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Bernie Sanders Is Ok Being Called a Socialist: How Cool Is That? (watch!)

Bernie Sanders outlined his progressive political philosophy on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert last night and wowed the audience. (Photo: CBS)

Bernie Sanders outlined his progressive political philosophy on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert last night and wowed the audience. (Photo: CBS)

Bernie Sanders, the Independent U.S. Senator and Democratic presidential candidate doesn’t shudder, wince or hide his face when one of his right-wing detractors calls him a “socialist.” He told Stephen Colbert last night, he’s perfectly ok with the label. How cool is that?

Sanders, who represents Vermont, would rather be called a “progressive” in the same vein as Franklin Roosevelt.

But whatever the label, Sanders let it be known he sides with the poor and middle-class, not the corporations and special interests that call the shots in Washington through massive campaign contributions.

With Democratic rival Hillary Clinton still wallowing in explanations about her email habits, Sanders has zoom ahead in two crucial primary states, Iowa and New Hampshire. Plus, he’s drawing crowds in the tens of thousands at campaign rallies.

“I knew that we had a message that would resonate with the American people. This is the wealthiest country in the history of the world. Yet, almost all of the income and wealth is going to the top one percent,” he told the talk show host.

“At a time when we’re seeing more millionaires and billionaires, we have the highest rate of childhood poverty of almost any other major country on earth.

“We are the only major wealthy country that doesn’t guarantee health care to all people, family and medical leave, paid sick time and paid leave time and people are asking why?”

Sanders reserved a special place in hell for Donald Trump.

“I think that what Trump is doing is appealing to the baser instincts among us: xenophobia and, frankly, racism. [He’s] describing an entire group of people (Mexicans) as rapists or as criminals,” he said.

He added:

That’s the same old thing that’s gone on in this country for a very long time. You target some group of people, and you go after them. You take people’s anger, and you turn it against them—you win votes on it. I think that is disgraceful and not something we should be doing in 2015. Look, clearly we want a society which encourages entrepreneurship and innovation. But what we also want is a society in which all of our people can enjoy a decent standard of living, and not a society in which the very rich get much richer while virtually everybody else gets poorer.

What I am talking about is a vision that goes beyond telling us we have to hate a group of people. What I am talking about is saying that, in the wealthiest country in the history of the world, there are extraordinary things that we can do when people come together—black and white and gay and straight—and demand the government start working for all of us—not just a few.

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