On July 27, the Quad-City Times published a column by Catherine Rampell of the Washington Post titled, "Trump is the true socialist." In this insightful article, Rampell denounces the hypocrisy of conservatives who often use the term "socialist" as a derogatory label for any progressive. She points out the Republican Party under Trump has implemented many socialist policies in the form of taxpayer-funded subsidies to the fossil fuel industry, bailouts to farmers and tax breaks for corporations.
The U.S. and most western democracies are social democracies. Wikipedia defines "social democracy" as "a political, social and economic philosophy that supports economic and social interventions to promote social justice within the framework of a liberal democratic polity and a capitalist economy."
Governments of social democracies support capitalism as the primary mechanism for producing and distributing goods and services, while intervening with socialist policies to provide essential services and ensure the proper distribution of economic wealth to the citizens of their democracy.
Bernie Sanders and other progressives are social democrats, not socialists. Social democrats advocate for a capitalistic economy with democratic government oversight to ensure that the economy works for everyone, not just the rich and powerful. They endeavor to balance capitalist and socialist policies to ensure that our democracy will endure.
Whenever you hear a Republican misrepresenting a Democrat as a "socialist," don’t believe it. Instead, support the efforts by our social democrats to return our democracy to "a government of the people, by the people, and for the people."