When questioned at a townhall debate by a Russian woman, Senator Bernie Sanders denied the existence of socialism in the Soviet Union.
Many people may have a difficult time discerning the difference between socialism and communism, but apparently it’s not an issue for the self-proclaimed socialism “expert” Bernie Sanders.
What’s even worse is the thunderous applause Sanders received from the audience in response to his answer.
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This even occurs shortly after it was reported that Sanders sought closer ties with the Soviet Union during his tenure as Mayor of Burlington, Vermont.
Fox News reported:
The Soviet Union saw then-Burlington Mayor Bernie Sanders’ push for closer ties between the U.S. and Moscow as part of a propaganda opportunity to “reveal American imperialism as the main source of the danger of war,” according to a new report.
The New York Times, having examined Soviet documents from the 1980s, reports that Sanders’ efforts to establish ties between Burlington, Vt., and the city of Yaroslavl, Russia, were one of a number of “sister-city” efforts viewed by the Soviets as ways to shift American opinion during the latter days of the Cold War.“
One of the most useful channels, in practice, for actively carrying out information-propaganda efforts has proved to be sister-city contact,” a Soviet Foreign Ministry document provided to Yaroslavl officials said.
The Daily Caller had this to say about Sanders' discussion about the Soviet Union:
Independent Vermont Sen. and presidential candidate Bernie Sanders said Monday that “what happened and existed” in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics was not socialism.
During a Fox News town hall with Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum, a woman named Margaret asked Bernie what the difference is between his brand of “democratic socialism” and the socialism of the USSR.
“As someone from Russia, a country that was greatly impacted by the negative effects of socialism, what assurances can you offer myself and other people impacted by socialism that democratic socialism will not have the same effects?”
Bernie responded by telling her that “what happened and existed in the Soviet Union was not socialism, it was authoritarian communism” and denounced communism as being “marked by totalitarianism.”
He went on to say that Finland is a “very democratic society with strong democratic socialist principles.”
“When we talk about democratic socialism, Margaret, I’m talking about Finland, I’m talking about Denmark, I’m talking about Sweden, I’m talking about countries all over the world that have used their government to try to improve life for working families, not just the people on top.”
MacCallum later explained to the senator how countries like Sweden and Denmark have embraced market-based reforms over the last few decades that have allowed them to maintain their large welfare states.
Bernie responded by saying “I am not an expert on the current economy in Sweden” and went on to tout the successes of Nordic country social programs.