Contributor Post Created with Sketch. I Finally Understand Bernie Sanders

 

Having written about Bernie Sanders a couple of times in the past, I think it’s safe to assume that I’m not exactly Bernin’ with enthusiasm for his candidacy. Observing my Facebook feed reveals that many of my acquaintances and friends have a different opinion about the Junior Senator from Vermont. They aren’t alone.

(Brief aside: Bernie Sanders is a 74 year-old man but he is nonetheless “Junior” to Sen. Patrick Leahy in the Senate Hierarchy. Heaven help us. End Aside.)

At first, I was under the impression that the attraction to Bernie was nothing more than a passing fancy, the kind of brushfire rebellion that sometimes happens to entitled, powerful people whose hubris makes them appear ripe for comeuppance. Add to this that Bernie himself speaks to these disaffected people in the language to which they’ve become accustomed. He promises them justice. Their attraction to him (which originally mystified me) is cleared up if you recall the old Russian parable of the peasant and the lamp:

A peasant, starving and freezing, was digging in the ground with his bare hands, looking for something – anything – to eat. In the icy mud he found a corroded old lamp and proceeded to rub the verdigris from it, when a genie spewed forth from the lamp.

“I will grant you anything you wish on one condition: I will give twice as much to your neighbor,” said the genie.

The peasant sat down in the snow next to his hole and thought. He looked around his hovel and then looked at his neighbor, toiling in the mud and imagined him having twice as much of anything than he and said:

“I want you to poke out one of my eyes.”

Sound familiar? The impulse driving their support seems to be little more than grotesque envy. That’s fairly simple to understand. What I didn’t get was the man himself. What forces create a Bernie Sanders? How could he come to the conclusions about life that he’s reached?

Investor’s Business Daily has helped us in that regard. As it turns out, an alien from Uranus may have more in common with you or me than Bernie Sanders.

Nonetheless, here are what I’m sure are some of the points of commonality between Bernie’s life and yours:

  • Honey Bear Bern moved his first wife into his Maple Sugar Shack … complete with dirt floor. She promptly left him. You know women, so fickle. Apparently, she had different ideas about being gang-raped.
  • Despite being unemployed, shiftless, and recently split from his wife, he fathered a child out of wedlock. Who hasn’t been there?!?
  • The senator never held a job of any substance in his life until he was somehow elected mayor of Burlington at the tender young age of 39. Being as I’m 36, there’s clearly still time for me to live down to his example.
  • Despite being 74 years old, one of Bernie’s largest assets (aside from his congressional pension) seems to be $65,000 of credit card debt. At least he’s consistent in wanting to run the country like he’s run his life!

Read it and weep, America. This paragon of personal achievement has a non-zero chance of becoming President of the United States.

I said that I finally understood Sanders and the forces that created him. We as a nation made Bernie Sanders, through a combination of foolish tolerance for failure and an underlying desire to see our neighbor’s goat die.

What created Bernie Sanders? A life that could only be described as the inverse of mine: a life devoid of the need or desire to be personally responsible for any of his actions. A life where the notion of creating things and providing value to society are as foreign as the landscape of Venus.

Bernie Sanders has gotten all of the wrong feedback. It’s no surprise that the wrong things occupy his mind.

There are 39 comments.

  1. Saint Augustine Member

    Ouch.

    • #1
    • February 15, 2016, at 6:11 PM PST
    • 1 like
  2. Shawn Buell (Majestyk) Contributor
    Shawn Buell (Majestyk) Post author

    Saint Augustine:Ouch.

    Where did it get you? Am I speaking out of school?

    • #2
    • February 15, 2016, at 6:20 PM PST
    • 1 like
  3. Western Chauvinist Member

    His chances may be “non-zero,” but not by much. Felony will not be denied! Again. Look to the super-delegate situation.

    OTOH, I’m in complete agreement it’s incredibly depressing that something like a third of the country finds Sanders’ message appealing, another third seems to find Trump a credible choice, and another third will vote for Mrs. Felony Clinton, crime boss, because she lacks a Y-chromosome. Ostensibly.

    If her voice gets any lower, we’ll need a lab draw to check for testosterone doping.

