Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders has been getting away for years with describing himself as a socialist, when in reality he is an outright America-hating communist.
This belief in communism is reflected in the Sanders platform. Even a brief glance reveals his plan to be hopelessly utopian and insane. It will extinguish freedom and shutter businesses and cause widespread suffering especially among the poor people he claims to want to help. It is a program for exporting the best and the brightest to places that appreciate them.
But identifying Sanders as a communist can be a risky proposition in modern-day America. The Left so dominates American culture that the word communist itself has become jarring, not because communism is bad but instead because leftists believe communism is good.
Left-wingers are students of George Orwell. They understand that language can be used for good or ill; to advance truth or mask it. To undercut the power that that emotionally charged word communism and its variants once had in this country when used by patriots to attack the nation's foreign and domestic enemies, the Left over time reversed its polarity. Over and over and over again in the culture, leftists drove home the false notion that communists were boogeymen invented by those who wished to control the population through fear. Another way of putting it is to say that the Left marginalized its own word in order to protect the profoundly antisocial idea it represents.
When many Americans hear the word communist today, their initial inclination is to believe that there may be something wrong with the speaker, as opposed to the person being described. As Ann Coulter wrote in her book,Treason, "In a stunning demonstration of the power of propaganda, accusing someone of having been a Communist makes you the nut.”
Sanders, like so many of his comrades on the Left, is committing a kind of fraud. It is time for this con man from Vermont, whose ignorance seems boundless at times, to be called out on it.
But first, some background on Bernie, as he prefers to be called, is in order.
Sanders is on record endorsing plenty of dumb ideas. He wrote in the 1970s that the country was close to experiencing a nuclear apocalypse or "death by poison gas." He claimed cervical cancer was caused by women not experiencing enough orgasms.
Like the anti-capitalist, anti-American magazine Adbusters, which gave birth to the ultra-violent small-c communist Occupy Wall Street movement, Sanders is opposed to economic growth if it increases economic inequality, at present the number one bugaboo of the Left. When he launched his campaign in May, this economic illiterate blamed the abundance of consumer goods for child hunger. “You don’t necessarily need a choice of 23 underarm spray deodorants when children are hungry in this country,” Sanders said.
He said he wants a “revolution” to reverse what he calls a “massive transfer of wealth” over the last generation from the middle class to the rich. He wants the U.S. to restore the confiscatory 90 percent personal income tax rate for top earners from the 1950s.
"What I think is obscene, and what frightens me is, again, when you have the top one-tenth of one percent owning almost as much wealth as the bottom 90 [percent]. Does anybody think that is the kind of economy this country should have?”
To people like Bernie, the economy is a plaything, a living entity that can be made subservient to government. Operating on the same assumption, communist countries created bureaucratically-administered "command economies" and millions of their subjects starved. The Soviet Union, which was supposed to live forever, disintegrated after just 74 years and all but a few communist countries followed it into the dustbin of history. Nazi Germany's command economy didn't save it either; the "Thousand Year Reich" perished after just 12 years.
Bernie's first lie is that he is democratic. He specifically describes himself as a "democratic socialist," as if the word democratic somehow makes his belief in socialism more noble. Left-wingers like Sanders play word games, misusing the word democratic deliberately and constantly. If they win, it is a triumph of democracy. If they lose, democracy has been betrayed, greedy capitalists rigged the election, the system is broken, and so on.
And the "democratic" Left won't take no for an answer. Its activists try to implement their proposals by any means available, regardless of the will of the people as expressed at the ballot box. When leftists lost in California's Proposition 8 election, the referendum affirming traditional, opposite-sex marriage, they challenged the results in court and publicly hounded those who had donated money in support of keeping marriage an exclusively heterosexual, binary institution. Eventually they prevailed.
Dramatic losses by congressional and state-level Democrats haven't weakened President Obama's resolve to preserve his command-and-control government health care scheme; in fact, the historic losses only emboldened him to unconstitutionally change the health care law repeatedly by executive fiat. Eventually he prevailed (or so it appears for now).
