As we move towards apparent Democrat party choice fore 2016 it appears Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are our flag barriers, election generals, and brigade drum beaters. Other candidates do not appear as viable if we consider their distance back in the pack regarding Democrat voter support.
While Clinton has GOP scandal inertia behind every campaign moment, Sanders also has his Albatross collars. His extend past of declarations of an Independent Socialist will become a front and center issue should he claim the Democrat Party nomination. And, it is an issue that will take crafty responses and educative talk to differentiate Bernie's "socialism" from that of actual socialist nations (If there is such an item). I personally do not believe there exist a classic form of socialism about the Earth. There certainly isn't a successful case of such in any nation other than indigenous tribes which are averse to interact with industrialized humankind.
The truth be told, the United States and many other nations actually share the vestiges of socialism in various forms: "Social Democracy." Despite GOP efforts to dismantle programs that help the needy and the downtrodden, US economic socialism will continue and flourish. The alternatives are starvation induced mass deaths and eventual "Let them eat cake" like revolution.
Last July, Bill Moyers & Company published a piece about US social democracy.
The piece was written by, Harvey J. Kaye University of Wisconsin professor and author.