The American political system sees itself flirting with socialism this election cycle more than it has in nearly a century. The dazzling Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders has energized masses of voters (particularly young ones) to call for socialist reforms in a fashion few could have predicted. Bernie encourages this by describing himself as a "Democratic Socialist", espousing a brand of economic reforms that promote social equity within the current capitalistic system such as a $15 minimum wage, a single-payer universal healthcare system, and free college.
Unfortunately for the scores of voters he has hoodwinked, Bernie is not a real socialist - not even a Democratic Socialist as he claims to be. Socialism is defined as a system where the workers collectively control the means of production with the abolition of private property (http://www.merriam-webster.com...). Bernie Sanders does not advocate for either of these things; he wants to keep capitalism and implement reforms to make the current system more benevolent. Under Sanders' economic philosophy, the means of production are still privately held for the purpose of profit. This doesn't count as socialism - not even Democratic Socialism. At best, Bernie is a Social Democrat, but not any kind of socialist, no matter what he and his supporters claim.
Well, I gave a fair bit of proof in my first argument, but if you insist I can give some more. Bernie Sanders seems to have either a lack of understanding of what Democratic Socialism is or a willful ignorance for the sake of political gain. This is particularly evident when he notes the social equity successes of Scandinavian countries who have adopted reforms to make people more equal and calls this socialism. These countries are objectively not socialistic; they may implement reforms to level the playing field, but their economies are still capitalistic in that the means of production are still privately held. If Bernie Sanders wants the US to emulate these Scandinavian nations, he should call their political and economic systems what they are: social democracy.
I can't say I blame people for assuming Sanders is a socialist. The media loves to hype up this talking point because it's exciting. The idea of a socialist having such political success is something people want to hear about, considering how "socialist" is considered a dirty word by many in American politics. The media knows this, and they drive this point into the ground for the sake of enticing viewers and getting ratings. It wouldn't be quite as exciting if they told the truth: that Bernie is a capitalist in a socialist costume, a wolf in sheep's clothing.
My opponent hasn't made any arguments up to this point so there's not much for me to go off of at this point. I'll just wrap things up by concluding my debate. Bernie Sanders may claim to be a socialist, but when looking at the facts, it's clear to see that this is far from the truth. A real socialist would desire abolition of the current state of affairs - the end of private property, the collective seizure of control of the means of production - and Bernie doesn't want any of this. The changes Sanders desires to enact are a step in the right direction, but ultimately do not constitute what socialism really is. Thank you for considering my argument.