M.D. Harmon says: “When government controls all the jobs, it controls everyone and everything.”

A valid concern, except Bernie Sanders only wants to socialize the industries where profits outweigh individual liberties, like health care and education – industries we already socialize in many ways. The odd part is, many of us who support Bernie have the same concerns, except it’s the corporations we fear are on pace to controlling all of the jobs, not the government.

The real problem here isn’t that Sanders’ supporters lack an institutional definition for socialism, it’s that his critics are too beholden to it. They are so fearful of the word “socialism,” they can’t even look past it to see that Sanders is far more than a one-dimensional label.

And Harmon doesn’t stop with Sanders. He labels an entire generation of Sanders supporters as unappreciative and oblivious to history.

The truth is that we who support Sanders couldn’t care less what he calls himself. If Harmon and others want to rationalize a socialist’s popularity or insist on reducing two decades worth of adults into a broad notion, then he’s using the wrong adjective.

What we are is a generation of skeptics. And why wouldn’t we be? We consumed a half-million ads by the time we were 18. We were sold the idea that this is the land of freedom and opportunity, yet all we have to show for it is $60,000 in student loans, a widening income gap and a rigged system filled with greed and unfettered capitalism. We want something better and we don’t care if it fits neatly under some label, as long as it works for everyone.

The person we think is best equipped to do it is the candidate who isn’t just another salesperson. We want an authentic candidate with strong morals and consistent principles. We believe Bernie Sanders is that candidate, but you have to look past the label to see the depth of all he represents.

Johnny Gagnon Jr.

Kennebunk