I take issue with M.D. Harmon’s analysis of Bernie Sanders’ political philosophy (“Bernie Sanders preys on those who are ignorant of history,” Feb. 26).

First, I believe that Mr. Harmon’s presentation of countries that are socialist versus “socialistic” to be a distinction without a difference. All governments (including that of the U.S.) have some sectors of the economy that they control – the Veterans Affairs health care system (a British socialist idea) and Medicare (a Canadian socialist idea) are just two examples in the United States.

Bernie Sanders has never advocated 100 percent control of the means of production by the government, and it is unfair of Mr. Harmon to accuse him of that.

The balance between how much the government should control and how much the market should control is a policy position debated in all U.S. elections. Mr. Sanders is proud to stake out a position that firmly comes down on the side of more government control.

To argue that Mr. Sanders does not follow in the footsteps of FDR and the New Deal is just wrong. Roosevelt was “a traitor to his class” and raised taxes on wealthy Americans. Taxing wealthy Americans continued until the 1980s, when Ronald Reagan cut those taxes.

During the eight years of the Eisenhower presidency, from 1953 to 1961, the top marginal rate was 91 percent. That is how Ike built the interstate highway system, which is now crumbling because of a lack of funds to maintain it.

“Socialism” has been a taboo word in our political world for far too long. Mr. Sanders has made it acceptable to discuss such things again, and I applaud him – even though I am not supporting him. I think his single-payer plan is wrong for the country at this time, so I am supporting Hillary Clinton.

John Schaberg

Portland