Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Breaking News: Bernie Sanders May Be a Socialist!

 

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.

There are 38 comments.

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  1. Randy Webster Member

    Dr. Bastiat: I remind you that Jane Sanders is a university president.

    I believe she used to be. She ran the college she was president of into the ground. I think it’s shut down now.

    • #1
    • February 22, 2019, at 11:59 AM PST
    • 12 likes
  2. Dr. Bastiat Member
    Dr. Bastiat Post author

    • #2
    • February 22, 2019, at 12:03 PM PST
    • 16 likes
  3. JoelB Member

    Dang all these hobbies, church, and family time. What I really want to do is to go to a town meeting. (The posts today are really forcing me into sarcasm.)

    • #3
    • February 22, 2019, at 12:32 PM PST
    • 7 likes
  4. Spin Coolidge

    Twunny five puhcent…of da fifty puhcent…makes eddy puhcent…of da two puhcent!”

    • #4
    • February 22, 2019, at 12:34 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  5. Ralphie Member

    One of my favorite quotes of his is that there is too many brands of deodorant. In Bernie’s world, there is only one brand of anything that is needed. Fits perfectly with socialist/communist ideology.

    • #5
    • February 22, 2019, at 12:34 PM PST
    • 8 likes
  6. Henry Castaigne Member

    Socialism is evil because it robs people of human freedom as well as oppressing minorities and prisoners of conscience.

    Shouldn’t we be super disturbed that a mainstream figure has supported evil his entire life.

    • #6
    • February 22, 2019, at 12:42 PM PST
    • 11 likes
  7. The Reticulator Member

    Dr. Bastiat: I remind you that Jane Sanders is a university president.

    But she is qualified to be a U.S. President’s wife, just like Hillary Clinton was. Hillary had a lucrative sideline in cattle futures, and Jane’s college was issued some sweetheart loans. WSJ editorial URL.

    If you can’t get past the paywall, I think the WSJ will let me send a working list to the e-mail of anyone here who wants to read it. 

    • #7
    • February 22, 2019, at 1:07 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  8. Susan Quinn Contributor

    Don’t hold your breath for explanations from Sanders. Every time he is challenged, he denies the challenge, the information and anything that contradicts his ideas. Jim Geraghty on Three Martini Lunch pointed out that Bernie is probably one of the most consistent candidates, and has stayed with the same positions for many years. I don’t expect him to change now. He’ll just keep spouting his fantasies and people will keep eating them up. It’s only if he starts to challenge the other Dems for President that they may go after his ideas. Or they’ll adopt them. Who knows?

    • #8
    • February 22, 2019, at 1:17 PM PST
    • 9 likes
  9. DonG Coolidge

    One thing that many of these socialist proponents have in common is that they have not managed to do anything productive in their lives. Orwell understood them, “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.

    • #9
    • February 22, 2019, at 2:17 PM PST
    • 6 likes
  10. Western Chauvinist Member

    I was parked next to a young mother putting her kids in her car with a bumper sticker which read, “Bernie can’t be bought by millionaires.” She also had a Christian fish on the bumper, so I seriously considered saying to her,

    “You know Bernie can’t be bought by millionaires because he is one, right? And he didn’t earn his money building luxury skyscrapers. He acquired it while working for you!”

    Some hero.

    • #10
    • February 22, 2019, at 4:10 PM PST
    • 12 likes
  11. TBA Coolidge
    TBA

    Ralphie (View Comment):

    One of my favorite quotes of his is that there is too many brands of deodorant. In Bernie’s world, there is only one brand of anything that is needed. Fits perfectly with socialist/communist ideology.

    Or no brand of deodorant since everyone will agree to stink equally. 

    • #11
    • February 22, 2019, at 5:12 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  12. Bruce Caward Thatcher

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):
    Shouldn’t we be super disturbed that a mainstream figure has supported evil his entire life.

    I am 62. I have held a lot of different beliefs through the years, working my way through lots of reading, and lots of life experience being self-employed in America. Not sure I’ve got it all figured out now, because every day I encounter a new idea that I have to consider – a good deal of them here on this site.

