Warm Southern Breeze

"… there is no such thing as nothing."

What is Democratic Socialism?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, February 15, 2020

Bernie Sanders has continually explained and made the case why he calls himself a democratic socialist, and corrects those who decry his self-described identity as a democratic socialist. Opponents from within, and without the party have viciously maligned him for that.

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders – I , official portrait

In essence, it’s caring for your fellow citizen just like they’re your family. And that includes being humanitarian, and caring for others, treating them with the dignity, honor, and respect inherently and rightly due every human being.

Listening to him speak of the principles he addresses, for those with a Christian, or religious knowledge, or background, it reminds me of the principles mentioned following Judeo-Christian Scripture verses. Oh, for those who consider Jews as God’s special, or chosen people… Bernie is a Jew. Could his voice be that of a prophet, of one crying in the wilderness?

“Where there is no vision, the people perish.”¹

“The laborer is worthy of their hire.”²

“Do not muzzle the ox that treads the grain.”³

“‘Administer true justice. Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, the foreigner or the poor. Do not plot evil against each other.'”⁴

“You must not oppress, or defraud your neighbor nor rob him. The wages due a hired hand must not remain with you until morning.”⁵

“Do not oppress a hired worker who is poor and needy, whether he is a brother or a foreigner residing in one of your towns.”⁶

“Now if your countryman becomes destitute and cannot support himself among you, then you are to help him as you would a foreigner or stranger, so that he can continue to live among you.”⁷

“You must not exploit or oppress a foreign resident, for you yourselves were foreigners in the land of Egypt. You must not mistreat any widow or orphan.”⁸

“He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the foreigner residing among you, giving them food and clothing.”⁹

“But I will be merciful only if you stop your evil thoughts and deeds and start treating each other with justice; only if you stop exploiting foreigners, orphans, and widows; only if you stop your murdering; and only if you stop harming yourselves by worshiping idols.”¹⁰

¹Proverbs 29:18
²1 Timothy 5:18
³Deuteronomy 25:4
⁴ Zechariah 7:9,10
⁵ Leviticus 19:3
⁶ Deuteronomy 24:14
⁷ Leviticus 25:35
⁸ Exodus 22:21,22
⁹ Deuteronomy 10:18
¹⁰Jeremiah 7:5

––//––

Bernie Sanders fires back at Trump over socialism
CNN Sanders Town Hall
Feb 25, 2019
During a CNN town hall, Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders explains the programs he’d like to implement if he were elected president, which have been criticized by President Trump as akin to socialism.
https://youtu.be/tJ9j_JT9Lhg

In response to a question asked by an audience member, Bernie Sanders said in part…

“We have political rights… freedom of religion – and all of that is enormously important. But you know what we don’t have? We don’t have guarantees regarding economic rights. And way back in 1944, and in a little-known, little-publicized State of The Union speech, Franklin Delano Roosevelt said something, and – I’m paraphrasing him – but he said, ‘you know, when we talk about human freedom, and rights, we’ve got to understand that everybody needs a decent-paying job, that people need healthcare, that people need education.’

“And, all over the world, these ideas are taking place. You go to countries in Scandanavia – of course healthcare is a right. Higher education is free. They have strong pre-school programs. They make sure their elderly folks can retire in dignity. These are not radical ideas.

“So, what democratic socialism means to me, is, having – in a civilized society – the understanding that we can make sure that all of our people live in security, and in dignity.

“Healthcare is a human right. All people should have healthcare.

“You can’t get ahead in this country, in this world, unless you have a decent education.

“We have got to, as a right, end the kinds of discrimination – the racism, the sexism, and the homophobia – that exists.

“So to me, when I talk about democratic socialism, what I talk about are human rights, and economic rights.”

“And here’s the other good news: When we make that transformation, we’re going to create millions of good-paying jobs weatherizing our homes, changing our transportation system, moving aggressively in, to wind, and solar, and other sustainable energy.”

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Bernie Sanders calls for “21st Century Bill of Rights”
CBS News
Jun 12, 2019
Sen. Bernie Sanders delivered a vigorous defense of democratic socialism in a lengthy speech at George Washington University on Wednesday. He called for a “21st Century Bill of Rights,” invoking the legacy of Franklin D. Roosevelt and the New Deal while taking aim at President Trump.
https://youtu.be/nbN9OD83f5I

Addressing a group of people, not in a forum, Bernie said in part…

“And if there was ever a moment, when we needed a new vision, to bring our people together, in the fight for justice, decency, and human dignity, this is that time.”

