Regarding the guest column “Despite being a lifelong Democrat, I voted for Trump.” (June 7): One can quibble over definitions, but I think author Phillip Reagan may be confusing socialist forms of government with democracies that have socialist programs. Examples of Democratic Socialist countries include the Scandinavian countries. The quality of life in these countries has continually ranked among the highest of all developed nations.
But there is a price to be paid for all the “free stuff.” Taxes in Democratic Socialist countries are high. On the other hand, many of the young people who face the prospect of graduating from college with a crippling student loan might not be adverse to voting for the higher taxes. The same could be said of those with no medical insurance who face the prospect of bankruptcy because of a major illness.
In the U.S., we have several programs that might be termed socialist. Examples include Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and the Veterans Administration. By most accounts these are popular. Some have proposed that we take the next step and make Medicare available to everyone — not just those age 65 and older. That is an example of the type of socialist program Mr. Reagan finds so distasteful.
Mel Myers • St. Louis County