Thursday, April 07, 2016

How Bernie Sanders Sold His Soul to the Left

Win or lose, the Sanders campaign has its story. Bernie Sanders is the authentic candidate; the unapologetic progressive who pushes the left’s agenda without worrying about offending anyone.

Bernie doesn’t pander. Just look at him glaring into the camera, angrily delivering the same “smash capitalism” stump speech and then waiting for the local college students to take selfies with him. You may disagree with him. But he’s authentic, a curmudgeon who says whatever he really thinks.

And if you believe that, there’s a bridge in Bernie’s old Brooklyn neighborhood you can buy.

The left is not an authentic political movement. It values dogma, not passion. What it sells is the appearance of passion and the hollow illusion of self-expression while pushing a rigid agenda.

The real story of the Bernie Sanders campaign is not that voters reward authenticity, but the illusion of it. Obama beat Hillary because he seemed more authentic. But he was just better at pandering to the left while appearing to be natural and rehearsed in a way that you have to rehearse a lot to achieve.

Bernie Sanders has thrived by abandoning whatever made him authentic and becoming a robot reciting dogma in a voice borrowed from Larry David. Hillary Clinton never had a soul, but Bernie Sanders sold his in the hopes of beating her. And he got a bad deal on his soul because he can’t even seem to do that.

Originally Bernie Sanders was an independent who held unconventional views on some issues and wasn’t tied down to the Democratic Party and its widely loathed identity politics. Instead he could just do his old time Wall Street Socialist shtick and score populist points with angry voters without having to pander to every group and cause in the progressive politically correct spectrum of stupidity.

This was the Bernie Sanders who told Ezra Klein that he opposed open borders because it “says essentially there is no United States” and “would make everybody in America poorer.”

“You think we should open the borders and bring in a lot of low-wage workers, or do you think maybe we should try to get jobs for those kids?” Bernie barked.

Liberal heads exploded. Bernie tried to defend his views and then surrendered. A few months later, he was calling for amnesty for everyone, even illegal immigrants who had already been deported, without securing the borders, and attacking Hillary Clinton for being too hard on illegal aliens.

Currently Bernie Sanders is calling for putting “a stop to the notion that the border must be secured before legalization can happen,” abandoning “boondoggle walls” and dismantling deportation and detention, and letting illegal aliens buy ObamaCare. That last one may be more of a punishment.

It took only a few months for Bernie Sanders to go from blasting open borders as a right-wing Wall Street conspiracy to becoming an open borders candidate. Which, by his own definition, would make him a right-wing Wall Street tool of the capitalist conspiracy.

That’s how “authentic” Bernie really is.

The Bernie Sanders who attacked open borders at the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce was authentic. He’s gone. In his place is Bernie Sanders 2.0, an authentic robot spewing authentic progressive talking points about illegal immigration. That’s what an authentic sellout Bernie is.

What happened to Bernie Sanders on immigration also happened to him on a range of issues where he formerly deviated from the political orthodoxy of the Democrats. The deviations have been smoothed away. Hillary Clinton has been mocked for adopting Bernie Sanders’ positions, but Bernie adopted more of her positions than she did of his. He sold his soul to try and win.

When Hillary Clinton attacked Bernie Sanders from the left on gun control, he reinvented his views. When Clinton’s political allies sent #BlackLivesMatter activists to harass him, he hemmed and hawed and then endorsed the worst of his new party’s identity politics pandering. When he as attacked for refusing to endorse reparations, he decided to endorse an apology and reparations.

Every time Hillary Clinton hit him on a position where he was out of step with political dogma, he scampered to adjust his views.

And it wasn’t just Hillary Clinton.

Bernie Sanders was constantly adjusting his views to atone for past violations of party dogma. Any authentically unconventional views in the past had to be denounced and disassociated from.

Bernie Sanders delivered an anti-Israel speech in Utah while refusing to come to the AIPAC convention. In Arizona, his campaign placed a member of the anti-Semitic hate group, Students for Justice in Palestine, behind him while he talked.

Bernie was telling the left that he was disavowing the Jewish State. The authentic candidate was desperately pandering to left-wing donors to keep funding his failed campaign. He was lashing out at Jews for “disportionately” fighting the Islamic terrorists who were killing their children. He was appealing to the left-wing bigots who might have believed NPR’s Diane Rehm when she accused him of having dual citizenship in Israel. It was an authentically disgusting moment.

