Making sure a small group do not rig tax laws excessively in their own favor is called democracy. In most Western countries, Sanders would be middle-of-the-road, not a “democratic socialist.”
No sooner than a presidential candidate articulate the desire to “tax” Wall Street properly do the media far beyond the Wall Street Journal sound the alarm on politicians engaging in poisonous forms of “populism.” They make it sound as if cruel revolutionaries with pitchforks are about to rob upstanding citizens of their hard-earned incomes.
It is that wrong-headed American “exceptionalism” that Sanders argues against. If anything, what he tries to accomplish is to lay the groundwork to address America’s serious democracy deficit disorder. Which is why his effort resembles more of an American democracy self-defense league than “socialism.”