By Dave Johnson
[Bernie] Sanders said that people will try to brand him with labels, saying, “So the next time you hear me attacked as a socialist, remember this:
“I don’t believe government should own the means of production, but I do believe that the middle class and the working families who produce the wealth of America deserve a decent standard of living and that their incomes should go up not down.
“I believe in private companies that thrive and invest and grow in America instead of shipping jobs and profits overseas and exploiting low-wage labor abroad.
“I believe that most Americans can pay lower taxes – if hedge fund managers who make billions manipulating the marketplace finally pay the taxes they should.
“I don’t believe in special treatment for the top 1%, but I do believe in equal treatment for African-Americans who are right to proclaim the moral principle that Black Lives Matter.
“I despise appeals to nativism and prejudice, and I do believe in immigration reform that gives Hispanics and others a pathway to citizenship and a better life.
“I don’t believe in some foreign “ism”, but I believe deeply in American idealism.
“I’m not running for president because it’s my turn, but because it’s the turn of all of us to live in a nation of hope and opportunity not for some, not for the few, but for all.”
Our country would do well to return to being a country of, by and for We the People. We shouldn’t allow “America” to be defined by the reality of a country that nurtures its rich and powerful and allows everyone else to languish in deprivation and powerlessness. That looks like the countries the right gleefully brand as “socialist.” Sanders may call his vision “democratic socialism,” but the rest of us should call it America as it is supposed to be.
Continue reading: Sanders’ Socialism Speech: America Is For All Of Us, Not Just Wealthy