Letter to the editor: Would an angry old socialist lose to an angry old autocrat?
Democrats are desperate to defeat Donald Trump, but their leading candidate, Bernie Sanders, is a socialist.
Many believe defeating Trump requires a nominee appealing to independents, women and moderates who are weary of Trump’s erratic behavior, vindictive ego, power grabs and his other P-grabs.
Sanders is not that candidate. A self-described democratic socialist, he appeals to his base, mostly young liberals.
But would enough youths (unreliable voters) turn out in November to secure Sanders’ victory?
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A Washington Post-ABC poll found 37% of independents oppose Sanders because of his socialism.
Trump will castigate any Democrat as socialist, but Sanders validates that by identifying as one. His praise of Cuban dictator Fidel Castro in a recent “60 Minutes” interview didn’t help.
• Health care plans
Sanders’ plans — transferring control to government and eliminating insurance — anger many voters, including union members who surrendered raises for better insurance.
Sanders is vague about funding this radical transformation (an estimated $60 trillion). He proposes wealth taxes but also middle-class increases — a ballot-box loser.
• Other promises (free college tuition and child care, forgiving student loans, etc.)
He appeals to idealistic youths but not older Americans who reliably vote. Many worked hard, putting themselves or their children through college and paying off student loans. Now they’re supposed to pay for others with their taxes?
• Minority voters
A major cohort of successful Democratic efforts, Sanders hasn’t motivated them in past campaigns.
• Down-ballot candidates
Democrats at all levels could lose if labeled socialist supporters of government health care. Congressional control, critical to checking Trump’s power, hangs in the balance.
• Lukewarm Democratic Party support
Party establishment, feckless in recent years, can at least provide organization, volunteers and money to its favored nominee.
Democrats would be wise to consider these concerns before voting.
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