If the polls are right and history is any indication, chances are that Bernie Sanders will be the Democratic Party's nominee for president in 2020. This means that, from now until Election Day, the DNC and the media (but I repeat myself) will work overtime to normalize Sanders' radicalism.
In fact, the effort to whitewash his views is already underway.
In a Newsweek article published this week titled "Bernie Sanders is a Democratic Socialist, Not a Communist, Here's the Difference," writer Jason Lemon goes to great lengths to defend the septuagenarian senator from President Trump who called him "a communist" in a recent interview. Sanders' views, according to a professor interviewed by Newsweek, would be "closer to those in Sweden than in Venezuela or anywhere in the communist world" and easily understood by "anyone in Europe."
Let me say this as clearly as possible: President Trump is 100% right. The notion that Bernie Sanders is a gentle, Nordic-style social democrat is a lie. The man is a communist. Period. Full stop. End of story.
The differences between Sanders' supposed "democratic socialism" and communism exist only in political philosophy textbooks. Anyone with even a cursory understanding of European politics and Bernie Sanders' record understands that his ideological sympathies lie with central planners in Caracas and not center-Left parties in Copenhagen.
- Nordic social democracy is not the same as "democratic socialism." Bernie Sanders claims that he only wants the United States to be more like Scandinavia, but he calls himself a democratic socialist rather than a social democrat, which is the label preferred by the Nordics. To some, this might seem like a mere linguistic distinction, but there are significant differences between the two. The Nordic Model, or social democracy, calls for a large welfare state, but it embraces capitalism to pay for it and mostly rejects government control of the economy. The opposite is true with Sanders and democratic socialism. The Vermont senator and groups who back him, like the Democratic Socialists of America, openly support an end to capitalism, the elimination of private property, and the government controlling vast swaths of the economy. This is very different than the Nordic Model, which according to the Heritage Foundation, has produced some of the freest economies in the world in places like Denmark, Sweden, and Finland. Yes, under democratic socialism and the Nordic Model citizens pay high taxes to fund social programs, but the Nordics are not forced to give up ownership of their property to the government or co-ops. And unlike what Sanders is proposing, Denmark does not even have a minimum wage and its immigration laws are very strict.
- Sanders supported Castro and other communist dictators while European social democrats turned their backs on them. One of the most striking aspects of Sanders' career is his ideological consistency. People's political views often evolve over time, but Sanders' have remained the same. He said that he was so "excited" about Cuba's communist revolution when he was in his late teens and early 20s that watching JFK get tough on Fidel Castro made him want to "puke." Surely, Castro had sympathizers among the American and European Left in the early 1960s, but by the 1980s, most social democrats had abandoned him and were strongly anti-communist. This was not the case with Sanders. In fact, in 1985, he was openly praising Castro, even after it was well-known that the Cuban dictator wanted to launch nuclear weapons against the United States and hundreds of thousands of Cubans had fled the island.
- Sanders even campaigned for Trotskyites. The most glaring examples of Sanders' radicalism come in the form of his political activism and differences between him and actual democratic socialists during the Cold War. As the Washington Examiner has reported, during the Reagan era, Sanders was campaigning for self-described Trotskyites, a Marxist sect that openly calls for violent revolutions. To paraphrase Amy Klobuchar: Who does that? Sanders, apparently, who at the time was in his 40s, not some misguided kid at Berkeley. Furthermore, he did so while democratic socialist parties throughout the West opposed Trotskyism. To make matters worse, the Trotskyite group that Sanders aligned himself with was supportive of the Iranian regime's taking of American hostages.
Photo: Washington Examiner
None of these are Republican accusations. They are Sanders' own words and actions, which have been well-documented over decades.
To help contextualize the media's double-standard: Imagine, for a second, if a Republican candidate for president had spent his entire adult life aligning himself with Klansmen and praising the likes of former Gov. George Wallace of Alabama. Such a person would be pushed out of polite society, and rightfully so. Moreover, no one would hesitate labeling such a person a white supremacist—especially if they have never apologized for their past views or bothered to explain how they've changed.
Yet the media routinely offer Sanders a platform and clutch their pearls when he is called a communist, or even a socialist if it's not preceded by "democratic." They would have us believe that after years of defending Castro, hanging a hammer-and-sickle flag in his mayoral office, honeymooning in the Soviet Union (not Norway), and refusing to meet with Soviet dissidents, he is merely a misunderstood European social democrat whose views would be mainstream here if it weren't for our pesky political biases.
This is utter nonsense that insults our intelligence.
Sanders' record speaks for itself regardless of the media's efforts to gaslight the American people into believing otherwise. He is a communist—and it has to be said clearly, firmly, and unequivocally from now until November.