Republican presidential candidate Rand Paul went after Bernie Sanders, the self-proclaimed socialist who’s running for the Democratic nomination for president. Sanders is an Independent Senator from Vermont who publicly describes himself as a Democratic socialist. The Senator has so far had a widely successful campaign, though he struggles to overcome Hillary Clinton in the polls.
In a radio interview, Senator Paul expressed his concern over the growing support of socialistic principles in the United States.
“It amazes me, and it actually kind of scares me. I’ve been making and spending more time going after Bernie and socialism because I don’t want America to succumb to the notion that there’s anything good about socialism,”
Paul continued his thought by reminding everyone of the monstrous leaders in the past who were socialists. He warned that socialism often brings state-led genocide.
“I think it’s not an accident of history that most of the time when socialism has been tried, that attendant with that has been mass genocide of people or any of those who object to it. Stalin killed tens of millions of people. Mao killed tens of millions of people. Pol Pot killed millions of people.”
While Sanders wants a government that is larger and spends more, he still wants a democracy. Senator Sanders often points to scandinavian countries as an example of how socialism can work well. He believes that a system similar to scandinavian socialism should be implemented in the United States.
Sanders’ presidential campaign has become a threat to Hillary Clinton’s. Other than Donald Trump, Bernie consistently attracts the largest crowds to his campaign events. While Hillary still leads Bernie 47 percent to 24 percent, he still has a shot at the White House.
While the word socialist may not be used to insult people anymore, many Americans are still untrusting of socialists. A Gallup poll conducted in June found that 50 percent of Americans would not vote for a socialist president. To give some perspective, in that same poll atheists and muslims would not be voted for by 40 and 38 percent of Americans, respectively.
“All that socialism means to me, to be very frank with you, is democracy with a small ‘d.’ I believe in democracy, and by democracy I mean that, to as great an extent as possible, human beings have the right to control their own lives. And that means that you cannot separate the political structure from the economic structure.”
A lot of Sanders’ message consists of denouncing the “1 percent” or the ultra-rich. Bernie believes that the U.S. political system is run by the rich. He also wants to redistribute the wealth in the country. Senator Sanders has claimed that 99 percent of new income is going to the top 0.1 percent, something he thinks needs to change.
Rand Paul, who’s also a U.S. Senator, believes that we need a smaller government that spends less. Paul is by anyone’s measure the most libertarian candidate for president. So clearly Sanders’ socialistic ideals don’t mesh with Rand’s ideology. The two presidential candidates are the two most starkly different candidates in the race.
Much of Bernie’s support has come from college students. The democratic socialist was even invited to speak at the conservative Christian school, Liberty University in Virginia. Interestingly, Rand Paul has also found support in college students across the country.
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