The allure of Bernie Sanders, much like the allure of of socialism, is based on nothing more than myth.
More broadly, it is based on a series of falsehoods and an unexamined history.
A cursory view of the Democratic primary would have the casual observer believing that Senator Sanders was the clear loser of it all. Failing to secure the nomination and eventually having to support the Wall Street backed Hillary Clinton. Based on this, many surmised that he had failed.
They would be right to think that, to a certain extent.
Bernie Sanders is very much a loser, in more ways than one, but he must be given credit where credit is due.
He managed to emerge from a heated and contentious primary with arguably a stronger reputation and brand than when first threw his hat into the ring. Formerly a unknown Senator from a small New England state, he is now a household name with a cult-like following.
This is quite the feat for any politician, especially considering this tumultuous election cycle.
This presents a stark contrast when compared to his primary opponent, Hillary Clinton, who has had her already blemished reputation tarnished further with the Wikileaks revelations. Moreover, on the other end of the aisle many former darlings of the Republican Party have had their careers ended due to the tidal wave that was the Trump phenomenon.
So how did the Senator from Vermont shrewdly achieve such an outcome? Well, by being the loser he always has been.
You see, unlike the many candidates in the Republican primary, or Hillary Clinton, no one ever thought Bernie had a chance. He was always treated by friend and foe alike as something akin to a quirky old harmless grandpa. He happily played off this image so his character, background, and his radical views would never be thoroughly examined or vetted.
Now, this supposed “champion” of the working class has never even had a real career outside of politics. Prior to being elected Mayor of Burlington, he was nothing more than a chronically unemployed drifter. He couldn’t pay his rent, or his bills, and lived off unemployment benefits to subsidize his layabout lifestyle. He had the odd job here and there, but nothing that would qualify in the slightest as a real private sector career.
This is a man who never had to deal with the 9 to 5 grind, who went 40 years without a regular paycheck, whose parents supported him through college and beyond – a man who, for most of his life, lived off the back of the tax payer.
Yet he had the gall to demean everyone from hardworking entrepreneurs to the white working class. During the first Democratic Primary debate, Senator Sanders exclaimed:
“When you’re white, you don’t know what it’s like to be living in a ghetto. You don’t know what it’s like to be poor.”
Then, just days after the defeat of Hillary Clinton in the general election, Bernie Sanders changed his tune, stating via Twitter:
“I come from the white working class, and I am deeply humiliated that the Democratic Party cannot talk to the people where I came from.”
Height of leftist hypocrisy.
He is the farthest thing from working class.
His ideological sister in the Senate, Elizabeth Warren would be proud of him. Warren is the Massachusetts Senator who frequently rallies against the rising cost of college tuition, and greed in society, all the while charging $400k to teach a single class at Harvard.
Despite all that, he is being personified as some sort of proletariat hero when he is nothing more than a career political hack.
We now know, thanks to Wikileaks, that the primary was very much rigged against Bernie by the Democratic establishment from the start. Bernie knew this to an extent, but at the same time he has never had much of a backbone or a spine, so he let it happen. His lack of any courage to really stand up for anything beyond spewing mere platitudes was clearly evident when he meekly surrendered his stage without a fight at a campaign stop in Seattle, to a bunch of radical Black Lives Matter activists. It was also evident by his adamant refusal to go after Clinton, the most corrupt Presidential candidate in history, on any of her numerous emerging scandals.
Despite claiming he wanted to keep the campaign focused on the issues, Democratic voters still deserved to know the truth about Clinton. As a leading Democrat, he should have sought answers for them, by pressing and challenging Clinton.
Instead, he sold out his short lived movement and cut a deal to support Hillary Clinton in exchange for a private jet and a new lakeside summer home.
Engels would be proud.
All his lofty statements about helping the working poor, standing up for the little guy and fighting the big corporations were for naught. He cleverly played off his image as gentle and comforting in order to conceal a very dark, Machiavellian inner nature.
So now, despite having little to no personal or political achievements, his legacy and reputation is secured.
His personal brand, much like his beloved socialism, has never been more popular. Socialism, like Bernie Sanders, is the myth that just won’t die.
A generation of new, pampered, upper middle class students are now graduating from their elite universities as freshly indoctrinated fellow travelers, in the mold of their hero, Bernie. They are blissfully ignorant of socialism’s long history of misery and economic ruin everywhere it is tried. They gladly buy into the emotionally charged dogma that their professors spoon-feed them.
The triumph of socialism and Bernie Sanders over capitalism and Adam Smith among young people in America is a perfect illustration of Gresham’s law in the domain of ideas, and sets a deeply dangerous precedent for the future of our country.