by Richardt Stormsgaard
Bernie Sanders says Denmark is socialistic and a model to be emulated in this country. He is wrong about the first part but right about the second one. I urge readers to google “Socialist Denmark +Bernie Sanders” for general background information.
Bernie Sanders is in fact trying to claim credit for an economic system in which moderate Social Democrats have kept Danish Socialists on the periphery of influence, much to their chagrin. At its core Denmark is a capitalistic country where private enterprise is under quite extensive public control so that both the upper and lower income Danes benefit. It is a market economy with a great deal of governmental regulations, high progressive taxes particularly on the wealthy, high wages, excellent working conditions, and an exceptional social safety net. The US today could have been a bit like Denmark if the white American working class voters had embraced the civil and voting rights legislation of the 1960’s and had continued voting for Democrats to advance their own wages and living standards, expand public infra structure investments and improve the social safety net. This is what working class voters have done in other advanced democracies around the world.
Forbes Business Magazines ranks Denmark with its high salaries, very high tax rates for particularly the wealthy, and expansive social safety net the third best country in which to do business. The US is rated in the eighth position with its low salaries, lack of lack labor unions, and very low taxes for the wealthy. You will never hear Danish Social Democratic politicians rail against “the millionaires and the billionaires” because they realize that good jobs, improving opportunities, and rising living standards for average citizens is indeed dependent on those with great wealth and/or exceptional entrepreneurship.
The right wing media have controlled the political narratives in this country for decades, and have effectively labeled even moderate Democrats Socialistic as our country gradually moved toward the extreme right. The right-wing has also diminished the economic successes of our many allies around the world by calling countries like Denmark socialist. So perhaps this is why the Bernie Sanders false claim so far is going largely unchallenged.
If we choose Bernie Sanders to lead our party during the 2020 election we will find he will have much bigger problems than just his decades worth of support for the NRA and the weapons industry, or the sexism during his 2016 campaign, or his wife’s very questionable financial decisions, or his age, or the Russians bots aiding his campaign against Hillary Clinton, or the startling similarities of some of his views and concepts to those of the extreme right.
The media have coddled him as an alternative to main stream Democratic candidates but as the Democratic candidate he will be grilled about his actual political beliefs. His 1988 visit to the Soviet Union with its gulags, bloody suppression of dissent in Hungary and Czechoslovakia and its total control over its own citizens and the rare Western visitors that were allowed there will be breathlessly discussed. Russia will likely produce his actual visa application in his own writing to the Soviet authorities, and very possibly this application will express his interest/admiration for the Soviet socialist system. I am sure Russia will be delighted to provide their right-wing friends in the Republican Party with this information.
The old Socialist notion that the rich and the powerful would inevitably create such poverty that the proletarian masses would revolt has failed to materialize due to democracies developing around the world so that the abuses by the most powerful were reined in. The one really major exception to the continued growth of wealth and security for even low income people in the rest of the developed world is the US during the last forty years, but it is not for the reason that Bernie Sanders is laying out to advance his political vision.
A very successful campaign by a very small group of sinister corporate interests did begin about half a century ago, and it has resulted in the Republican Party now being under their total control. Their racist and anti-government rhetoric appealed to previously Democratic groups of mostly blue collar working class and Southern voters who fell for the myths and false narratives. These voters have been the foot-soldiers fort the most extremist factions of the Republican Party.
Bernie Sanders is convinced that he can reach the Rush Limbaugh blue collar voters that for many decades have enabled the Republican Party to become so extreme. But his blatant appeals to these in my view largely unreachable voters will be a real problem to not just black voters, our most faithful group, but also to women and the older educated white middle class voters that demonstrably have led to our many successes in the 2017 and 2018 elections.
The fact is that the vast majority of our recent impressive wins would not have occurred if Bernie Sanders had been campaigning actively on their behalf so why some people believe he could succeed in a national election is a mystery to me.