    Isn’t it amazing how many Lefties there are (a ton here in Ithaca, NY) who’s current life philosophy and political beliefs are indistinguishable from that which they held when they were in college?

    For Bernie, the intervening 50 years of watching socialism in action had no affect on him?? What in the hell is this dude made of?

    • #12
    • February 22, 2019, at 11:18 PM PST
    • 6 likes
  13. Dr. Bastiat Member
    Dr. Bastiat Post author

    Bruce Caward (View Comment):

    Isn’t it amazing how many Lefties there are (a ton here in Ithaca, NY) who’s current life philosophy and political beliefs are indistinguishable from that which they held when they were in college?

    For Bernie, the intervening 50 years of watching socialism in action had no affect on him?? What in the hell is this dude made of?

    I also find that remarkable. How can you live life, and observe socialism, and STILL LIKE IT? 

    I find it unlikely that all progressives over 30 are incapable of independent thought. I think they’re unwilling. But that must require enormous will power. Which explains their vicious style of arguing. 

    • #13
    • February 23, 2019, at 5:34 AM PST
    • 6 likes
  14. Western Chauvinist Member

    Don’t discount the social pressure to conform on the Left. People who make the transition from progressive to rational lose friends and even employment! Leftism can withstand neither scrutiny nor dissent. It is about coercion, intimidation, and, barring that, isolation. It takes a sturdiness of character to switch sides that most people just don’t have. The exceptions stand out — David Mamet, Dave Rubin, …

    • #14
    • February 23, 2019, at 6:03 AM PST
    • 6 likes
  15. Kozak Member

    Dr. Bastiat:

    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.

    Everything within the state, nothing outside the state, nothing against the state“.

    Benito Mussolini.

    Former Socialist….

    • #15
    • February 23, 2019, at 6:14 AM PST
    • 8 likes
  16. The Reticulator Member

    Kozak (View Comment):

    Dr. Bastiat:

    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.

    Everything within the state, nothing outside the state, nothing against the state“.

    Benito Mussolini.

    Former Socialist….

    Good call, Mr. Cossack. I had missed that one.

    • #16
    • February 23, 2019, at 6:32 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  17. Phil Turmel Coolidge

    Bruce Caward (View Comment):
    For Bernie, the intervening 50 years of watching socialism in action had no affect on him?? What in the hell is this dude made of?

    Will to power?

    Socialism being the biggest game around for that particular ambition.

    • #17
    • February 23, 2019, at 11:44 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  18. Jim McConnell Member

     Why do we continue to be surprised at people who take their own ignorance and refusal to learn from history to be sophistication and advanced knowledge. People like Sanders always seem to be so smug in their superiority.

    • #18
    • February 23, 2019, at 1:53 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  19. HeavyWater Coolidge

    It’s interesting how Bernie Sanders will say that he is a Democratic Socialist and his supporters (and maybe even Bernie Sanders himself) will point to Denmark as an example of Democratic Socialism in action.

    But I have always wondered this: Why didn’t Bernie and his wife spend their honeymoon in Denmark? They chose to spend their honeymoon in the Soviet Union instead. So, one need not be paranoid to see a bit of a bait and switch going on.

    Democrats get upset when conservatives bring up Venezuela and say, “This is what America will be like if the Democrats win.” Some Democrats argue that under Presidents Clinton and Obama, the free enterprise system functioned reasonably well.

    But when Democrats use socialist rhetoric, one has reason to be worried that it isn’t just campaign rhetoric and some of these awful ideas will actually become law.

    • #19
    • February 23, 2019, at 2:03 PM PST
    • 5 likes
  20. Henry Castaigne Member

    Bruce Caward (View Comment):

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):
    Shouldn’t we be super disturbed that a mainstream figure has supported evil his entire life.

    I am 62. I have held a lot of different beliefs through the years, working my way through lots of reading, and lots of life experience being self-employed in America. Not sure I’ve got it all figured out now, because every day I encounter a new idea that I have to consider – a good deal of them here on this site.

