Because of this, to many, it is hard to tell the difference between the parties when one looks at the results.
The election cycle for the office of president has introduced two clear, truly outspoken, opposing choices among the candidates. On the Republican side we have Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders for the Democrats.
Note: of course there are other candidates; stick with me here for a bit.
Bernie Sanders is a self-described Democratic Socialist. Donald Trump, ideologically, is a - who the hell really knows? But, clearly he is voicing positions with which millions of Americans seem to resonate. And, Trump's positions are 180 degrees from Sanders'. Or, Sanders is a socialist and Trump is a capitalist.
The news media continually tells us that ole Bern is a Democratic Socialist. But, what exactly is that? I mean as opposed to your garden variety socialist?
Although some, perhaps many, will disagree with me here, your garden variety socialist follows the Robin Hood model: "Take from the rich and give to the poor." But, when one strips away all the fancy words of the different types of socialism, that is what you're left with.
Democratic Socialism has been defined as: Democratic socialism is a political ideology advocating a democratic political system alongside a socialist economic system.
Hillary Clinton, on the other hand, may be described as advocating more of a Social Democracy style. Social Democracy may be defined as: "Social Democracy" refers to support for political democracy, regulation of the capitalist economy, and a welfare state.
The difference, at a maco level, seems to be: Democratic Socialism is committed to systemic transformation of the economy while Social Democracy is not.
And, I won't even try your patience with other forms of socialism like that fostered by The National Socialist German Workers' Party or the "extreme" version of socialism depicted below.
Sound confusing? You betcha! Just think of it in terms of the Robin Hood model. It will make life so much easier.
A recent (January 2016) survey was taken as to who was/was not in favor of socialism in this country. The survey was conducted across all demographics. The results are kind of interesting - especially when one looks at the shifts in feelings due to age.
Note: Seeing this chart, I now know from whence the 1960s' saying "Never Trust Anybody Over 30" cometh.
If one thinks about it for a minute, the chart makes perfect, common sense.
With around 30% of people 18 to 34 years old today still living at home, "socialism" is all they've ever known.
Their parents provide their housing, food, education, use of a car, gas money, "fun" money, and all kinds of other necessities. That's socialism, pure and simple.
As these "kids" grow older and have "kids" of their own, their feelings change. Every time the government wants to give others "free stuff" their taxes go up, thereby decreasing funds available to them and their kids. So, the older people get the more they want to say, "Let 'em get their own stuff!"
You will hear that those espousing capitalism don't care about the poor. Horse pucky! Capitalists believe the best way to help those who may be poor is to provide the environment by which the poor may "rise up" from poverty via their own efforts. Or, consider what any garden variety capitalist would say: "If everybody's poor, who will buy our stuff?"
Just remember, to all those who think that Sanders' message resonates with you, just ask yourself, "How much of my money do I want to go to those who will not or can not work for their own?" For those unfortunate enough to not be able to work, the answer is probably, "Yes, at least some." But, should the government FORCE you to do that? And, tell you eactly how much you must "give"? Just think about it. And, the government is NOT your parent - nor is it the parent of anyone else!