    • #3
    • February 15, 2016, at 6:25 PM PST
    • Like
  4. dbeck Inactive

    Climate change (or what ever is the new term) is responsible for Bernie and his die hard following. Not their fault.

    • #4
    • February 15, 2016, at 6:27 PM PST
    • Like
  5. Lazy_Millennial Member

    The story smells like a Clinton hit-piece, but the most effective hit-pieces are those that tell the truth. I’m hoping to see independent confirmation of the main points of the story, because seriously, you couldn’t make up a sadder backstory for a Presidential candidate.

    • #5
    • February 15, 2016, at 6:28 PM PST
    • Like
  6. BrentB67 Inactive

    The junior Senator. Good grief Vermont.

    • #6
    • February 15, 2016, at 6:28 PM PST
    • Like
  7. Done Contributor

    Majestyk:A peasant, starving and freezing was digging in the ground with his bare hands, looking for something – anything – to eat. In the icy mud he found a corroded old lamp and proceeded to rub the verdigris from it, when a genie spewed forth from the lamp.

    “I will grant you anything you wish on one condition: I will give twice as much to your neighbor,” said the genie.

    The peasant sat down in the snow next to his hole and thought. He looked around his hovel and then looked at his neighbor, toiling in the mud and imagined him having twice as much of anything than he and said:

    “I want you to poke out one of my eyes.”

    That’s perfect.

    • #7
    • February 15, 2016, at 6:28 PM PST
    • Like
  8. Saint Augustine Member

    Majestyk:

    Saint Augustine:Ouch.

    Where did it get you? Am I speaking out of school?

    It was sort of a general vibe. I think it was the decades-long record of persistent non-accomplishment, compounded by the national flirtation with a stamp of approval on a decades-long record of persistent non-accomplishment.

    I sometimes experience a feeling of embarrassment at being American at times like this.

    And then there’s the Fremdschämen.

    • #8
    • February 15, 2016, at 6:30 PM PST
    • Like
  9. Saint Augustine Member

    Lazy_Millennial:. . . seriously, you couldn’t make up a sadder backstory for a Presidential candidate.

    Yes you could! Rubio owned a luxury speedboat! The unmitigated gall! It’s a national shame that we might elect such a person!

    • #9
    • February 15, 2016, at 6:33 PM PST
    • Like
  10. MarciN Member

    I have a feeling there is even more than that, Majestic. Great post.

    I was skimming his resume as it appears on Wikipedia last night, and there are huge chunks missing. Good heavens. Years and years where his activities aren’t accounted for.

    He’ll probably end up given a pass, though. John Kerry also had years missing, but he told this story about how he was depressed after his first marriage broke up and he was sleeping in his friends’ apartments. That was the end of that little problem for him.

    What an election. Geesh.

    • #10
    • February 15, 2016, at 6:50 PM PST
    • Like
  11. Amy Schley Moderator

    Majestyk: Brief aside: Bernie Sanders is a 74 year-old man but he is nonetheless “Junior” to Sen. Patrick Leahy in the Senate Hierarchy. Heaven help us. End Aside.

    Hey now, no dissing Leahy, the only senator to appear in the best and the worst Batman movies!

    EDIT: excuse me, he has four different Batman appearances. The Animated Series, Batman and Robin, The Dark Knight, and The Dark Knight Rises.

    • #11
    • February 15, 2016, at 6:52 PM PST
    • Like
  12. Shawn Buell (Majestyk) Contributor
    Shawn Buell (Majestyk) Post author

    Amy Schley:

    Majestyk: Brief aside: Bernie Sanders is a 74 year-old man but he is nonetheless “Junior” to Sen. Patrick Leahy in the Senate Hierarchy. Heaven help us. End Aside.

    Hey now, no dissing Leahy, the only senator to appear in the best and the worst Batman movies!

    EDIT: excuse me, he has four different Batman appearances. The Animated Series, Batman and Robin, The Dark Knight, and The Dark Knight Rises.

    Leaky Leahy! Senator Depends!

    • #12
    • February 15, 2016, at 7:01 PM PST
    • Like
  13. Jordan Inactive

    Sometimes Bernie has some really deep thoughts though.

    • #13
    • February 15, 2016, at 7:11 PM PST
    • 1 like
  14. MarciN Member

    Jordan Wiegand:

    Sometimes Bernie has some really deep thoughts though.

