Bernie Sanders On Being A Socialist: ‘That’s Right, What’s Wrong With That?’ (VIDEO)

When politicians hold beliefs voters dislike, they tend to waffle when asked about them. But not Bernie Sanders, the Vermont Senator and Hillary Clinton’s new challenger in the Democratic party’s presidential primary.

Few things spook U.S. voters worse than calling a candidate a “socialist.” In America, that conjures up visions of Stalin and other jack-booted thugs taking America’s guns away and forcing them to have access to medical care. But unlike so many Democratic candidates before him, Sanders has no problem with being called a socialist.

In his appearance on ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos, Sanders said calling him a socialist is just fine, “so long as we know what democratic socialism is.” Sanders even dares to add that the quality of life in socialist countries — especially ones in Scandinavia — may actually be better than in the U.S.

“And if we know that in countries, in Scandinavia, like Denmark, Norway, Sweden, they are very democratic countries, obviously. The voter turnout is a lot higher than it is in the United States. In those countries, health care is the right of all people. And in those countries, college education, graduate school is free.”

When Stephanopoulos jokes that the GOP will be all over him for daring to say we should be more like Scandinavian countries, Sanders defiantly declares:

“That’s right. And what’s wrong with that? What’s wrong when you have more income and wealth equality? What’s wrong when they have a stronger middle class in many ways than we do, higher minimum wage than we do, and they are stronger on the environment than we do?”

Sanders says that although we do some things right in our country, we can still learn from other nations’ success stories:

“The fact of the matter is, we do a lot in our country, which is good. But we can learn from other countries.”

As for what everyone calling Sanders a long-shot candidate, he says, “don’t underestimate me.” After all:

“Nobody thought that I would be elected mayor of Burlington, Vermont. Very few people thought that I would beat an incumbent Republican to become United States congressman from Vermont by 16 points. And people weren’t so sure I could beat the richest person in Vermont to become a United States senator.”

Go Bernie!

Watch Sanders awesomely double-down on socialism on ABC.

Featured image: Composite with Bernie Sanders illustration from DonkeyHotey via Flickr, and vintage photo of screaming woman.