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Preparing to Define ‘Democratic Socialism,’ Bernie Sanders Points to Libraries and the Police

Sen. Bernie Sanders is ready to show the American people what a modern socialist society looks like.

The term socialism is often defined in a negative way, spawning images of communism and dysfunctional society.

“To me, democratic socialism means democracy: It means creating a government that represents all of us, not just the wealthiest people in this country,” Sanders said to a crowd in Vermont.

“I will remind the American people that there are socialist programs out there that are some of the most popular programs in America,” he added. “When you go to your public library, when you call your Fire Department or the Police Department, what do you think you’re calling?” Mr. Sanders said. “These are socialist institutions.”

The New York Times reports:

While Mr. Sanders may have a point, he drew some blank stares from liberals in the audience who are probably used to hearing the police described with other terms. He didn’t dwell on the point, veering back to his concern about social safety nets.

“We are the only major country that doesn’t provide family and medical paid leave,” he said. “We’re the only major country that doesn’t provide health care to all people. Our tax system is extremely regressive. So — those are the issues that I will cover.”

Mr. Sanders ended by turning back to the voter who prompted his response. “I think you’re right,” he told her. “I think we have some explaining and work to do.”

A Sanders campaign spokesman said he had no details on where and when the speech would take place.

Photo credit: NY Times.

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