New York Times columnist Tom Friedman calls Bernie Sanders a socialist "whose ideas died in 1989." That's a strange conclusion, Gerry Caplan writes. In Canada, Sanders would be a member of the New Democratic Party:
If he calls himself a democratic socialist rather than a social democrat, it’s probably because not a dozen Americans have a clue what social democracy might mean. In the U.K., he’d likely be in the moderate anti-Jeremy Corbyn wing of the Labour party. In Germany, France, Italy, Holland, Spain, all the Nordic countries, he’d be a middle-of-the-road member of existing social democratic parties. He’d be enthusiastically embraced by tens of millions of people.
Across the rich world, only in the United States is Bernie Sanders seen as some kind of extremist of the left. It shows just how dangerously far to the radical right America’s political culture has moved.
Eighty-five years ago, Sanders would have been one of Roosevelt's New Dealers. But the crackpots in the Republican Party have managed -- since Ronald Reagan -- to move the political conversation increasingly to the right. Now they are on the verge of tipping over into lunacy:
After all, the remaining GOP candidates, most of them crackpots, are now considered mainstream, even moderates.
And, when they engage in dirty tricks, as Ted Cruz did in Iowa -- by suggesting that Ben Carson was dropping out of the race -- Donald Trump claimed to know the source of Cruz' malady: "Because he was born in Canada," shouted Trump.
The source of evil for Republicans these days seems to be Canada:
“I don’t believe government should take over the grocery store down the street or own the means of production,” he told students at Georgetown University. “But I do believe that the middle class and the working families who produce the wealth of America deserve a decent standard of living and that their incomes should go up, not down.” Throw in a couple of “hard-workings” here and there, and Comrade Bernie could jump right into the middle of Justin Trudeau’s Liberal party.Nowhere are the absurd limits of American politics better exposed than when Sanders is bitterly pummelled for supporting something really far-out, even near-Bolshevik – a Canadian-style public health system.
God help Canada and Canadians if Donald Trump becomes president.