    That’s really funny. Oh my gosh.

    Can’t the Republicans run this as an ad? :) :) :) :)

    • #14
    • February 15, 2016, at 7:16 PM PST
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  15. Jordan Inactive

    MarciN:That’s really funny. Oh my gosh.

    Can’t the Republicans run this as an ad? :) :) :) :)

    I dunno if it’s just the sign of the times or something, but Parody-Twitter is just where it’s at these days.

    Bernie is an interesting candidate certainly. He’s gonna get you even. But that might not be such a great thing.

    This meme I saw floating around a week or so ago illustrated the point well. Trump vs Sanders, but still, I think the idea holds.

    bernie_trump_shiv

    And that peasant was an idiot. He should have asked to be beaten half to death.

    • #15
    • February 15, 2016, at 7:45 PM PST
    • Like
  16. MJBubba Inactive

    MarciN:

    Jordan Wiegand:

    Sometimes Bernie has some really deep thoughts though.

    That’s really funny. Oh my gosh.

    Can’t the Republicans run this as an ad? :) :) :) :)

    No !

    There are lots of low-information voters who would see this as a reinforcement of their resolve to vote for Bernie.

    And lots of other low-info voters would see this as a reinforcement of their resolve to vote for Hillary.

    We’re toast.

    • #16
    • February 15, 2016, at 7:55 PM PST
    • Like
  17. Z in MT Inactive

    Bernie’s “rigged” economy is what draws people. There is a large contingent of young people who graduated from college after 2006 (soon before the financial crisis) out there that have a college degree, but are hardly enjoying the American dream. They did everything anybody ever told them they need to do but they are not enjoying the middle class lifestyle (they are, they just don’t think they are). They are unsatisfied with their life and career. He is basically telling them that they have the right to be jealous because they have been screwed, by the rich and connected.

    It is similar to the appeal of Trump, except Trump supporters have experienced a prosperous growing economy where a person with a high school education can live a comfortable middle class lifestyle. The know what this kind of country and economy is like and Trump is promising he can return us to that.

    • #17
    • February 15, 2016, at 8:06 PM PST
    • 1 like
  18. MJBubba Inactive

    Lazy_Millennial:The story smells like a Clinton hit-piece, but the most effective hit-pieces are those that tell the truth. I’m hoping to see independent confirmation of the main points of the story, because seriously, you couldn’t make up a sadder backstory for a Presidential candidate.

    Don’t be too lazy to go read the article that Majestyk linked to. It is horrifying to think that this man stands a pretty good chance of becoming the next president.

    http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/05/young-bernie-sanders-liberty-union-vermont

    • #18
    • February 15, 2016, at 8:12 PM PST
    • 1 like
  19. rico Inactive

    Majestyk: one of Bernie’s largest assets (aside from his congressional pension) seems to be $65,000 of credit card debt. At least he’s consistent in wanting to run the country like he’s run his life!

    Bernie would like us to think that credit card debt is an asset, and that a growing national debt is an even greater asset.

    • #19
    • February 15, 2016, at 8:19 PM PST
    • Like
  20. Jordan Inactive

    MJBubba:No !

    There are lots of low-information voters who would see this as a reinforcement of their resolve to vote for Bernie.

    And lots of other low-info voters would see this as a reinforcement of their resolve to vote for Hillary.

    We’re toast.

    I think Bernie has tough challenges if he’s the nominee. Not insurmountable, but he’s gonna have a much harder time than Hillary.

    To put it one way, America is not ready for its first openly Jewish President.

    Antisemitism is a thing, especially among the racial constituencies which make up the Democratic coalition. All they really play is identity politics. Hillary is at least the de jure wife to America’s First Black President.

    I imagine the DNC hopes Bernie’s bid fails for this reason, among others. They also seem to be doing everything in their power to control the Bern. They are nothing if not aware of the wages of identity politics. I think they’re sweating this Bernie thing big time. If Bernie runs the table with delegates, they have no choice but to support him, but they really don’t want him.

    We talk a lot about the GoP’s problems with Trump, but we miss the huge problems over on the Democratic side with Bernie. Bernie’s rallies are energetic and youthful, but conspicuously white for the party of the peoples of color. Even a Trump rally looks like a conspicuously diverse commercial comparatively.

