The steep teaching-learning curve that Bernie Sanders faces in explaining “Socialism” to America.

Let us first lay out a few (25) “learning challenges” that exist in the general population:

1) The # of people who think that it is ok to give a professional football team a name that is derogatory to, and disrespectful of Native Americans.

2) All of the people who live in towns with only one traffic light; who recently called their congressperson because they feared that Syrian refugees were coming to blow up their one traffic light.

3) The number of Americans who believe that it makes more economic and social sense to incarcerate young Black and Latino kids, then to invest half of that money, and reduce the level of public pain, by properly educating them.

4) The amount of folks in places like Alabama; who have not come to the realization that the Right-wing only wants woman to have children; but then they enact laws and policies that psychologically and physically kill children.

5) Those Tea-Party recipients of: Social Security, VA benefits and Medicare who were chanting that they want the: “government out of their lives!”

6) The huge number of local, state, and national civil servants, and skilled professionals, who think that “undocumented” people are coming across the Mexican border to take their jobs.

7) The number of former high school students in this nation, who either: flunked, were absent, cut class, or they were sitting in the dean’s office when world geography-history topics were covered; thus they have no idea where places like: France, Lagos, Iran, Mali, Syria, Jordan, Greece, Belgium, etc. exist on the world map. (And forget about the historical-cultural literacy about these places)

8) And the other former student in an American history high school class who either avoided, or got completely wrong, the: “Explain, giving examples of: the origin, policies, personalities and programmatic objectives and outcomes of The New Deal” essay question.

9) All of those Republican Presidential polling participants who put Messrs. Trump and Carson in the lead positions.

10) The percentage of people who believe that there is widespread voter fraud, such that Black voting rights must be legally and statutorily suppressed.

11) The number of Americans who believe that Ted Cruz and Jeb Bush really care about Syrians, Christian or otherwise; and not their own selfish political agenda.

12) The number of people who don’t question the male civic, political, and faith-based leaders, who are unfaithful husbands; and yet they are leading the movement for “traditional marriage”.

13) The # of people who don’t know that the 9-11 hijackers entered the US utilizing standard travel visas and passports. And in fact the US refugee resettlement program is a very robust and multilayered screening program; and the path (because of the length of time and the intensity of review) that would be the least useful to ISIS or AL-Qaeda terrorist.

14) The entire Fox News viewership…

15) The number of American citizens who are quick to say: “Thank you for your service”, to returning military men and women, and then show a tremendous disregard in areas of providing quality healthcare, housing and employment for them.

16) The huge unfortunate number of (soon to be disappointed) Black male teenagers who think they are going to: “Buy their momma a house, when they get to the NBA or NFL!” As opposed to utilizing their athletic and/or intellectual talents to get a real and meaningful college education and then: Buy their momma a house!

17) The # of people in many Republican states who say: “I don’t have no healthcare insurance”, but “I hate Obamacare” (Because the name Obama is attached to it!)

18) The number of Americans who are not: “doomed to repeat history”; because they never learned about things like the US Japanese-American internment camps, The Salem witch trails, the Tuskegee syphilis experiment, in the first place.

19) The # of Americans who can’t balance in their brains, the two non-conflicting ideas of having and appreciating effective and good policing; without having police brutality and police misconduct.

20) (A) The persistent large number of Americans who still believe that Mr. Obama is a Muslim. (B) The persistent large number of Americans who actually believe the underlying “given” presumption, that being a Muslim is actually a bad thing.

21) The percentage of Americans who think that Don Lemon is really a serious journalist; and that Raven Symone actually has something to say.

22) The number of male elected officials (including those with “incomplete” female anatomy and physiology information), who actually believe that they should be in control of women’s reproductive healthcare and rights.

23) The number of Black American citizens who continue to allow their children’s education to be deformed; by a never-ending parade of faux educational reform movements; after each unsuccessful exercise all you hear is: “just kidding” (“fool me once shame on you, fool me…”)

24) There is a very popular museum that displays exhibits where dinosaurs and humans are in the same time period. Places in this nation where the Common (to them) Core Curriculum is anti-intellectual, and reeks of terrible “invented history”; like slavery was a Confederate jobs program.

25) All of the people in America who don’t know the difference between Karl Marx and Groucho Marx. The difference between Communism and Socialism, Capitalism and Socialism, between a Liberal and a Conservative, between the Right and the far Right. (If John Boehner is a conservative, then who are the people who ousted him?) Bernie would probably need to explain why a great deal of what is labeled as “conservatism” by the intellectually lazy American news media, is in fact proto-fascism (And thus that raises the question: What is fascism?). An understanding of Democratic Socialism requires an explanation of both Democracy and Socialism; a very tall order in a so-called democratic society that is so comfortable with compromising the voting and civil rights of its Black citizenry. Don’t get me wrong, I admire Bernie’s high expectations; but there is just too much material he must cover, in so short a time period; and for an audience that is so easily distracted with the overwhelming noise of triviality. There is some discomfort that is associated with facing things as they truly are; and I am not sure how you successfully market discomforting truths as a political platform? In any event, good luck Bernie!