Monday, May 9, 2016

Why Bernie Never Had a Chance: Americans Make Crappy Socialists

I've spent the past six days in social democracies like Denmark and Germany. They rock socialism because they can.

This is Copenhagen. But their beauty is in their people, not their past.

I'll own up to the fact that while I support everything that Bernie Sanders supports and then some I never for a moment thought he had a chance. I'm a proud socialist, which is why I've been to Copenhagen four times in three years. It's my happy place, as expensive as it is for a tourist who pays the taxes but doesn't live there to get the services. Oh well, still love it and its people, who are judged the most contented in the world.

Bernie never had a chance because his supporters are, for the most part, young idealists who haven't accrued enough stock and savings to have anything to lose (actually most older people are clinging to the hope for a decent retirement by a thread, but....). Americans that vote, vote with their pocketbooks. And, frankly, Bernie's brand of socialism scares the bejesus out of them.

They're dead, flat, unquestionably wrong, but too bad. Americans are not yet ready for the kind of common-good, communitarian, we-all-do-better-when-we-do-it-together common-sense way of managing our society. We want lower taxes and better services and we want it now, and the hell with everyone else if we can't have it.

That's moronic beyond measure. There, I've said it. Donald Trump is a danger we should all hope we get past. But the real danger we face is our own self-centered, self-defeating inability to figure out that if we work together, pay more taxes (and, yes, get more services!), and face the need for income redistribution toward more income equality (so we can get more services!), it will lead to a fuller, more contented, less stressful life.

But we make pretty crappy socialists, so don't hold your breath. Vote for Hillary Clinton because it's the best we can do (and it isn't horrible!) and hope that in the future a Bernie Sanders is just our brand of Americanism we're ready to endorse.

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