With the Iowa caucuses imminent and the polls showing Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) inching into the lead, it may be time to ask: “Who exactly is this guy?” and “What precisely does he stand for?” Importantly, “Why are the establishment Democrats and Hillary Clinton trying to stop him—again?”
The fiery independent senator from Vermont votes with the Democrat Party, yet he is not a member. Neither is he a liberal.
There is even a serious question as to whether someone who is not registered in a political party can run for election in that party or be its presidential nominee.
A Reason.tv short vividly portrays the real Bernie Sanders and his unabashed and dedicated socialism, including unapologetic support for Cuba, the Soviet Union, Nicaragua, and Venezuela.
Born in 1941, in Brooklyn, New York, Sanders has had a very undistinguished career in the U.S. Senate since 2007 and in the U.S. House before that. He was the looney commie mayor of Burlington, Vermont for three terms. His whole life has been spent as a professional leftist politician but he was never part of the Democratic Party.
As a self-described “working-class Jewish kid,” Sanders does not attend synagogue. The progressive is also a multimillionaire who owns three homes. He famously honeymooned in the Soviet Union, of all places. He flies on private jets all the time, leaving a large carbon footprint.
Hypocrisy is not a socialist sin, either.
Most everything he says is negative—blaming other people and corporations in a critical fashion for all of society’s ills. (Typical class-warfare rhetoric.) There is no positive narrative or uplifting message of optimism that America has always built upon.
“Crazy” Bernie (as President Trump calls him) attended Brooklyn College but transferred to graduate from the University of Chicago in 1964. He was a proud member of the radical New Left and protested regularly for every kind of rights, worker unions, and against U.S. foreign policy.
Opposed to any economic inequality, supporting organized labor, Sanders is in favor of hardcore socialist policies: extremely high taxation of the rich and middle class (rates of over 70 percent), free universal health care (at a cost of $40 trillion over 10 years), free tuition at all levels, including college and university (costing over $50 billion annually), and the Green New Deal ($60 trillion). He wants to cut the military by at least half, doing away with nuclear weapons, which he says he could not use and is a proponent of globalism and international environmentalism. He would surrender American sovereignty to various multilateral bodies, including the United Nations.
The cost of Sanders’ socialist schemes would well exceed $100 trillion and would be paid for by all income earners and by companies of every size and shape, with more taxes across the board. The overall effect on the U.S. economy would be devastating. Unemployment would shoot to well over 10 percent; the stock market would fall by at least half; economic growth would recede into negative territory; and, we would witness a steep and long depression.
It would literally be a Venezuela in America scenario if Sanders gets his way. The capital flight would be the largest in history. Not a pretty picture.
The so-called “democratic socialism” Sanders wants to bring to America has never been part of our landscape. Except for Eugene V. Debs, the five-time candidate for the Socialist Party and internationalist labor organizer, there is no record of a self-proclaimed Socialist rising to such political prominence.
So, what are the primary tenants of Sanders’ political philosophy and economic strategy?
In case you dropped that course in college or skipped the lectures (which I gave), they include five textbook elements (and they have never worked, anywhere):
- Government ownership or dominance of the means of production;
- Redistribution of income and wealth;
- Welfare and handouts to the greater public;
- Ending the profit motive and private property;
- Democratic revolution.
Now there are different forms of socialism, all rooted in Marxist ideology and Karl Marx’s opus, Das Kapital, but all are wrong in theory and far worse in practice.
Here is the good news: for Sanders, socialism is not Communism, the complete dictatorship of the proletariat and armed revolution by the vanguard.
Of course, Communism has two phases.
The first or lower phase is called “socialism”—that is the phase between where we are, capitalism and Communism. The second or higher phase of Communism is the envisaged “perfect stage.” There is no inequality or injustice in this final utopian stage. Communist society is a classless society, where products are delivered according to individual’s needs. Everything is held in common.
The legitimate question to ask of Bernie Sanders is when does he think he can make America fully Communist? How long will his “democratic-socialist” phase last? One term? Two?
Why, I ask, would America and its hard-working, diligent, faithful, common-sense citizens forfeit our long and rich heritage, values, economic system and political institutions for Sanders’ socialism?
As Margaret Thatcher reminded us, “the problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money.”
Indeed, with Sanders we have everything to lose.