Bernie Sanders’s opponents routinely accuse him of being a “socialist” bent on importing nefarious foreign values to the U.S., and President Trump took that approach one step further this past weekend, telling Fox News host Sean Hannity, "I think he’s a communist. I mean, you know, look, I think of communism when I think of Bernie.”
For his part, Sanders says he is a “democratic socialist” who looks less to Cuba for inspiration than to the Nordic nations such as Denmark, Sweden and Finland – countries that use high taxes to fund generous social programs including universal health care and free public education.
Speaking at Davos last month, the new Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin put an interesting twist on that political tradition, tying it not just to a robust social safety net in the European tradition but to something near and dear to most Americans:
“I feel that the American Dream can be achieved best in the Nordic countries, where every child no matter their background or the background of their families can become anything, because we have a very good education system. We have a good health-care and social welfare system that allows anybody to become anything. This is probably one of the reasons why Finland gets ranked the happiest country in the world.”