Woman to Bernie Sanders: Can You Make A Persuasive Case As To Why Socialism Is Better Than Capitalism?

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CNN: During a CNN town hall, presidential candidate Bernie Sanders explains the programs he'd like to implement if he were elected president, which have been criticized by President Trump as akin to socialism.

QUESTION: Senator Sanders, can you make a simple, persuasive case as to why socialism is preferable to capitalism?

SANDERS: Democratic socialism. Right?



QUESTION: Yes.

SANDERS: OK. Let's -- let me tell you what I mean by that, so we're clear. Right now, we have a nation which prides itself on a lot of political rights. In other words, under the Constitution, thank God you have freedom of speech, media can do its thing, even though Trump calls you an enemy of the people. How does that feel to be an enemy? That's another story. All right.

(LAUGHTER)

I won't question Wolf.

BLITZER: You don't think we are, though?

SANDERS: No, I don't.

BLITZER: OK.

SANDERS: I certainly do not. So we have political, freedom of religion, and all of that is enormously important. But you know what we don't have? We don't have guarantees regarding economic rights.

And way back in 1944, in a little-known, a little-publicized State of the Union speech, Franklin Delano Roosevelt said something -- and I'm paraphrasing him -- but he said, you know, when we talk about human freedom and rights, we've got to understand that everybody needs a decent-paying job, that people need health care, that people need education.

And all over the world, these ideas are taking place. You go to countries in Scandinavia, of course, health care right is a right. Higher education is free. They have strong preschool programs. They make sure that their elderly folks can retire in dignity. These are not radical ideas.

So what democratic socialism means to me is having, in a civilized society, the understanding that we can make sure that all of our people live in security and in dignity.

Health care is a human right. All people should have health care. You can't get ahead in this country, in this world, unless you have a decent education. We have got to, as a right, end the kinds of discrimination, the racism, and the sexism, and homophobia that exists. So to me, when I talk about democratic socialism, what I talk about are human rights and economic rights.

BLITZER: Senator, President Trump said in his State of the Union address -- and I'm quoting him now -- America...

(APPLAUSE)

... this is the president -- America will never be a socialist country. Will that hold true, if you're elected president?

SANDERS: If I am elected president, we will have a nation in which all people have health care as a right, whether Trump likes it or not. We are going to make public colleges and universities tuition-free.

(APPLAUSE)

We are going to raise the minimum wage to a living wage of at least $15 bucks an hour. And whether Trump likes it or not, when I talk about human rights, you know what that also means? It means that our kids and grandchildren have the human right to grow up in a planet that is healthy and habitable.

(APPLAUSE)

And it is -- it is really a disgrace and an embarrassment that we have a president who rejects science, who does not even understand that climate change is real and caused by human activity, who does not understand what this planet will look like in years to come if we do not go forward boldly and transform our energy system away from fossil fuels.

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