The Venn diagram that opens this post speaks for itself, but this blog post would not be complete without elucidating on why social democracy is a bad idea.
The policies of Senator Bernie Sanders, and to a lesser degree the rest of the 2020 Democratic Party presidential election field, are wholly based upon social democratic ideas.
Social democracy is not socialism, as the above graphic clearly delineates. The term “social democracy” has two different accepted definitions according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary…
The first definition is “a political movement advocating a gradual and peaceful transition from capitalism to socialism by democratic means”.
The second definition of the term is “a democratic welfare state that incorporates both capitalist and socialist practices”.
From what I personally gather from Senator Sanders’ policy positions, both written and stated, is that he advocates for the latter definition of social democracy. Considering we already practice social democracy on many levels in this country and have for a very long time, those who oppose Sanders’ policy positions are a tad hypocritical, even if they don’t recognize their hypocrisy.
Many Millennials and other groups in this country, namely those experiencing economic hardship in the Rust Belt and in middle America, support Sanders because they think things like free college, free healthcare (Medicare For All), and “taxing the rich” will improve their lives with minimal effort on their part. Little do they realize that there is no such thing as a free lunch.
Even those who support President Trump and the Republican Party in the Rust Belt and America’s Heartland fail to grasp the reality that no one is going to reopen shuttered factories and closed mines. No one is going to “give you a job” or make your life better. No one, that is, except yourself.
Free healthcare and free college do not come free. Having a college degree doesn’t ensure that one will be qualified for a good job. Eating and drinking whatever you want and not taking care of yourself has consequences that even the best healthcare plan in the world won’t fix, free of direct cost or not.
Those who have goals and the will to achieve those goals will always reap the rewards and will occupy the rungs on the ladder at or near the top of the pyramid. Those people will always be the ones who pay for the rest who can’t or won’t chase their own dreams or create their own opportunities for happiness.
At the end of the day, Bernie Sanders is no different than Donald Trump. They and their ilk play on the emotions of their supporters because they realize that their supporters are largely gullible people who are waiting for someone to “give them something” to better themselves rather than taking full responsibility for themselves.
If my ancestors waited for someone to free them rather than being active participants in their own survival and emancipation, I would probably be in the same chains that they were in.
Many people in this country are in metaphorical chains of their own making. It’s the chains you lock yourself in that are the most difficult to see and the hardest to break.
-The Rational Ram