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‘Socialist’ different than ‘progressive’

With all due respect to my fellow Americans, most of us simply don’t know that a “liberal/progressive” is not the same thing as a “socialist.”

A true “socialist” is someone who wants all of the businesses and workplaces to be owned and controlled by “the state” or “the government” or “the workers” or “the people” and not by individuals and groups of people who run them for profit as we have here in the USA.

The overwhelming majority of Democrats want our federal government to spend more on social programs to help the lower and middle classes as they struggle to survive and pay their bills. They are not “socialists.” They are “liberal/progressives” who want our market-based capitalist economic system to become more humane (and not replaced) by having our federal government spend more to help the lower and middle classes.

They know all too well that there has never been a truly “socialist” economy in which socialism produced enough wealth to meet people’s basic needs. To put it simply, it has never “worked” on a large-scale. Thus, while most Americans seem not to be aware of this, and while conservative-Republican politicians and the conservative news media do not want the American people to become aware of this, most Democrats want our federal government to be more like those of almost every one of our traditional allies (Canada and western Europe) which spend more than we do, in proportion to their population sizes, to help their citizens. None of our allies are “socialist,” they know it, and they will tell you so.

To put this simply, President Trump and the conservative news media will spend the next year calling all Democrats “crazy socialists”. They are either intentionally lying to the people of the USA, or else they are very poorly-informed and just plain wrong.

Stewart B. Epstein

Rochester, New York

P.S. By way of background, I am a retired college professor of sociology, social work and psychology. I am very proud to have taught at West Virginia University and Slippery Rock University.

In addition, I spent five years working as a New York State-licensed social worker providing therapy and counseling in the fields of alcoholism, drug addiction, mental health/illness, and marriage and family therapy. I hope that one day our politics in the USA will become less hateful, nasty, rude, raging, insulting and disrespectful.