    Isn’t it amazing how many Lefties there are (a ton here in Ithaca, NY) who’s current life philosophy and political beliefs are indistinguishable from that which they held when they were in college?

    For Bernie, the intervening 50 years of watching socialism in action had no affect on him?? What in the hell is this dude made of?

    Kevin D. Williamson once noted that some people stop listening to new music once they turn twenty. Apparently, some people are that way with ideology. They say that people become more conservative as they get older. Maybe conservatives have something in them that adapts to changing experiences that leftists lack. Furthermore, for most conservatives, political ideology is a system of beliefs focusing on interpreting the world and securing the rights gifted to us by G-d. It isn’t who we are lack religious is who we are. For the Communist/actual Socialist Left, it is who they are.

    To change their ideology is the equivalent of abandoning their religion. Lots of people don’t abandon their religion, and when your religion is bad, genuine faith becomes very ugly very quickly. 

    • #20
    • February 23, 2019, at 2:09 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  21. Basil Fawlty Member

    Loved the second photo. “The Freewheelin’ Bernie Sanders.”

    • #21
    • February 23, 2019, at 2:21 PM PST
    • 1 like
  22. Brian Watt Member

    • #22
    • February 23, 2019, at 2:26 PM PST
    • 6 likes
  23. HeavyWater Coolidge

    Brian Watt (View Comment):

    For many non-ideological voters existing within the “mushy middle” of the electoral spectrum, it all comes down to results. If a President could make drugs more affordable and more available for more people, they would be in favor of this, regardless of how this state of affairs was brought about. But in reality, the free market and the profit motive is what creates the conditions for drugs to be brought to market.

    The analogy I have thought of is cake basking under the capitalist framework versus cake baking under the socialist framework.

    Under the capitalist framework, a really good cake baker bakes the cake without getting into an extended discussion with his potential customers about how much of each ingredient will be used in baking the cake. The amount of baking soda, flour and sugar used will be entirely decided by the cake baker. Once the cake is baked, the customers think the cake is delicious. (If it tastes awful, the cake baker has to find another line of work.)

    Under the socialist framework, the cake recipe is cobbled together by a committee consisting of millions of people, some of whom don’t even like cake and many of whom don’t know anything about baking a cake. So, initially the cake is “popular.” But once the cake is out of the oven, no one wants to eat it.

    • #23
    • February 23, 2019, at 2:43 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  24. Brian Watt Member

    HeavyWater (View Comment):

    Brian Watt (View Comment):

    For many non-ideological voters existing within the “mushy middle” of the electoral spectrum, it all comes down to results. If a President could make drugs more affordable and more available for more people, they would be in favor of this, regardless of how this state of affairs was brought about. But in reality, the free market and the profit motive is what creates the conditions for drugs to be brought to market.

    The analogy I have thought of is cake basking under the capitalist framework versus cake baking under the socialist framework.

    Under the capitalist framework, a really good cake baker bakes the cake without getting into an extended discussion with his potential customers about how much of each ingredient will be used in baking the cake. The amount of baking soda, flour and sugar used will be entirely decided by the cake baker. Once the cake is baked, the customers think the cake is delicious. (If it tastes awful, the cake baker has to find another line of work.)

    Under the socialist framework, the cake recipe is cobbled together by a committee consisting of millions of people, some of whom don’t even like cake and many of whom don’t know anything about baking a cake. So, initially the cake is “popular.” But once the cake is out of the oven, no one wants to eat it.

    The inherent arrogance of socialists is that they think they know more about any given industry or endeavor and therefore can manage it better or more “fairly” when it’s clear they have no expertise or understanding of how any given enterprise works or how to make it grow. When you’ve been brainwashed that profit is a dirty word then you will do what you can to restrict profit which then stifles innovation and growth. Ignorant socialists have an infantile understanding of economics and capitalism and believe that wealth is a finite pile of money somewhere that needs to be spread around by government coercion and force, hence their cartoonish depiction of bloated millionaires sitting on piles of money. But they haven’t a clue on how to actually make money.