“In the year 2019, the United States, and the rest of the world, face two very different political paths: On one hand, there is a growing movement toward oligarchy, and authoritarianism, in which a small number of incredibly wealthy and powerful billionaires, own and control a significant part of the economy, and exert enormous influence over the political life of our country.

“On the other hand, in opposition to oligarchy, there is a movement of working people, and young people, who, in ever-increasing numbers, are fighting for justice. They are the teachers, taking to the streets, to make certain schools are adequately funded, and that their students get a quality education. They are workers at Disney, Amazon, Walmart, and the Fast Food Industry, standing up and fighting for a living wage, of at least $15/hour, and the right to have a union. They are the young people, taking on the fossil fuel industry, and demand policies that transform our energy system, and protect our planet from the ravages of Climate Change. They are Women, who refuse to give control of their bodies to Local, State, or Federal Politicians. They are people of color, and their allies, demanding and end to systemic racism, and massive racial inequities that exist throughout our society. They are immigrants, and their allies, fighting to end the demonization of undocumented people, and for comprehensive Immigration Reform.

“Now, when we talk about oligarchy, let us be clear about what we mean. Right now, in the United States of America, three families control more wealth than the bottom half of our country – some 160,000,000 Americans. The Top 1% own more wealth than the bottom 92%. And 49% of all new income generated today goes to the Top 1%. In fact, income and wealth inequality today, is greater in the United States than at any time since the 1920’s. 

“And when we talk about oligarchy, it is not just that the very rich are getting much richer, it is that tens of millions of working class people in the wealthiest country on Earth are suffering under incredible economic hardship, desperately trying to survive. Today, nearly 40,000,000 Americans live in poverty, and tonight, some 500,000 Americans – including many Veterans – will be sleeping out on the streets. About half of our country lives paycheck-to-paycheck, as tens of millions of our people are an accident, a divorce, a sickness, or a layoff away from economic devastation.

“While many public schools throughout the country lack the resources to adequately educate our young people, we are the most heavily incarcerated nation on Earth.

“After decades of policies that have encouraged and subsidized unbridled Corporate Greed, we now have an economy that is fundamentally broken, and grotesquely unfair. Even while macro economic numbers like GDP, the Stock Market, and the Unemployment Rate are strong, millions of Middle Class, and Working Class people struggle to keep their heads above water, while at the same time, the Billionaire Class consumes the lion’s share of the wealth that we are collectively creating as a nation.” 

“In the midst of a so-called ‘booming economy,’ real wages for the Average Worker have barely risen at all, and despite an explosion in technology and worker productivity, the Average Wage of the American Worker – in Real Dollars – is no higher than it was 46 years ago, and millions of people in our country today, are forced to work two, or three jobs just to survive.

“And here is something quite incredible, that tells you all you need to know about results of Unfettered Capitalism:
“All of us want to live long, happy, and productive lives, but in America today, the Very Rich live on average 15 years longer than the poorest Americans. In 2014, for example, in McDowell County, West Virginia – one of the poorest in the nation – Life Expectancy for men was 64 years. In Fairfax County, Virginia – a wealthy county just 350 miles away – Life Expectancy for men was nearly 82 years – an 18 year differential. The Life Expectancy gap for women in the two counties was 12 years. In other words, the issue of Unfettered Capitalism is not just an academic debate. Poverty, economic distress, and despair are life-threatening issues for millions of working people in this country. While the rich get richer, they live longer lives. While poor and working families struggle economically, and often lack adequate healthcare, their Life Expectancy is declining for the first time in Modern American history.

“Taken together, the American Dream of upward mobility is in peril – in fact, if we don’t turn things around, our younger generation will, for the first time in living memory, have a lower Standard of Living than their parents. And that is not acceptable. 

“Globally, the situation is even more shocking.

“With most of the world’s wealth concentrated among a very few, while billions of people have almost nothing, today, the world’s richest 26 Billionaires – 26 – now own as much wealth as the poorest 3.8 billion on the planet – half of the world’s population.

“But the struggle we are facing today is not just economic.

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