Self-described democratic socialist Bernie Sanders just won the New Hampshire Democratic primary — his second straight popular vote victory following Iowa. But with a gaggle of more moderate candidates jostling for position, the party remains clearly divided.

Why? For one thing, many older figures in the party simply can’t wrap their heads around the appeal of “socialism.”

This week in OtherWords, I look at the Cold War conditioning that led generations of Americans to associate “socialism” with dictatorship and “capitalism” with democracy. But the real history is a good deal more complicated — and younger voters may well make the opposite association.

Meanwhile, Jim Hightower says big progressive ideas are actually better at winning “moderate” voters than more incremental ones. And Khalil Bendib images a coalition of establishment Lilliputians tying down a certain Vermont senator.

Also this week, Sister Kathleen Erickson shares moving lessons from ministering on the U.S.-Mexico border, and why she believes Americans need to learn more about the causes of the refugee crisis. And Kelsey Yule reports on the sacred lands and national monuments under threat from Trump’s border wall.

Finally, Jill Richardson has some simple advice for anyone worried about coronavirus: Wash your hands. And get a flu shot.

New This Week…

Who’s Afraid of ‘Socialism’? | Peter Certo
Americans were taught to associate “socialism” with dictatorship and “capitalism” with democracy. Are those days over?

The Irony of the Centrist-Progressive Debate | Jim Hightower
Moderates consistently warn that progressive ideas can’t win “the middle.” But just look at the polls.

Lessons from Ministering on the Border | Sr. Kathleen Erickson
As a Sister of the Church, I believe Americans have a moral obligation to learn more about why Central Americans are forced to seek refuge here.

Trump’s Border Wall Is an Ecologist’s Nightmare | Kelsey Yule
Blowing up mountains, bulldozing sacred sites, guzzling groundwater — the wall is turning border ecosystems into a grim dystopia.

Scared of Coronavirus? Get Your Flu Shot | Jill Richardson
The flu kills far more people than coronavirus. The panic isn’t just irrational — it’s taking on a darker edge.

Bernie in Lilliput | Khalil Bendib
Well, that’s one version of party unity.

In Case You Missed It…

The Hunt for Black Family History | Mandisa Routheni
Simple genealogy searches don’t work for people whose ancestors were treated like property. But some new tools could help.

There’s No ‘Great American Comeback’ | Peter Certo
Trump is counting on the working class he’s betraying most aggressively. Can the left get out of suburbia and back to its roots?

Starting a Business Is Hard. Discrimination Makes It Harder. | Monica Grover
I know firsthand that the idealistic view of entrepreneurship is not the reality that most of us experience.

A Cruel Attack on the Disabled | Jill Richardson
You might have missed it amid the impeachment coverage, but the president is reintroducing catastrophic Reagan-era disability cuts.

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Peter Certo

Peter Certo is the editorial manager of the Institute for Policy Studies and editor of

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