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Politics

Sanders's Socialist Snake Oil

Bernie's big speech glossed over the bloody history of socialism in favor of "free stuff."

Nate Jackson · Jun. 13, 2019

Bernie Sanders gave what he billed as a big speech Wednesday extolling the “virtues” of democratic socialism. As Mark Alexander wrote on the centennial of the Bolshevik takeover of Russia in 2017, “Between 1917 and 1991, there were almost 150 million civilian casualties of communist dictatorships.” But not to worry; Bernie says they’ve all just been doing it wrong and we should trust him to get socialism right.

Given the rising popularity of whatever Americans think socialism means, particularly among young people, Patriots should absolutely take Sanders seriously. Either he will prevail as the Democrat nominee or he will continue to drive the entire Democrat Party further toward socialism. His “Medicare for All” proposal, for example, set the bar for the Democrat platform.

On that theme, Sanders lauded the freedoms guaranteed by the Bill of Rights — with the notable exception of the right to keep and bear arms — but utterly corrupted the word “rights” to include a laundry list of “free” stuff he wants to buy with your money. He calls it “a 21st Century Economic Bill of Rights,” and he argues “you are not free” without free stuff.

Invoking Franklin Roosevelt and Lyndon Johnson to argue that Americans have long supported socialism, Sanders asserted, “We must take on the unfinished business of the New Deal and carry it to completion.” But Democrats’ “Better Deal” is just Marxist socialism repackaged.

Sanders, the man who spent his honeymoon in the Soviet Union, called for “political revolution” — which just happens to be the same thing the murderous Bolsheviks foisted on Russia in 1917. At the same time, he decried “massive attacks from those who attempt to use the word ‘socialism’ as a slur.” Heaven forbid we call it what it is.

It was particularly ironic that in the same week Sanders gave his speech, two stories came out of socialist Venezuela that should serve as a warning: Gas shortages and sky-high food prices go along with the Reuters report that “Venezuela’s annual inflation dropped below 1 million percent in May for the first time since 2018.”

Remember the heady days of 2013 when Bernie’s speechwriter, David Sirota, wrote an op-ed titled, “Hugo Chávez’s Economic Miracle”? Sanders would prefer you didn’t recall that, much less his own history of embracing socialist thugs. Maybe it’s just a “slur” to point it out.

What is actually a slur? Sanders arguing that the rise of the National Socialists in 1930s Germany was somehow “right wing” and akin to President Donald Trump’s brand of “America First” populism, which he labels “the forces of oligarchy and authoritarianism.”

Sanders, the man who parlayed capitalism into a multimillion-dollar fortune and multiple homes all while selling socialism, attempted to distinguish himself from Trump. The president, he says, “believes in corporate socialism for the rich and powerful,” while Sanders fights for “a democratic socialism that works for the working families of this country.” Does he put his own money where his mouth is? No, he hypocritically pays lower tax rates because he only wants to be “generous” with your money.

On a final note, it is a particular affront to Liberty that Sanders gave his socialist sermon at George Washington University, named for our Patriot Founding Father who led the battle against tyranny that American might be free.

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