Even though the name of the Washington, D.C. football team, the Redskins, is not offensive to the overwhelming majority of native Indians and is not unpopular with Americans generally, the "democratic" Left is pressing on. These fanatical activists don't seem to understand that the names of sports teams are intended to present a positive image. When those teams are named after a specific social group, it is intended to honor that group. That's why professional sports leagues have been populated by teams such as the Vikings, Celtics, and Nordiques, and not by teams with names such as the Rapists, Idiots, and Boors. Yet leftists continually call for boycotts and now the Obama administration is telling the Redskins it won't allow them to move from the Washington, D.C. suburbs to Washington proper unless the name is changed.
Sanders has words other than democratic in his tool box.
He takes the standard left-wing euphemism for government spending, "investment," and goes a step further. The senator characterizes what he considers to be inadequate levels of government "investment" in a particular policy area as "deficits." Is this redefinition of deficits imbecilic or diabolically clever? The jury is still out.
As ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee, Bernie released a report in January titled "We Must Rebuild the Disappearing Middle Class." In order to cut the so-called deficits he cares about, it will be necessary for the government to spend trillions of dollars more, for starters. In the report he states:
While we must continue to focus on the federal deficit, we must also be aware that there are other deficits in our society that have been causing horrendous pain for the vast majority of the American people. These are deficits in jobs, deficits in infrastructure, deficits in income, deficits in equality, deficits in retirement security, deficits in education, and deficits in trade. [...] At a time when this country has an obscene level of income and wealth inequality, we need a budget that ends the outrageous loopholes that exist and asks the wealthiest people and largest corporations to start paying their fair share of taxes. At a time when real unemployment remains much too high, we need a budget that creates millions of decent paying jobs. At a time when our infrastructure is collapsing, we need a budget that rebuilds our crumbling roads, bridges, dams, levees, water systems, waste water plants, airports, and rail systems.
In other words, American consumers are spending their money on the wrong things, businesses aren't meeting the real needs of the people, and the government, which is controlled by the big bad corporations, isn't doing what Sanders thinks should be done.
Government, Bernie maintains, must drastically increase its expenditures on, well, everything. Because government spending shrinks economic activity overall, Sanders's ideas, if implemented, would not help this allegedly disappearing middle class: they would disappear the middle class.
As the great economist Milton Friedman explained, the government obtains the money it wants to spend in just three ways: taxing, borrowing, or creating new money. Taxing and borrowing subtract from the economy by canceling out the stimulative effects of the spending. Creating new money might boost economic activity to an extent but it feeds inflation, and if done on a large scale, leads to disastrous hyper-inflation, with its attendant images of wheelbarrows full of nearly-worthless cash. Ever-expanding government, no matter how it generates the money it claims to need, ultimately leads to ruin.
Bernie's preferred method of generating revenue for the government is taxation. Boosting taxes beyond perhaps an optimal level, hurts the economy. Although pessimists say it may already be too late for the country, adding trillions of dollars to the nation's umpteen-trillion-dollar debt will certainly doom future generations of Americans. The U.S. will be unable to repay the national debt no matter how high it raises taxes and when creditors lose their patience will be forced to inflate its way out or simply default. It is difficult to envision the United States surviving as a nation when its government eventually collides with economic reality.
But facts such as the horrendous track record of communist countries are not obstacles to the Left, so Bernie's affection for a pie-in-the-sky theory popularized by Karl Marx remains undiminished.
To demonstrate that Sanders is a communist and not merely socialist, it is necessary to reflect on what these words mean. Many have said that a communist is a socialist in a hurry. That is one way of looking at it but it doesn't answer the question of what communism actually is.
Communism is a political movement whose adherents believe that markets are fundamentally unjust and that revolutionary violence should be used to overthrow the existing order and attain a classless society.
