Posts Tagged ‘Kurt Schumacher’

Bernie and me

October 18, 2015

The other day an acquaintance told me, somewhat hesitantly, that I reminded him (visually) of Bernie Sanders. The reason for his hesitancy was that he wasn’t sure of my political leanings. When I told him that I was flattered, he was elated, and told me how happy he was to have seen Bernie lawn signs in his neighborhood.

There are a few more things in common between Bernie and me besides a superficial resemblance. We are, more or less, of the same generation (what I once called my gap generation and has also been called the “silent generation”). Like me, Bernie is the son/grandson of Polish Jews. And like me, Bernie calls himself a democratic socialist.

Bernie is said to have stumbled when, during the Democratic presidential debate on October 13, Anderson Cooper asked him about socialism and Bernie, after beginning “We’re going to explain what socialism is…”  did no such thing.

As I have previously written, I have considered myself a socialist for most of my life, my first political hero being Kurt Schumacher. But though I am a scientist used to dealing in rigorous definitions, I think that Bernie’s deep feeling of dismay with economic inequality and his desire for greater fairness come closer to my identity as a socialist than any theoretical discussion might.

So: I’m with Bernie.