Take a good hard look at this video titled “Watters’ World: Bernie Sanders Edition.” It’s difficult to stomach, but maybe I can work hard to address some of these questions as a Sanders supporter.
“Bernie Sanders says he is a Democratic Socialist. Do you know what that means?”
Yes I do know what it means. It means we use a democratic political system alongside a socialist economic system.
“That’s the opposite of socialism.”
Oh gotta stop you there, producers for Watters’ World. Remember how you said Bernie was a democratic socialist? Let’s not resort to conflating arguments to misrepresent others’ positions. In a democratic socialist state, the people decide on the economic system because it’s democratic, so what that kid said was absolutely true.
“So you wanna make the rich less rich.”
See, this is why I don’t like Watters’ World. He phrases things in a rhetorically one-sided kind of way because he’s preaching to the choir. He isn’t actually interested in an honest discourse, he’s interested in sticking up for his right-wing buddies’ talking points and caricaturing the left. Income equality proponents are looking at the trend in economics that shows quite clearly that the wealth shifting to the top in overwhelming fashion doesn’t translate to the good of the whole, whereas history demonstrates that more buying power for the poor and middle class furthers an economy.
“Do you think Socialism works?”
Finally, a fair question from Watters’ World. Yes, I do. Go ask anyone in Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands, Canada, Sweden, Norway, Ireland, New Zealand, or Belgium how well they think socialism works. The 2nd highest GDP valued country in the world is more socialist than any of those put together and I wouldn’t advocate that we go that far, China. The United States has many successful socialist programs, so socialism works. Do I think PURE socialism works? No. Pure anything doesn’t work. Advocating for more socialism in our system isn’t the same as advocating for pure socialism throughout. But this idea that it doesn’t “work” is a myth. Of course it works. Plenty of systems work. The question should be “Do you think socialism is better than pure unregulated capitalism?” To which I would say, yes absolutely.
“Are you a democratic socialist”
Yes, as are most Americans. Without democratic socialism we would have no military. Pretty sure the Republicans love the military, their favorite socialist program, and they use democracy to increase funding and dictate its use.
“He wants to raise taxes, what do you think about that?”
Well if you look at the proposed plan, anyone making under a certain threshold will save money because raising taxes AND eliminating healthcare premiums is part of the whole package. It’s also a lot better than just cutting taxes and still increasing spending like the Republicans do; we have to pay this debt down somehow, right? I think we can all agree that both parties have been increasing the national debt since the 60s.
“Do you think Socialism is good for America?”
Yes, Watters’ World, I like roads, hospitals, trash pickup, public schools, etc… I think that if everything were privatized (the alternative to Socialism), we would have even more dramatic inequality in this country and far less equal opportunity. The opportunity to succeed in our country is the reason we are great.
“Wasn’t very good for Greece though was it?”
Multiple factors were responsible for Greece’s financial crisis of 2010. One factor is the 2008 financial crisis in the United States (entirely the fault of pro-capitalist deregulation) and its financial ripple throughout the world. The main factor was predatory financial “assistance” from Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase, and various other financial institutions setting up a system where they could hide their borrowing. This was tempting to the people at the top. Regulation and introspective oversight of their own government officials would have solved this problem. Transparency would have solved this problem. The EU not giving them a “hang yourself with this noose or this noose” dichotomy would have solved the problem. Even then, saying “socialism is bad because Greece” is like saying “free market capitalism is bad because Nigeria.” We can cherry pick all day, the fact is that each of those specific examples has an explanation that usually has nothing inherently to do with the system itself.
“Do you support Bernie Sanders’ tax plan?”
Yup. It would save me about 4,000 dollars a year. Of course I support that.
“What is Bernie’s plan to stop ISIS?”
Training of Muslim boots on the ground, no US direct intervention, no no-fly-zone’s. ISIS got this powerful precisely because we invaded Iraq and destabilized the region. We need LESS of that to combat an ideologically rooted movement.
“What is Bernie’s plan to stop illegal immigration?”
Make it easier to legally immigrate. Pretty simple. Don’t see anything wrong with it. It will increase the number of tax payers. Illegal immigration is not as big a problem as the pundits would have you believe.
“How does raising taxes on the wealthy help the middle class?”
Because the middle class having more money to spend as a result of reducing healthcare costs and education costs/debt is good for the middle class. In turn, this increased spending power from the middle class trickles up to the wealthy business owners, it’s a long-term win-win with a temporary short-term loss for the people it hurts the least.
“But Obama already raised taxes on the wealthy and the middle class is shrinking.”
“Bernie Sanders supports planned parenthood do you?”
Yes. It provides necessary medical aid to women all over the country.
“So you are okay with them harvesting organs?”
“If we’re bankrupt, Bernie Sanders wants to spend more money, how’s that gonna help us get outta bankruptcy?”
All of his plans to increase spending are more than paid for in his budget plans, so this is irrelevant. However he won’t do 16 trillion-dollar bailouts of banks that are “too big to fail.” He was absolutely against those corporate welfare plans.
“Is Bernie Sanders fighting a war against women?…Then why is he trying to keep Hillary out of the white house?”
Absolutely stupid question. Do Republicans hate women because they are running against Carly Fiorina? Obviously not. I mean they do seem to not give a shit about women, but it’s not because they’re running against Carly Fiorina at least. This question makes people look at him weird not because it’s hard to answer, but because it’s asinine.
I’m informed on the issues, and I am going to vote. There’s a reason that Fox News has the least informed viewers out of all media organizations, and that reason is dishonest representations such as this Watters’ World video.