Karl Marx thought of socialism as a necessary way station on the road to the supposed utopia of communism. The question of socialism versus communism is a never-ending debate in academic circles, and it is one that is too involved to get into here. Suffice it to say that socialists and communists all want government or the collective to be master. They all subscribe to bad, un-American ideas, are all in the same ideological camp, and all tend to believe that the ends justify the means. In ideological terms, there is no bright line or safe harbor that neatly separates socialism from communism. They overlap and blend into each other.
Communism, according to Marx, was a kind of heaven on earth and he was its foremost proselytizer. He argued that human beings could be changed and made to reject their natural, selfish, family-oriented impulses. When this happened, everything would supposedly change for the better. People would voluntarily work hard for a society filled with abundance so there would be no need for governments, taxes, armies, police, courts, and jails. In such a society the principle of "from each according to his ability, to each according to his need" would prevail.
But before this (impossible) idealized condition can be achieved, there has to be socialism. The working class, according to Marx's theory, disgusted by the supposed evils of capitalism and the misery they feel it inflicts on them, transforms the capitalist nation in which workers are mercilessly exploited, into a socialist state. Under socialism, in theory the "means of production" -- factories, raw materials, machines, the labor force and the system by which it is organized -- are controlled by the people through a powerful government. The "relations of production," that is, the relationship between those who invest in and control industries and those who work in those industries is forever changed. The government steps in on behalf of the people and imposes what some call "economic democracy," theoretically giving workers control over their workplaces.
Obviously, someone who works for socialism is a socialist; someone who works for communism is a communist. (Someone who joins a political party that advocates communism is a Communist with a capital-C. Someone like Bill Ayers who believes in communism but hasn't joined a party is a small-c communist.)
Throughout his life, Bernie Sanders has been working for socialism, the transitional stage of society before communism. He calls himself a socialist, specifically a "democratic socialist."
While Sanders has made a mountain of campaign promises that are socialistic in nature, the words he uses betray that his end-goal is actually communism.
In the speech that kicked off his presidential campaign in May, Sanders embraced the communist idea that markets are not just bad for people but are fundamentally unjust.
In an address heavy on class warfare, envy, and hatred, he declared that financial inequality "is immoral, it is bad economics, it is unsustainable." This is tantamount to saying that the only just society is one in which everyone has the same amount of money or that anyone who has the ability to make a lot of money is an enemy of the people.
He promised to send "a message to the billionaire class."
"[Y]ou can't have huge tax breaks [for the rich] while children in this country go hungry," he said, or "while there are massive unmet needs on every corner ... Your greed has got to end ... You cannot take advantage of all the benefits of America if you refuse to accept your responsibilities."
Sanders described the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, as a "modest" step towards forcing the U.S. to "join the rest of the industrialized world and guarantee health care to all as a right." (Not surprisingly, the Constitution of the Soviet Union also treated health care as a basic right.)
"And we must do it through a Medicare-for-all, single payer health plan," the senator said.
Obamacare, as former left-wing radical David Horowitz has said, lays the groundwork for a single-payer system which is communism.
What is Obamacare? And single payer? Why do we call it single payer? It's communism. If the government controls your access to health care which is what this is about, as to what you can have and to what you can't have, how is that different from -- that is communism.
Throughout the congressional debate, Obamacare backers worked strenuously to convince their fellow left-wingers that Obamacare was a stepping stone to single-payer health care.
On the campaign trail in March 2007, then-Sen. Obama made it clear he wanted the government to impose a communist-style, one-size-fits-all, health care system on Americans. "My commitment is to make sure that we have universal healthcare for all Americans by the end of my first term as president." He added:
I would hope that we could set up a system that allows those who can go through their employer to access a federal system or a state pool of some sort. But I don't think we're going to be able to eliminate employer coverage immediately. There's going to be potentially some transition process.
And that's exactly what Obama and congressional Democrats did in 2010 when they brought in Obamacare. Obama accepted the wealth-redistributing socialist half-measure that is the Affordable Care Act because he knows that it is destined to collapse, at which point he is gambling the American people will demand a single-payer system, the kind of thing desired by the people who raised him, including Communist Party USA operative Frank Marshall Davis.
He used to work at the communist-led United Packinghouse Workers Union.
