Bernie Sanders says his idea of democratic socialism isn't like the 'authoritarian communism' of the Soviet Union
- Sen. Bernie Sanders on Monday rejected the idea he supports "authoritarian communism" when asked to explain his views on democratic socialism.
- "What democratic socialism means to me is we expand Medicare, we provide educational opportunity to all Americans, we rebuild our crumbling infrastructure," Sanders said. "In other words, government serves the needs of all people rather than just wealthy campaign contributors."
- Sanders has frequently faced criticism for being a self-declared democratic socialist, and President Donald Trump has sought to tie the senator to the chaos in Venezuela under Nicolas Maduro.
At a CNN town hall in New Hampshire, an attendee said her father's family left Soviet Russia in 1979, "fleeing from some of the very socialist policies that you seem eager to implement in this country."
She went on to ask, "How do you rectify your notion of democratic socialism with the failures of socialism in nearly every country that has tried it?"
"Thank you for asking that question," Sanders replied. "Is it your assumption that I supported or believe in authoritarian communism that existed in the Soviet Union? I don't. I never have, and I opposed it. I believe in a vigorous democracy."
"I believe that in a democratic, civilized society, health care is a human right. Government should make that happen," Sanders said.
"What democratic socialism means to me is we expand Medicare, we provide educational opportunity to all Americans, we rebuild our crumbling infrastructure," Sanders added. "In other words, government serves the needs of all people rather than just wealthy campaign contributors. That's what it means to me."
More recently, he's faced criticism from Republican and Democratic lawmakers alike for not taking a more hardline stance against Nicolas Maduro in Venezuela. Sanders has denounced Maduro but expressed a reluctance to support military intervention while also pushing against recognizing Juan Guaidó as the country's legitimate leader, as the US government and a number of its allies have.
President Donald Trump has sought to tie Sanders and 2020 Democrats to the chaos in Venezuela and argued the senator wants to bring the same brand of authoritarian socialism to the US,.
During the 1970s, the Vermont senator also supported nationalizing most major industries in the US while a leader of a political party known as the Liberty Union.
"I favor the public ownership of utilities, banks and major industries," Sanders said in an interview with The Burlington Free Press in 1976.
He was asked about this during the CNN town hall on Monday, and said he's shifted his views since that time.
Sanders, who's been endorsed by the Democratic Socialists of America, in March said he needs to do a "better job" explaining socialism.
"I think what we have to do, and I will be doing it, is to do a better job maybe in explaining what we mean by socialism - democratic socialism," Sanders said on NPR's "Morning Edition" in mid-March. "Obviously, my right-wing colleagues here want to paint that as authoritarianism and communism and Venezuela, and that's nonsense."
- Facebook and Microsoft aren’t the only ones creating a metaverse — here are five popular coins looking to create digital worlds
- Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Jio hikes prices of its plans by 21%
- Facebook, Microsoft and others look towards the $1 trillion dollar ‘metaverse’ opportunity — but that contradicts the base philosophy behind Web 3.0
- Meet Parag Agrawal, the IIT Bombay grad who is taking over from Jack Dorsey at Twitter
- Bankrupt Sintex Industries' stock doubles after RIL showed interest to acquire it
- Omicron COVID-19: Kerala orders 7 days quarantine for arrivals from high risk countries
- In India, less than one in every 10,000 jabs have led to serious adverse reactions — not necessarily due to the vaccine
- After taking us on a nostalgia trip by featuring 90s stars like Rahul Dravid and Jackie Shroff in its ads, CRED is back at it again, this time with Chacha Chaudhary and Suppandi