I feel obligated to introduce a countervailing voice to some of the recent opinion pieces published here that have been critical of contemporary progressive politics. It is not my intention to direct any insults at individuals or to demean another’s beliefs. I do feel that I must point out the following about Walter Williams’ letter from March 29:
Comparing Bernie Sanders — a secular Jew whose family members perished in the holocaust — to Hitler is totally intellectually dishonest and cannot go uncontested. His very publicly espoused policy ideas are that of social democracy. Not communism; not socialism. He is a huge advocate for the capitalist Nordic Model embodied by Sweden, Denmark, Iceland, etc. The benefits of these countries are not free; they are largely paid for by fair, progressive taxation along all tax brackets. If you are going to quote MLK Jr., please remember when he critically declared that America already has “socialism for the rich” and “rugged free enterprise for the poor.” Economic populist reform and massive re-distribution of wealth has always been the cornerstone of the civil rights movement in this country.
Equating communism and socialism to social democracy as if they are all the same is a popular tactic for dividing the working class and maintaining the status quo. With the rise of the working poor, lack of social benefits and increasing spread of diseases of despair, it is clear that the current system has failed us. Continuing to propagate the myths of the “free market” and discredited Reagan style “trickle-down” economics is not only factually wrong — it causes suffering for millions of Americans. People are dying so that a small minority of others may get richer. Champions of progressive policies are simply demanding fair social justice for all Americans.