In the 1970s he belonged to the anti-war Liberty Union Party (LUP). Under the LUP banner, he ran unsuccessfully for the U.S. Senate and governor of Vermont. His platform called for all U.S. banks to be nationalized, public ownership of all utilities, and the establishment of a worker-controlled federal government.
Sanders quit the LUP in 1979 and was elected mayor of Burlington, Vermont. During his decade in office he displayed a Soviet flag in his mayoral office and claimed he did so to honor Yaroslavl, Burlington's sister city in the U.S.S.R. In addition, he made Puerto Cabezas in Communist Nicaragua another sister city of Burlington.
In 1989 Sanders addressed the national conference of the U.S. Peace Council, a Communist Party USA front group. The event focused on how to “end the Cold War” and “fund human needs.” Fellow speakers included radicals such as Leslie Cagan and U.S. Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.)
Interacting with the CPUSA was a dangerous thing. During the Cold War, CPUSA members swore an oath "to the Soviet Union, to a 'Soviet America,' and to the 'triumph of Soviet power in the United States," according to Professor Paul Kengor.
In the 1990s, Sanders repeatedly introduced legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives to cut the nation's intelligence budget. He reasoned that “the Soviet Union no longer exists,” and that concerns such as “massive unemployment,” “low wages,” “homelessness,” “hungry children,” and “the collapse of our educational system” represented “maybe a stronger danger [than foreign terrorists] for our national security.”
Sanders hopped on the global warming/climate change bandwagon years ago, claiming that it both threatens “the fate of the entire planet” and is caused primarily by human industrial activity. He wants carbon emissions strictly limited, which would inflict tremendous damage on the U.S. economy without having much of an impact on global temperatures. In 2010 Sanders smeared climate-change skeptics by comparing them to people who had ignored the Nazi threat before World War II. He accused “big business” of being “willing to destroy the planet for short-term profits,” and in 2013 pontificated that “global warming is a far more serious problem than al-Qaeda.”
Not surprisingly, Sanders is a strong supporter of the Apollo Alliance, a coalition of environmentalists and big labor that wants the government to take over America's energy industry. The group is a hotbed of subversives and other radicals. Former green jobs czar Van Jones who described himself as a "communist" and "rowdy black nationalist" was a member of its board.
Weatherman co-founder and former Weather Underground leader Jeff Jones (apparently no relation to Van), who was a fugitive for 11 years, is director of the Apollo Alliance's New York state affiliate. Jones is proud of his small-c communist, terrorist past. In 2004 he boasted, “To this day, we still, lots of us, including me, still think it was the right thing to try to do.”
For an American politician during the Cold War, Sanders was unusually friendly to the Soviet Union.
As Accuracy in Media has reported, in the 1980s he "collaborated with Soviet and East German 'peace committees'" whose objective was "to stop President Reagan’s deployment of nuclear missiles in Europe.” Indeed, he “openly joined the Soviets’ 'nuclear freeze' campaign to undercut Reagan’s military build-up.”
Bernie also reached out to Soviet allies. He travelled to Communist Cuba in the 1980s where he enjoyed a friendly meeting with Havana's mayor.
In 1985 he visited Nicaragua to celebrate the sixth anniversary of the ascent to power of Daniel Ortega and his Marxist-Leninist Sandinista government. Sanders wrote an open letter to the people of Nicaragua attacking the Reagan administration, which he claimed was a puppet of corporate interests, for its anti-Communist activities. “In the long run, I am certain that you will win, and that your heroic revolution against the Somoza dictatorship will be maintained and strengthened,” he said.
When he was stateside again, Sanders sent a letter to the White House saying Ortega was interested in meeting with President Reagan to try to negotiate and end to that nation's civil war. Sanders invited Ortega to visit Burlington but the dictator declined.
In the event Vermont's favorite communist moves into the White House on January 20, 2017, it seems likely Ortega will at long last accept his comrade's invitation to the U.S.
At that time Bernie Sanders and Daniel Ortega will dance on America's grave.