The first Democratic debate for the 2016 presidential election took place on Oct. 13, 2015. Among the candidates present was 74-year-old Democratic socialist, Bernie Sanders. Topics discussed at the debate ranged from education to healthcare to Hillary Clinton’s infamous emails.
A Brooklyn native, Sanders explicitly expressed his favor towards an America that provides free tuition at all public colleges and accessibility to Medicare for all Americans. But, if Sanders is elected, what could this mean for America, and what exactly is a Democratic socialist?
The Huffington Post suggests, “Democratic socialists might not recoil at the thought of government running large industries, but they don’t actively pursue that goal. Instead, they focus on decidedly less radical objectives—like making the welfare state more generous, giving workers more power, limiting the influence of money on politics and policing the practices of business more closely.”
However, this may be a bit of idealistic thinking. Without the democratic aspect, and with a little bit more intensity, socialism could be catastrophic. Some may ask, “Wouldn’t socialism result in the government owning and running everything?”
The truth is that it could. However, democratic socialism could also result in something great, like more people going to college and, in turn, helping our society grow into one that is more apt to self-govern.
Sanders began his closing remarks of the debate by saying, “This is a great country, but we have many, many serious problems.” This is true. Whether or not democratic socialism is the answer, no one can be sure, but we as a country should strive towards anything that will allow us to progress.