Bernie Sanders isn’t really socialist

By Blake Wood, Staff Writer

Socialism is not a popular word in the United States. It’s immediately viewed with a negative connotation  in the minds of many Americans, despite a large majority of people not truly understanding what this word means.

By definition, socialism is a way of organizing a society in which major industries are owned and controlled by the government rather than by individual people and companies. People hear that Bernie Sanders is a “socialist” and quickly dismiss him as a candidate or freak out about how socialism isn’t American. Sanders isn’t advocating for the government to take over the airline industry. He’s not advocating for the government to take over oil and gas and he isn’t trying to make everyone’s salary equal. In reality, he wants more regulation and stronger corporate taxes, which makes him a strong liberal, not a socialist.

Sanders decision to use the word “socialist” throughout his campaign is a puzzling decision because of the way so many Americans think of the word. For many, the first thing that pops into their head upon hearing the word socialism is the USSR, a disastrous failure. If Sanders was trying to turn the United States into the Soviet Union, outrage would be justified. Luckily for his supporters, and the rest of the country, he isn’t insane and isn’t a communist or socialist. Sanders has a very loose definition of the word socialism which is confusing to many and gives his opponents easy ammo to take shots at him.

Americans have always felt that it’s their way or the highway. European countries have had national health care and family leave for years, yet even suggesting these things is preposterous to many citizens. It’s something they’ve never experienced or truly heard about and the idea of changing the America that they’ve always known simply isn’t something they’re willing to think about or acknowledge.

I’m not writing this article to change your opinion on politics. Whether you vote democrat, republican or if you’re a moderate, before you do go out and vote, take the time to see what Bernie Sanders is really about. Under every candidate’s leadership, we will still be capitalist. Don’t let a simple word scare you away.