by Emily Schultheis, The National Journal, 11/19/15
The White House contender tries to blend his standard campaign message with a more urgent one in the wake of the Paris terror attacks.
Bernie Sanders had two goals Thursday afternoon when he stepped on stage for his major speech at Georgetown: to finally offer an explanation of what he means when he describes himself as a “Democratic socialist,” and to prove his bona fides on foreign policy issues.
Trying to accomplish them together made for a slightly strange event with what felt like two distinct parts—and that juxtaposition highlighted the challenge Sanders has in justifying his usually-singular focus on economic-populist issues in the wake of the terrorist attacks in Paris.
Sanders said that to him, Democratic socialism means simply that the American economy benefits not only the billionaires he frequently rails against.
“Democratic socialism means that we must create an economy that works for all, not just the very wealthy,” he said.
Drawing on the legacy of Franklin Roosevelt and recalling New Deal-era reforms, Sanders said that people are only “truly free” if they have a sense of economic security. …
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