Bernie Sanders, the self-professed “Democratic” socialist, has become the one Democratic candidate in the 2020 presidential race who’d be unacceptable to nearly every Democrat, according to a recent set of polls. When asked, “Are there any presidential candidates that you would be disappointed if they became the Democratic nominee?”, 21 percent of those polled responded Sanders. That same poll has him losing now not only to Joe Biden but Elizabeth Warren too.
Apparently, Bernie Bros aren’t representative of the country’s views, even though they can shout so loud behind keyboards.
Who would have ever guessed?
Back in 2016, nobody knew Bernie well enough to say for certain what is now an inexorable fact, namely, that the man is truly unthinkable in the context of the United States president. Nearly thirty years in the Senate has yielded little more than two renamed post offices.
Thank the Lord God above, thought I, upon seeing these polls. At least people have finally woken up about one of the many vile former residents of the neo-Pandora’s Box that is the Trump era. Seeing Bern crash, the one man without whom none of this could have been possible has been the one really good thing on our entire political spectrum. Everything else is just tragedy and chaos, the whole miserable world is on the brink, it’s far from only here. In France, Marine Le Pen is leading Macron in the polls. This is a complete disgrace.
It’s been a long couple of years and no mistake. There’s not a single person in my life doing any kind of well in the slightest way. More than one of these, I am exceedingly sorry to say- like, really, sorry in the absolute extreme- are people I went to school with that bought into Bernie or Bust. They haven’t learned, either. One girl I know who voted Stein in the end just got fired from the Dollar Tree. Prettiest girl in the school, back in the day. God, how depressing.
I remember how hard I tried three years ago to tell people how it would be. Every front will be one on which we’re going to get assaulted, every day will be a fresh indignity, every right we have will be up for libertarian grabs, and every person in the country will soon be broke. They just didn’t care. You couldn’t speak to them. And when they were done, they did all they could to just blend right back in among the real anti-Trump Resistance.
Now, look at us.
Being right is one lousy consolation prize, but it is what it is. How do you like Bust, Bernie fans? Bust is here! We are living and wallowing in Bust, like pigs in slop! Are you really still naive enough to think Bernie Sanders can fix it? He hardly makes sense when he talks! This whole thing would be funny if it wasn’t so tragic. “Curse God and die,” said the wife of Job, who refused.
It’s clear to me Job must have been a Democrat.
They’re saying the 2020 recession‘s going to come next year, but it really seems to me it’s here already. The stock market is showing signs of crashing. Gas prices are up by a dollar a gallon. Productivity is not terrible but the people never see it. The economists can run around with all the fancy words like “macroeconomics” they can find, but they can’t make it so people aren’t broke. When they say the economy is good, they just mean that most people have jobs. This standard terminology ignores the question of how much those jobs pay, or which classes of society reap the gains.
But you won’t find that out by watching Fox News.
Wages are rising too slowly compared to the cost of living, which means the monopolists and not the workers are to capture the gains from productivity growth. Lower productivity also means less wealth available for the government to redistribute.
In other words, economists and commentators are calling the economy “great” because that’s what they’re used to doing. They just mean that most people have jobs. In fact, it’s a very real problem faced by people in America today, a serious problem that requires a serious solution.
How in the heck is it possible for anyone to conclude the shambling wreck we saw blathering about Franklin Roosevelt on TV Wednesday night is the man to handle it?
The point of having a State of any kind is to protect and administer well the resources possessed by the nation. Bernie doesn’t understand this, which is why his whole speech was so depressing to watch. Some of his ideas are similar to ours, some are blatant thefts, all are ill-explained and murkily conceived of. It’s just a disgrace.
Readers of this blog will not generally need reminders about why we all came together. A new entity arose online in 2016, on Facebook and elsewhere, one financed by a hostile foreign power and infiltrated by extremists from the left and right alike. Robert Mueller’s report stated clearly that the Sanders campaign was “central” to the Russian plot. We were woefully behind and unprepared compared to the opposition. Now we’re not, and that’s the one thing we’ve got going for us.
We’ve spent a lot of time since then vetting Bernie, and helping people to understand how insincere and ugly his whole crusade really was. People are listening, too. Bernie is now not only behind Joe Biden in the polls, either. Sincere progressives, serious ones, have begun to coalesce behind Elizabeth Warren, which is fine. Will they end up winning some liberals over to their plans?
If they make sense, of course, they will!
Traditionally, we’ve taken the side of the moderates when writing of Democratic politics. But progressive ideas are a big part of our time-honored Warren was not an enemy back in 2016. She did not fall for the “Run Warren Run” scam the year before, an attempt on the part of Bern’s eventual financers to hamstring Hillary Clinton using another female candidate- they chose Bernie instead! He wasn’t even their first choice. Warren was, and if it ends up being her in the end, she can sure count on my wholehearted support against Trump.
Why? Among many other reasons, I believe she’d do a better job handling economy and infrastructure. So would Joe Biden, obviously. Kamala Harris is a Senator, Pete Buttigieg speaks seven languages, and so on. These are people who could perform the tasks this country needs better than Donald Trump could. All of them are acceptable.
On the other hand, look at Bernie. Just look at him! That blue clown suit! “To me, democratic socialism means democracy, basically,” he said once, hilariously enough. He has got to know what he’s doing, by conflating our system constantly with one of left-wing dictatorship, but what of it? Taking a dump on the lawn is what he does.
The other night’s speech was all about hearing Bernie out while he finally finished giving a coherent definition of the “democratic” socialism he’s been telling us about for all these years.
