United States of America. And in those countries, by and large, government works for ordinary people and the middle class, rather than, as is the case right now in our country, for the billionaire class.

STEPHANOPOULOS: I can hear the Republican attack ad right now. He wants American to look more like Scandinavia.

SANDERS: That's right. That's right. And what's wrong with that? What's wrong when you have more income and wealth equality? What's wrong when they have a stronger middle class in many ways than we do, higher minimum wage than we do, and they are stronger on the environment than we do? Look, the fact of the matter is, we do a lot in our country, which is good, but we can learn from other countries. We have, George, the highest rate of childhood poverty of any major country on earth, at the same time as we are seeing a proliferation of millionaires and billionaires. Frankly, I don't think that is sustainable. I don't think that's what America is about.

According to this UN report, and other similar tests on standards of living, income distribution, health care, education, etc.

the top countries in the world to live in are:

#1 Denmark
#2 Norway
#3 Switzerland
#4 Netherlands
#5 Sweden

It's sad that Stephanopoulos considers the most important issues at this point to be xenophobia, the race to overcome Hillary Clinton as the nominee and the attack ads from the Right. Sadly, he says nothing about all the real problems and solutions that Senator Sanders presents.

That's one of the biggest obstacles we have: the unwilling media won't address the economic and social issues that plague our society. Senator Sanders is trying to change the narrative and he will be fought by the corporate powers-that-be, like Stephanopoulos, every step of the way. Imagine if we can focus on issues, and not trivial gossip, like Bernie suggests? That would sure be antithetical to all the contrived issues the G.O.P. runs on. The American people may be woken from their apathetic slumber and head to the polls if Bernie gets his way.

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