Readers React

Why Americans need to re-think their beliefs on socialism

To the editor: The popular definition of “socialism” reflects a worldview in which government takes control of everything, leading to an inevitable failure, as we have seen in the former Soviet Union and some other countries. ("Bernie Sanders has some explaining to do," Op-Ed, Oct. 21)

The fact that many “socialistic” countries are doing well, as we can see in many parts of Europe, and with Canada, does not seem to faze Americans.

What is most stunning is that Americans cannot see that the United States is to a certain degree a socialist country, as Social Security, Medicare, public libraries, the Army, fire and police departments, the freeways and other public programs clearly exemplify.

Those who don't like socialism should stop cashing their Social Security checks and burn their Medicare cards.

Sen. Bernie Sanders, a presidential candidate, is right. The term “socialism” needs to be clarified. Ultimately, Americans need to figure out that government is not the problem, but in a lot of cases it is the solution staring at us.

Domenico Maceri, San Luis Obispo

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To the editor: When Trump refers to Sanders as a communist, he is displaying his profound ignorance of history and politics. Unfortunately, his followers see the terms “liberal,” “leftist” and “progressive” as also communist.

Contrary to columnist Doyle McManus' assertion, Sanders shouldn't explain what socialism means, but he should make clear he is opposed to all ownership of private property by the state, one-party rule by the proletariat and an uprising of workers to overcome nationalism and capitalism. Sanders has some “'splaining” to do.

John L. Uelmen, Newbury Park

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