clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Letter: There’s a big difference between a social democrat and a socialist

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., speaks during a campaign rally, Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2020, in Milford, N.H.
Mary Altaffer, Associated Press

I don’t understand why nationally known Democrats haven’t simply taught the American people what the difference is between a “social democrat” and a “socialist.” It is so simple: A social democrat wants to keep our market-based capitalist economic system but wants to have a lot of federal government social programs to help the people. A socialist wants to abolish capitalism and have a socialist economy. What is so hard to understand about this? They are not the same thing.

How can someone be a socialist when they want to keep capitalism?

And if supporting a social program such as Social Security makes someone a socialist, then that would make Dwight Eisenhower, Richard Nixon and John F. Kennedy socialists. With that line of thinking, most conservative Republicans are socialists.

Who has said they want to abolish our market-based capitalist economy and replace it with a socialist economy? No one has. Not Joe Biden. Not Bernie Sanders. Not AOC.

It is simply ridiculous to claim that anyone and everyone who is politically left-of-center is somehow some kind of a socialist or communist or Marxist or radical leftist.

Stewart Epstein

Rochester, New York