His supporters do not know what socialism is, and their habit of using the term imprecisely has caused a tremendous confusion on the topic, and everyone has been very excited to hear what he was going to say to clarify.
Those who were expecting something new was to be disappointed entirely. It was the same tired stump speech from one rally after another back then.
We’ve covered this before, on this blog, but thanks to the good old Bern, here we go again.
Socialism and social democracy are just not the same things at all, period. They’re not even kind of the same. They’re really not even alike, except for the letters their names share. The whole misunderstanding is just a mess that Bernie made. It’s a deliberate and destructive confusion in terms. Nothing more.
The difference between social democracy and “democratic” socialism is what its advocates want to do to harness capitalism, e.g. the power source known as the free market.
One of these recommends upkeeping and protecting it, the other wants to light it all on fire.
The former advocates a tempering of capitalism’s harshness with a social safety net. The latter consider it broken already and intends to make sure it’s broke some more. Darn broke, in fact. Wielding the hammer is Bernie’s plan.
The progressive section of the community has two halves, like any other. There’s the rational and serious half, and there’s the Bernie or Busters.
The former knows that social democracy is the term in Europe used to describe adherents of a governmental system designed to augment and improve market-based, democratic societies using techniques derived from socialist theories, e.g the social safety net that gives American citizens the right to basic health care.
The latter want to pretend its whole deal means making the United States just like Norway and Sweden, but those are capitalist countries that protect the free market and recognize its importance. They are free people, like Americans who lived before the Trump era (according to the World Freedom Index, we haven’t been a full democracy since Trump took office), and they have stated over and over again that Bernie is wrong and that they resent his “socialist slurs”.
Bernie Sanders was lucky to be able to get to the Soviet Union in 1988 and praise all its stunning socialist achievements before the entire system and empire collapsed under the weight of its own spectacular failures. pic.twitter.com/bENmwVKi0g
— Carl Bildt (@carlbildt) February 25, 2019
Left-wing socialist countries like Venezuela, the Soviet Union, and North Korea use the markets as well, but they treat their citizens like captives and place bureaucrats in the places of businessmen. They create captive markets that monopoly capitalists can exploit. Capitalism per se is not the problem. It’s just a power source. The problem is the cancerous appendix it’s developed, the branch we call monopoly capitalism.
It isn’t like the left never has any good ideas or makes any good observations, and this excellent term is one of them. It was Vladimir Lenin, founder of the Soviet Union, who first argued that laissez-faire capitalism had mutated into monopoly capitalism after World War One, and that the free market was now an illusion. Our answer is that this goes too far, the free market does exist, and the limits of human power often manifest in our inability to control it. But it certainly has gotten sick. We’ve been seeing this more and more in the last few decades.
So make no mistake- Bernie Sanders is one hundred percent right to be talking about economic inequality in the United States. It’s a HUGE problem, and we will figure something out about it. The first step is to know just what we’re dealing with. In that aspect, Bernie is in some ways a bigger hindrance than Trump himself. Confusion swirls after every word he says.
Sanders has made a contribution to humanity by getting people worried about this. It’s just that in refusing to talk about the role the left wing has played in the degenerating of our global order, he is deliberately blinding himself and his people to a critical half of how the whole thing has come to work. Left-wing and right-wing aren’t that important to guys like Putin and the Koch Brothers. They will finance any ideology if it helps them achieve their goals of world domination; a critical component of fascism. The threat is two-pronged, and one head is not less dangerous than the other, big talk from one about helping the “masses” notwithstanding.
The socialist powerbrokers, like Raul Castro or Nicolas Maduro, eat like kings themselves off the deals they do with the capitalists they despise. Left-wing dictatorship is no less loathsome than right-wing dictatorship, and all dictatorships today are totalitarian, meaning Stalin and not the Tsar, for example. But Sanders didn’t talk about them.
We’re in trouble here.
It certainly is true that right-wing type dictatorships are badly on the rise. Sanders was right to bring up Hungary’s Viktor Orban, for example. That’s the guy who came up with the model they all want to use, to get rid of democracy using democratic means. It was disgusting when Trump invited him to speak over here last month.
But why not Nicolas Maduro? Wouldn’t the Venezuelan example have been worth mentioning, as a way for the Bern to establish himself as a thoughtful, generous-minded future crafter of American policy? Would that not have been a good time for a concession statement? The display he made the other night was disgracefully unserious. My English 1A teacher would have failed him. The rubric we use would have done him like a chainsaw.
Sanders didn’t want to talk about Maduro because he calls himself a “democratic” socialist, which suits his agenda. That is unforgivably misleading and deceptive. Bernie owed it to the people to show us he understands that dictatorship of any flavor is equally horrible and wrong. In the timeless accusation of the Big Lebowski, he completely failed to achieve. Sure, Jair Bolsonaro’s presidential victory in Brazil was and is troubling in the utmost. But Venezuela also is collapsing! The crisis on the southern border is largely due to the failure of socialism!
The Trump administration can and should be justly reviled for the methods they have used to deal with the problem, as locking little children in dog cages cannot be considered right no matter what the circumstances are, but they didn’t cause it. This willingness to ignore the other side of the problem was the primary fallacy of his blind-in-one-eye argument, as presented on CNN the other night. It has been all along.
Going forward, look for Bernie’s name recognition and past enthusiasm to fade in comparison to the plans and viable paths to solutions offered by other candidates.
You can’t even squeeze blood from a turnip, let alone a viable political theory we can build a working system from. St. Bernard is not Karl Marx.
If we ever need a President of Post Office Renamers, Bern, we’ll give you a call.