Sens. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., are offering Americans a "new direction" by extending social guarantees like those offered in Denmark or Sweden and voters should not be scared off about the term, "democratic socialist," which Sanders refers himself to, says Rev. Jesse Jackson.
"Here's the reality: The important word in 'democratic socialism' isn't socialism, it's democratic," Jackson writes in the Chicago Sun-Times.
"Sanders isn't talking about making America into Cuba or Venezuela; he's talking about extending social guarantees like those offered in most other advanced industrial states, invoking Denmark or Sweden. These countries have universal healthcare at lower cost, paid family leave, guaranteed paid vacations, higher minimum wages, more generous public retirement programs.
"They also have vibrant and competitive economies, lower inequality, less poverty, and higher life expectancies."
Sanders won the popular vote in Iowa, won the New Hampshire primary and crushed his competition in the Nevada caucuses.
Democratic voters who watched Tuesday night's debate said Sanders impressed them the most of any candidate, followed closely by Joe Biden and Warren, according to a CBS News poll.
Jackson has not publicly endorsed a candidate but is speaking out to quash concerns over the label, "democratic socialist," noting the FAA and FDA are both state programs.
"Put aside the fearmongering and the red-baiting; take a look instead at the substance," he writes in the Sun-Times. "There's no question we need big structural change, as Elizabeth Warren puts it. We need a better distribution of wealth, and a greater protection of basic human rights like the right to affordable healthcare, as Sanders argues.
"Call it capitalism with a conscience, democratic socialism, call it lemonade. It's the substance, not the label that counts."
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