    There really is no difference between Bernie and the Soviet communists circa 1917 to 1989 when it comes to controlling every aspect of the economy. I’m not sure why we all continue to be polite and call Bernie a socialist when at heart he’s a communist who is still in love with communism. This old dirt bag communist continues to be propped up by followers so abysmally ignorant of history and a lickspittle news media that either share his ideology or are too afraid to call it what it is. At least, President Trump had the guts to call out the fraud of socialism during the State of the Union the other day. But this should be a constant refrain from politicians and commentators on the right. Self-avowed socialists in America need to have their noses rubbed in the collapse and horror of Venezuela every day. Where are Sean Penn and Jamie Foxx? They’ve been awfully quiet lately on their buddy Maduro and the great Venezuelan experiment.

    • #24
    • February 23, 2019, at 3:15 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  25. I Walton Member

    There are a lot of US socialists. Most are kids with a few old fools. Most kids used to grow up, somewhat less now but it’s worked for Sanders and in spite of his strange undeveloped or dishonest mind, and aging body, he’s widely supported. That should wake us up. It reflects media power and Washington spending. We have to strip Washington funds from state government and others’ ability to draw funds from Washington. We have to do something about centralized media, Washington supported state and local government and schools so that tax payers recognize what’s going on because they have to knowingly pay for it. Which of course means all folks must pay federal as well as local taxes and those taxes need to be visible. An explicit VAT’ is easy to see and the most difficult tax to game around. Income taxes are a monstrous joke that only the broad middle class pays. They should be cut drastically and simplified even more drastically. 

    • #25
    • February 23, 2019, at 3:46 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  26. Eugene Kriegsmann Member

    The one thing we can say for Bernie is that he has been consistent throughout his life, consistently stupid and predictable. I wonder if those wunderkind who just joined the congress will be as consistent in their stupidity. It will be fun to watch.

    • #26
    • February 23, 2019, at 3:52 PM PST
    • Like
  27. ST Inactive
    ST

    Phil Turmel (View Comment):

    Bruce Caward (View Comment):
    For Bernie, the intervening 50 years of watching socialism in action had no affect on him?? What in the hell is this dude made of?

    Will to power?

    Socialism being the biggest game around for that particular ambition.

    Yes. He likes the power and loves the money even more.

    • #27
    • February 23, 2019, at 3:58 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  28. HeavyWater Coolidge

    I Walton (View Comment):

    An explicit VAT’ is easy to see and the most difficult tax to game around. 

    I am opposed to a VAT tax. But I suppose that should be a discussion in a different thread.

     

    • #28
    • February 23, 2019, at 4:03 PM PST
    • 1 like
  29. Bob W Member

    Back in the early nineties we had a travel agent we asked that whenever a good deal came across her desk let us know. One trip she called about was a two week river trip from Moscow to St Petersburg. Well Russia was pretty low on my list of countries to visit but the price was very good. It covered air, lodging, meals and all excursions and we stayed on one boat the whole time. My wife and I took my mother and daughter (I took her out of school for the trip since it was in May and I thought it to be a good experience). We toured the big cities but the river boat also stopped at all sizes of villages and towns. It was a very interesting trip. But for the life of me I can’t possibly understand what Sanders saw in that country to make him remotely believe in that system on one similar would be better than ours. We got to meet and talk with people, toured stores and markets. Our interpreters were young college aged and had just served in the army, and we always had one with us since my daughter was along! I have lots of observations and none make me want to live in that system.

    • #29
    • February 23, 2019, at 4:36 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  30. GLDIII Temporarily Essential Thatcher

    Basil Fawlty (View Comment):

    Loved the second photo. “The Freewheelin’ Bernie Sanders.”

    I think the second photo is when Bill and Hillary were love birds

    • #30
    • February 23, 2019, at 5:27 PM PST
    • 1 like
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