Last month Presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders promised to give “a major speech in the not-too-distant future” explaining the economic policy that he calls democratic socialism. “I think there are a lot of people who, when they hear the word ‘socialist,’ get very, very nervous,” said Sanders during a campaign event in Iowa, “we have some explaining and work to do.” As the Washington Post points out, Sanders’ success is due largely to millenials, most of whom are too young to understand the Cold War connotations of a socialist label, so they are not spooked by a Vermont senator that has identified as a democratic socialist for most of his career. Then again, voters are used to a political landscape that only ever heaps praise upon capitalism, which means that in rare occasions when the term “socialism” comes up, it is in a negative context. Sanders has therefore been forced to reintroduce and reframe the concept repeatedly. His explanation last month was similar to the one he usually gives, which is that “[democratic socialism] means creating a government that represents all of us, not just the wealthiest people in this country.” He did not specify a date for his speech. With another Democratic debate scheduled for tonight, let’s see if Sanders’ speech makes it onto the agenda.
Contributor: Celeste Montaño