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Opinion

Letters to the Editor: I escaped communism. Bernie Sanders’ democratic socialism isn’t communism

Bernie Sanders rally
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders speaks at a campaign rally in Las Vegas on Friday.
(AFP/Getty Images)

To the editor: I lived under socialism in the 1950s and escaped from it during the bloody Hungarian Revolution in 1956. Socialism in that form stinks.

After the Nevada caucuses, Sen. Bernie Sanders is looking more like the inevitable Democratic Party presidential nominee, but he has no chance against President Trump if his message is perceived as “socialism.”

Words matter. Perceptions matter.

If the self-described democratic socialist secures the nomination, he should do everything he can to distance himself from the concept of “socialism” as opposed to “democratic socialism.” Sanders’ plan of increased spending on healthcare, infrastructure and education (supported by practically all European governments) is not the same as Soviet-style (or Venezuelan or Cuban) socialism.

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Unless Sanders can make this clear enough for at least 51% of voting Americans, we will have another four years of Trump.

Thomas Seres, Van Nuys

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To the editor: Before the Democrats jump on the Sanders train, they should remember that Sanders performed well in the 2016 caucuses, but Hillary Clinton outperformed him in the primary elections.

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Caucuses are a poor way to measure the voters’ general opinion of the candidates since the number of participants tends to represent only a fraction of a state’s registered voters. So far, only a small fraction of the Democrats have been heard from.

The pundits should hold their horses before they proclaim Sanders as the inevitable Democratic nominee.

George Eaton, Arcadia

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To the editor: It is fitting that Sanders won Nevada on George Washington’s birthday.

The father of our country and the military leader of our first revolution must be dancing a jig for joy that a second revolution will include everyone this time — people of color, women, the poor and others.

Mary Lou Jacobs, Los Angeles

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To the editor: Please, Democrats, do not select an old, rich, white male extremist as your nominee. Haven’t we had enough of those?

You need to select someone who will appeal to the country as a whole, not just your party. By selecting someone so far left, you leave the middle up for grabs. If you select someone toward the center, you get the left, center and even that part of the right desperate for an alternative to the current regime.

For the good of the country, think about it.

John Schiermeier, Valencia


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