Diagnosis for Democracy
Insights into the State of Our Union
A Blog by Rob Tenery, MD


Bernie Sanders Won't Be the Last

By Rob Tenery, MD on November 29, 2017

Although both major political Parties have drifted away from their roots, when discussing the differences between the Republicans and Democrats refers more to the differences between conservatives and liberals.

A conservative believes the purpose of the state is to allow individualism, freedom from oppression by that state as outlined in the Bill of Rights. The founders’ concept was that the state is comprised of individuals of like mind, who have as their priority the good of each individual in preference to the good of the state. Thus, the role of the state is to maintain the freedoms and afford protections to these individuals.

Decisions, reached collectively by the members of the state, are sensitive to the individual’s needs, but avoid being preferential to one member over another whenever possible. To protect the whole of the population from changes that are critical for the state’s survival, the founders created this nation as a democratic republic that guarantees inalienable rights over pubic edict.

The liberal philosophy of a modern social democracy is characterized by collectivism--- a commitment to policies aimed at curbing inequality, oppression of underprivileged groups and poverty, including support for universally accessible public services like care for the elderly, child care, education, health care and workers' compensation.* Instead of a ‘hand up’ in these critical areas, the liberals emphasize ‘hand out’ programs.

 Why the concern? Because, the electorate is angry and increasingly liberal, since more and more voters are dependent on government entitlement programs, which feed into the socialist mantra that Democratic Candidate Bernie Sanders advocated in this last Presidential election. Add to that, a younger population that is being brainwashed by many of our very liberal institutions of higher learning.

The problem socialism, even a social democracy, doesn’t work for this country, if we are to maintain our standard of living that has made the United States the envy of the world. Our democratic republic was established on the principle of capitalism--- the opportunity for those that are willing to work harder to advance their status. Private ownership and the profits that are derived from that property are directed back to the owner(s), except for any levied taxes.

Democratic Presidential candidate, Bernie Sanders, has garnered unprecedented support espousing his socialist beliefs. In the system Sanders proposes, most major industries would still be privately owned, but would have to stand on their own without handouts from the government. The tax burden previously funneled to the wealthy corporations would be used instead to improve the lives of the citizens, by enabling the government to fund improvements to public services.

One can make an argument that this form of governance would benefit this country’s infrastructure. But what would it do to the entrepreneurial spirit of innovation and work ethic that has built this country?

The contrast between capitalism and socialism is more a conflict between the principles of individualism and collectivism. The former connotes independence, the latter relies on others to share or come up with solutions, even from future generations.

This push for socialism long predates the rise of Bernie Sanders. Outlined in a compilation eBook, Objectivism, the author, Craig Biddle, lays out the conflicts that face America. Biddle’s description of individualism is where the individual has the inalienable rights to live as he sees fit and act on his own judgment, while pursuing the values of his own choosing. Whereas, under collectivism, the individual’s life and choices belong to society, which serve the ‘greater good’, as determined by the state, rather than the good of a given individual.**

Bernie Sanders will not be the last to espouse his philosophy of democratic socialism. In fact, if Hillary Clinton had played by the rules in the Democratic primary, Sanders might have become their candidate!

 * Wikipedia

**  Biddle, Craig, Objectivism, eBook. Shared by JD Burleson





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