Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders is often labeled “socialist” by his detractors on the Right, but the Socialist Party USA’s standard bearer says that’s a stretch.
“I think what Bernie Sanders advocates is more of a social democracy,” says Socialist Party USA presidential candidate Mimi Soltysik.
“It’s sort of an expanded welfare state; a stronger social safety net. He’s not really talking about a socialist program. He’s kind of a New Deal Democrat. As socialists, what we advocate for is worker control of, worker ownership of the means of production. Bernie Sanders also has a strong history of support for the military (and) imperialism and we certainly don’t see that as part of any responsible socialist program.”
Soltysik says other “socialist” countries such as Soviet Russia and the People’s Republic of China have big militaries because they have historically been surrounded by enemies. He also attributes the economic failure of the socialist policies of Hugo Chavez in Venezuela, in part, to the hostility of the U.S. and other capitalist countries.
He says that unlike Sanders, the Socialist Party USA wants to do away with the U.S. military establishment.
“If we were in control in some sort of fairy tale situation where we were actually in office, we’d instantly cut the U.S.’s military budget by 50 percent with an overall goal of cutting it by 90 percent.”
Soltysik says the world is tired of being bullied by the U.S. and that other countries would respond favorably if the U.S. would abandon its militaristic behavior.
“Historically when another country sits on resources that the U.S. wants, if that country says to the U.S. and the West, ‘You can’t have our resources,’ we’ll either attack directly through the military or we’ll topple the government and install somebody who’s going to allow us to do what we want. We’ve seen this in 1953 with Iran’s (Prime Minister) Mossadegh, (President Salvator) Allende in Chile, (Congo Prime Minister Patrice) Lumumba…”
But Soltysik has no sympathy for Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin, who he describes as an “imperialist.”
The Socialist Party USA’s domestic program calls for “social ownership and democratic control” of productive resources, for a guarantee to all of the right to participate in societal production, and to a fair share of society’s product, in accordance with individual needs.
Still think Bernie is a “socialist”?
Soltysik was a guest on 790 KABC’s McIntyre in the Morning Show with Doug McIntrye and Terri-Rae Elmer.
By Sandy Wells