There’s an interesting article up on Fox News about Bernie Sanders. It includes multiple video clips of him from his younger years, saying things that make him sound like a Socialist. There are some interesting quotes from Mr. Sanders in this article:
- “It’s funny sometimes American journalists talk about how bad a country is because people are lining up for food. That’s a good thing,” he said in one vintage video unearthed by conservative activists. “In other countries, people don’t line up for food, rich people get the food and poor people starve to death.”
- “The basic ‘crime’ being committed by the people of Nicaragua today is that the government there has the strange and unusual idea that they should attempt to do something for the people of Nicaragua rather than for the United States corporations,” he grumbled in one speech. “It’s a very strange idea for an independent nation to have”
- “In 1959 … everybody was totally convinced that Castro was the worst guy in the world and all of the Cuban people were going to rise up in rebellion against Fidel Castro,” Sanders said. “They forgot that he educated their kids, gave their kids healthcare, totally transformed the society.”
- “Reagan and the media, every time Reagan gives them a photo op, it’s going to be thousands of: ‘Oh thank you Mr. President, thank you for telling us another lie.’ The media of course is not allowed to ask sharp questions of the president, that’s not allowed.”
His wife Jane also had some interesting things to say after their tour of the Soviet Union in 1988:
- “Instead of compartmentalizing their lives into a job and hobbies, it’s all interrelated and all under the banner of community involvement,” she gushed.
That really is remarkable. What on earth was she talking about? If you asked a Soviet citizen about life under communism, I rather doubt that they would answer that way. What an incredibly stupid thing to say.
I remind you that Jane Sanders is a university president.
Reading all this, a few questions crossed my mind:
First, how many people will be surprised, when they read this? I’m guessing absolutely nobody, but I suppose I could be wrong. I think most conservatives understand what Sanders is. Do the Democrat voters who support him understand what he is? I presume that they do, and that they share his views, which is why they support him. But perhaps I’m wrong. Perhaps they think Sanders is a modern Jack Kennedy, who plans to cut taxes and fight communists at home and abroad. But I don’t think so.
Second, why is this article being printed now, instead of during the previous election? The author of the article anticipates this criticism, and addresses it with this, the second paragraph:
“Videos of those comments have recirculated online at a furious pace ever since Sanders jumped in the 2020 race Tuesday, this time as a putative front-runner rather than the underdog he played in 2016 against an establishment favorite. With his increased stature, and role in pulling the entire field to the left, has come a tougher look at his long record talking up socialist governments.”
They published this now because of Bernie’s “increased stature?” He seems to play a less significant role in the Democrat party now that he has in the past. I wonder what the real reason is? Why publish this now?
Third, I find his public support of Fidel Castro and praise of the USSR interesting. If David Duke says he supports a Republican candidate, that Republican candidate can disavow him, but it doesn’t matter. The media will build up that supposed connection until people start to think that they’re old friends. But a Democrat can praise Fidel Castro, and never face public criticism for his own beliefs.
Fourth, I wonder, if you asked Mr. Sanders to distinguish between a communist government and a socialist government – I wonder what he would say? Ask him to give the benefits and drawbacks of each.
And then, lastly, I wonder how far out of the mainstream of the Democrat party Bernie Sanders really is. He may have been a true Communist while much of the Democrat party was supporting Bill Clinton’s efforts and triangulation and moderation to increase voter share. But now, how many Democrats will publicly criticize these statements from Mr. Sanders? Heck, how many Democrats publicly criticized him when he actually said them, during the Reagan and Clinton administrations? So maybe the Democrat party really was this far left the whole time.
When he was running for the Democrat nomination in the last election, his opponent Hillary Clinton was asked, on two separate occasions, “What’s the difference between a Socialist and a Democrat?” She was unable to distinguish one from the other.
Perhaps she was right.
You could argue that a moderate Democrat is any Democrat who will publicly criticize the quotes listed above. I look forward to seeing how many moderate Democrats step forward in the coming weeks and months.
I’m not holding my breath.