One exchange in last night’s Democratic debates gave us a preview of what some of the more radically left-leaning candidates will face if they make it to the general election. The most famous socialist in the field, Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, wound up having to try to explain why his brand of “democratic” socialism wasn’t the same as what they have in Venezuela. This forced Sanders to slam Venezuela’s tyrant, Nicolas Maduro, and assure everyone that he certainly wouldn’t wind up ruling like a dictator.
Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders said during Thursday night’s primary debate that his brand of democratic socialism has nothing to do with Venezuela’s socialism, calling Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro a “vicious tyrant.”
“Anybody that does what Maduro does is a vicious tyrant,” Sanders said in response to ABC moderator Jorge Ramos. “What we need now is international and regional cooperation for free elections in Venezuela so that the people of that country can make, can create their own future.”
“In terms of democratic socialism, to equate what goes on in Venezuela with what I believe is extremely unfair,” the Vermont Independent said. “I agree with [what] goes on in Canada and Scandinavia, guaranteeing health care to all people as a human right. I believe that the United States should not be the only major country on earth not to provide paid family and medical leave.”
Awww… Bernie thinks it’s unfair. If Sanders does somehow win the nomination (a prospect that’s looking less and less likely), he’s going to face this question at every turn. The history of socialism is rife with stories that eventually end in oppression, decay and death. Sanders pulled the usual move, referencing “socialist lite” countries like Canada and Scandanavia, but that doesn’t carry much weight.