The first Democratic presidential debate was notable for a lot of things. The comic relief of Lincoln Chafee. The inexplicable presence of Jim Webb. Consensus that Hillary owned it. And the sleeper moment, Bernie Sanders giving us a clearer sense of what he means by socialism and revolution.
If you are a true Bernie believer, as many of my nearest and dearest pals are, you might want to stop reading now. This will not change the opinion of those who already love Bernie. But it seems clear to me his open dismissal of capitalism makes him pretty much unelectable in a general election, and thus a disaster for the Democratic party, if they were to nominate him for president.
This is my opinion as a political scientist, and does not reflect an anti-left bias. And arguments that start with "he's winning in polls and drawing large crowds" just don't hold much weight for me, because Bernie is a socialist, and he came out of the closet on national television as a real honest to God socialist.
Socialism, for Senator Sanders, is not just more social programs, like social security. And it's not just progressive taxation. He wants us to be Denmark, and at some point someone will point out that in Denmark, the tax rate on middle class families is 60 percent.
According to an article on CNN Money,
At 60.2 percent, Denmark last year had the highest top personal income tax rate among the 34 countries in the OECD, an organization of developed and emerging countries. And that 60.2 percent applied to income over roughly $55,000
That's right. Their top tier of taxation is 60 percent, and it starts at an income equivalent to $55,000. Now, I admire the shit out of Denmark. But they have a completely different culture and thousands of years of history where the needs of the group come before the rights of the individual.
Pretty much the complete opposite of the history of the United States. For me, that is case closed. Because the most important thing for me, as a Democrat, is making sure we don't wake up the day after the election to find a Republican in the White House.