Socialists Plan to Use 2016 As Opportunity to Explain What Socialist Means

By
Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., speaks to the media about his agenda in running for president, Thursday, April 30, 2015, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
Bernie Sanders.Photo: Jacquelyn Martin/AP/Corbis

Bloomberg Politics talked to several socialist groups to see what they thought of Bernie Sanders. Socialist Party USA doesn’t think he is the ideal candidate — but its members do love that he loves the word socialist. The group’s co-chair, Mimi Soltysik, told Bloomberg, “I think having that word in the discourse — it can help sort of stimulate a positive response, as the stigma wears off. So let’s say hypothetically that Bernie Sanders doesn’t defeat Hillary Clinton in the primary. We’ll still have a lot more people who know what [the word socialism] means. That’s a positive.” However, a national reconsideration of the word socialist may be complicated by the fact Sanders is running in the Democratic primary, especially if he has to change his party affiliation in order to compete — in which case the public will learn that socialist means, “still a label you have to abandon in order to be taken seriously in national politics.”