    • #20
    • February 15, 2016, at 9:03 PM PST
    • 1 like
  21. wilber forge Member

    Read the history and Bios on Marx and his shortfalls in the efforts at life. The man at least tried his hand numerous times at success, yet failed miserably before penning something and laid his failures on everyone else.

    Bernie has taken a shortcut in a manner of speaking. Anyone comparing Bernie to our previous Presidents who had dirt floors when Young ? Likely not –

    • #21
    • February 15, 2016, at 9:30 PM PST
    • Like
  22. dbeck Inactive

    If Hillary’s got the ring we are all doomed.

    • #22
    • February 15, 2016, at 9:38 PM PST
    • Like
  23. drlorentz Member

    MarciN:I have a feeling there is even more than that, Majestic. Great post.

    I was skimming his resume as it appears on Wikipedia last night, and there are huge chunks missing. Good heavens. Years and years where his activities aren’t accounted for.

    The timeline in Majestyk’s post is generally consistent with the Wikipedia article on Bernie. And you can bet the Bernie folks have been keeping it as sanitized as possible. He didn’t have a steady job until age 39.

    • #23
    • February 15, 2016, at 11:29 PM PST
    • Like
  24. MACHO GRANDE' (aka - Chri… Coolidge

    I grew up in Vermont, so I know more than a bit about Comrade Sanders.

    The shack story is real. He was essentially living like a semi-employed college student in his 30’s when he got tapped to run against a long-standing incumbent mayor, because the local “progressives” needed someone to run. Since Burlington, VT, is a college town, Bernie got a lot of votes he wouldn’t otherwise have gotten out where people work for a living, meaning anywhere 20 miles outside of Burlington.

    And he won, and that was that. He’s been milking the public for their tax dollars ever since, lecturing, hectoring, as the least qualified person in the world to talk about work, fairness, and economics, since all he knows are writings on these subjects from dead Communists, ironically printed in books that someone else paid for that he borrowed from public libraries.

    He has no concept of math, but he knows what sells, because it sold him: Envy. The rest is just inflated rhetoric.

    • #24
    • February 16, 2016, at 3:00 AM PST
    • Like
  25. Matt Balzer, Imperialist Claw Member

    dbeck:If Hillary’s got the ring we are all doomed.

    Seems unlikely. I can still see her.

    • #25
    • February 16, 2016, at 3:04 AM PST
    • Like
  26. Scott Wilmot Member

    Good post Majestyk. I came across that IBD article last night while taking my daily read through the the GatewayPundit. It brought to mind my college years at Oberlin College (class of 1980) where we had hundreds of Bernies on campus. I guess we will always have Bernies on college campuses – but running for President? – just mind-boggling.

    • #26
    • February 16, 2016, at 3:32 AM PST
    • Like
  27. I Walton Member

    I wish it were so simple. I know well off liberals who just lack understanding and whose minds work differently. Others who have passively absorbed a deep hate of Republicans as greedy racist warmongers. The drum beat of media, Hollywood and TV affects people even those who are capable of thinking for themselves. The kids, in contrast know nothing else. This isn’t just envy. Moreover the system is rigged, it’s rigged by liberals in both parties and it tilts policy and the regulatory apparatus toward a little more rent collecting with every passing year. Rent is what the regulatory apparatus and tax code is all about.

    • #27
    • February 16, 2016, at 4:42 AM PST
    • Like
  28. Michael Brehm Member

    Milo Yiannopoulos had a good line on Greg Gutfeld the other night about the Democratic Debate. It was something like, “A woman who is too old to understand how to use an iPhone vs. a man who’s credit rating is too poor to get an iPhone.”

    • #28
    • February 16, 2016, at 4:49 AM PST
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  29. The Cloaked Gaijin Member

    (edited, wrong place)

    • #29
    • February 16, 2016, at 5:04 AM PST
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  30. Saint Augustine Member

    The Cloaked Gaijin:(edited, wrong place)

    I wish we could do that with Presidential candidates. I’d have Trump cleaned up and running for Mayor or New York in no time.

    • #30
    • February 16, 2016, at 5:28 AM PST
    • 1 like