Are Americans more socialist than we think?

At yesterday’s official campaign launch, there was a large crowd of thousands as Bernie Sanders called for a ‘revolution’ and hammered away at the issue of how the wealthy are vacuuming up all the wealth. You can see the crowd that gathered and can see his speech below.

sanders crowd

The firebrand Vermont Senator vowed Tuesday to wrest back America from the hands of billionaires, formally launching a populist grass roots White House bid that threatens to tug Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton towards the liberal left.

“The gap between the very rich and everyone is wider than at any time since the 1920s. The issue of wealth and income inequality is the great moral issue of our time, it is the great economic issue of our time and it is the great political issue of our time, Sanders roared, before thousands of supporters in Burlington, the liberal city he once served as mayor.

‘Enough is enough,” Sanders said, warning he was putting the “top 1%” — the biggest beneficiaries of what he says is an immoral economy skewed against the poor, on notice.

“To the billionaire class I say your greed has got to end,” he said.

The media keep harping on whether he will attack Hillary Clinton. He replies he has never run negative ads against his political opponents and will not do so now. I think he is right not to do so and it is not necessary. His basic message that the levels of inequality in the US are grotesque and must be reduced is powerful enough to stand on its own and negative ads will only distract from it. By focusing on the issue of inequality and the top 1% taking over the country, I hope that the question of where they stand on the issue of inequality will become the standard question posed to every candidate, like the Iraq war question.

When you look at the platform on which the self-declared independent socialist is running, you are likely to find that majorities of voters support most of them, suggesting that people are far more progressive in their views of specific issues than broad ideological labels might suggest. Very few of them are really socialist in the commonly accepted sense of the term. They are progressive but in the reactionary media climate in the US, anything that is not conservative is branded as socialist.

So if he can shake the media narrative that he cannot win, his message can catch fire.

(You can go to Sanders’s website to join the campaign and contribute and here to see where he stands on the issues.)


  1. busterggi says

    I remember when the teabaggers startedin ’07 and briefly talked about income inequality? They don’t.

  2. says

    “He replies he has never run negative ads against his political opponents and will not do so now”
    A nice side effect of this principle/ tactic, is that his opponent will have to follow suit…Nothing could go worse for Hillary than to mud sling while Sanders keeps his cool…All in all, I bet that the debates are going to be pretty cilvil

  3. Rike says

    I may have heard similar speeches before, but Ernie is the only one I believe will follow up on it if he makes it all the way!

  4. lanir says

    Hilary Clinton appears to be taking some of the other progressive stances in order to avoid taking a stance on income inequality. And with the sudden changes in how progressive she is, I really suspect that she’s just attempting to “Hope and Change” everyone again.

    These things sound great. They make for good bumper stickers. But neither she nor Bernie Sanders nor former candidate Obama have been auditioning for a position as a self-help guru. They all wanted to be president when they made these pretty speeches so I expect them to act on these ideas as Bernie Sanders has an established history of doing. Clinton definitely knows what people want to hear but as far as delivery goes she’s already been a prominent part of an administration whose promises got lost in the mail.

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