The US once feared socialists. Now one is a candidate for president

World Today

For decades the United States had one major enemy: The Soviet Union. According to U.S. propaganda, the Soviets aimed to crush American liberty through the spread of Socialism. Fast forward to today and things sure have changed.

CCTV America’s Jim Spellman reports.

The US once feared socialists. Now one is a candidate for president

For decades the United States had one major enemy: The Soviet Union. According to U.S. propaganda, the Soviets aimed to crush American liberty through the spread of Socialism. Fast forward to today and things sure have changed. CCTV America's Jim Spellman reports.

Bernie Sanders, one of the top candidates for the U.S. presidency is a self-avowed Democratic Socialist.

So what exactly is Socialism?

Webster’s collegiate dictionary defines Socialism as a political and economic theory of social organization based on collective or governmental ownership and democratic management of the essential means for the production and distribution of goods.

Sanders has a somewhat different take.

“I don’t believe government should take over the grocery store down the street or own the means of production,” he said. “But I do believe that the middle class and the working families who produce the wealth of America deserve a decent standard of living and their incomes should go up, not down.”

That message is resonating with young voters who weren’t raised during the Soviet era and the supposed threat of socialism.

“Socialism doesn’t frighten younger voters. Most can’t tell you what socialism is in any sort of coherent way and in that sense the fact that Bernie Sanders is a self-proclaimed socialist doesn’t frighten them away,” Matthew Wilson of Southern Methodist University said. “They think of socialism as meaning free education and free healthcare. It’s a lot to them that sounds pretty good.”