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A Social Democrat is NOT a Socialist. What’s the Difference?

To The Editor:
I have never understood why the nationally well-known Democrats have never taught the American people about the difference between a “Social Democrat ” (which most of our allies are) and a “Socialist” (which none of the Democrats are).  It is so simple.
A”Social Democrat” wants to keep our market-based capitalist economic system but wants to have a lot of federal government social programs such as Social Security, Medicare, and College Student Loans in order to help the lower and middle classes.  They know that a truly “Socialist” economic system has never “worked” in any large-scale society.  A “Socialist” wants to abolish Capitalism and replace it with a genuine “Socialist” economic system where the workplaces are owned and controlled by some entity such as “the state” or “the government” or “the people.”
They are not the same thing.
How can someone be a “Socialist” when they want to keep Capitalism?
They can’t.
Supporting and liking a social progam such as Social Security does not make someone a “Socialist”. If that were so, then Dwight Eisenhower, Richard Nixon, and John F. Kennedy would have been “Socialists.” We all know that they weren’t.
Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez are not true “Socialists.”  They are Social Democrats just as most of our allies are.  They want us to have more spending on social programs to help the people as our allies do. 
It is ridiculous and absurd for anyone to claim that anyone and everyone who is at all to the political “left-of-center” is somehow some kind of a “Socialist” or “Communist” or “Marxist” or “Radical-Leftist.”
Sincerely,
Stewart B. Epstein
Rochester, New York  14624
P.S. I am a retired college professor of Sociology, Social Work, and Psychology.
I am proud to have taught at West Virginia University, Slippery Rock University, and Keuka College.

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