Monday, October 05, 2015

2016 US Presidential Race- Capitalism vs. Socialism

 Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast
I had a dream last night that I was meeting with & advising Bernie Sanders, my personal choice out of the contenders for the 2016 election.

The Monkey Buddha Archives:

Although he hasn't been getting as much air time so far from the corporate-controlled media as Donald Trump, Senator Sanders has an ever-growing tide of online & grassroots support. My dream was probably prompted in part by the story I read last night, about Sanders drawing another crowd of tens of thousands, this time in Massachusetts.

Although he has served about seven years in Congress as an Independent, Sanders is running as a Democrat. Siding with the Democrats wisely prevents him from being a third party candidate- who would draw votes away from any other Democratic nominee & result in a Republican president (which in recent history has usually resulted in disaster).

Although Hillary Clinton has been seen as the likely Democratic candidate, this conventional wisdom was proven wrong last time around. As time passes, it becomes more apparent that Hillary's flaws and lack of conviction on important issues are preventing her from gaining the enthusiastic, widespread support that Sanders is gaining on a daily basis.

After the Democratic debates, more people will be familiar with Bernie Sanders, his voting record, and his proposals. When people become familiar with Bernie, they tend to like what they see & hear. For decades, he has worked tirelessly for the majority of  people of this country.

Sen. Sanders has been constantly fighting for the benefit of the average person while exposing the true "welfare queens" of our society, the Wall Street mega-banks, multinational corporations, and the top 1% of the super-wealthy- who are all siphoning off & hoarding the nation's wealth, so they can have more money than could be used in dozens of lifetimes. Meanwhile, reform & investments in infrastructure, education, health care, and the general welfare of our country are neglected.

Robert Reich: 

I have no idea who could possibly emerge out of the current Republican circus to be their nominee. I think the most interesting matchup in the 2016 Presidential election would clearly be Bernie Sanders & Donald Trump.

The Daily Beast

The reason this would be so interesting is that it would be a clear-cut war of ideologies- Capitalism vs. Socialism. Trump is the epitome of American-style capitalism, in which wealth, power, & ego reign supreme. Sanders, on the other hand, is an open advocate for Democratic Socialism, in which pursuit of profit is not the only goal of a society. Instead, some of the nation's wealth should be pooled together to reach common goals that benefit everyone.

"Socialism" has become a somewhat dirty word in this country, thanks to unrelenting corporate propaganda from Fox News, right-wing radio, and other conservative media outlets. However, Socialism is basically the use of tax money to fund effective government & public programs. Anyone who doesn't like the idea of socialism should stop using public roads, the mail, the service of the police, or any other public service paid for by our tax dollars.

I agree that government can be horribly inefficient, but that means we should work to improve it. It does not mean we should continue to privatize public assets, making already-rich people even more money at the expense of the general population. The problem with the conservative approach to government is that they want to destroy it from within, not improve it. This helps no one, & degrades the state of our country as a whole.

Having Trump & Sanders debate the merits of their respective ideologies would give Americans the clearest choice yet of how we should collectively choose to lead this country into the future. I actually think both systems can co-exist, with different aspects of society using socialist or capitalistic means, depending on which achieves the most effective outcomes.

It would be a hell of a comparison, though, and perhaps it would also be the contrast that people need to properly set our priorities as a nation. I am supporting Bernie all the way, but I think there needs to be a substantial debate from both sides about creating a vision of how to run our society. We'll see if we get this debate in the coming year.

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