But his anti-Israel Utah speech was more than a shift, it was an apology. One of his more infuriating moments for the left had been his attack on Hamas supporters at a town hall in Vermont. His Utah speech obsessively attacked Israel for having bombed Hamas terrorists in Gaza several years ago. It’s 2016 and Gaza isn’t a current issue. Even Obama and Kerry don’t dwell on it anymore.

Why did Bernie Sanders suddenly feel the need to unload on Israel over its last war with Hamas?

Why focus on Gaza rather than any more current issues and controversies? Bernie was disavowing his past half-hearted defense of Israel. He wasn’t just pandering, he was trying to retroactively rewrite his views as if they had never existed. His increasingly strident anti-Israel rhetoric escalated when he accused Israel of killing 10,000 innocent people in Gaza. By emphasizing Gaza, Bernie was trying to make the left forget about his past sins of defending Israel's campaign against Hamas.

We have always been at war with Eastasia. Bernie had always been on the right side of the left when it came to Israel or immigration or gun control… or anything else.

Israel may be the last piece of Bernie’s tattered soul that he has to sell to the left for more money to keep going until Hillary’s superdelegates finally crush his miserable campaign. The Jewish State is the last shred of his “authenticity” that he has to give up to become an authentic left-wing hack.

But it’s not as if Bernie Sanders hasn’t done it before.

Back when Bernie Sanders was with the Liberty Union Party, he was militantly anti-Israel. Then when he went mainstream, he softened his views. Bernie was anti-Israel before he was pro-Israel before he was anti-Israel. The “authentic” candidate has spent his political life pandering to someone.

There was never really an authentic Bernie Sanders. Bernie was always a politician who reshaped his views when he needed to. Bernie’s supporters like to claim that he isn’t for sale. But Bernie Sanders sold his soul long ago. Now he’s auctioning off the used pieces of it a second and a third time for a few bucks.

The left’s greatest lie is that it is a movement for rebels, non-conformists and independent thinkers. It’s impossible to be authentic and left-wing. The left values conformity above all else and harshly punishes even mild forms of dissent. On the left, speaking freely is impossible. Even thinking freely is dangerous.

Bernie Sanders is selling the same illusion as Obama, that it’s possible to be left-wing without sounding like an ideological robot. That you can be progressive without being Hillary Clinton. And that’s a myth.

Hillary Clinton is too clumsy to mask the rigid process by which leftists adopt the party line. Obama and Bernie Sanders obscure the same creepy process with personality and style. But they are no different. They can’t be. There’s no room for dissent, independence and authenticity on the left.

Bernie Sanders sold his soul to be an authentic leftist. Souls are the price of membership in the left.


Mr. Cohen said...

According to Pew Research:

42% of French Muslims between from age 18 to 29 believe that suicide bombings against civilians can be justified.

35% of British Muslims between from age 18 to 29 believe that suicide bombings against civilians can be justified.

26% of American Muslims between from age 18 to 29 believe that suicide bombings against civilians can be justified.

SOURCE: By the Numbers, a video by Raheel Raza

Mr. Cohen said...

Three Surprising Critics of the
Anti-Israel BDS Movement

[1] Peace Now, one of the Left’s most well-known organizations that never misses an opportunity to harshly criticize the Israeli government, has stated that BDS is tantamount to collective punishment.

[2] Professor Norman Finkelstein, another much-admired voice of the Left, who has made many vicious statements against Israel, has disavowed the BDS campaign and called it: “silliness, childishness, and a lot of leftist posturing.”

[3] Mahmoud Abbas, President of the Palestinian Authority, has denounced the BDS movement. (Will wonders never cease?)

He said: “No, we do not support the boycott of Israel. We do not ask anyone to boycott Israel itself. We have relations with Israel. We have mutual relations with Israel.”

SOURCE: Unmasking the BDS Movement, by Dave Gordon, found in Community Magazine, April 2016, page 28

Mr. Cohen said...

According to a report by the Open Doors organization, the top-ten-worst countries for anti-Christian persecution in year 2015 were: North Korea, Iraq, Eritrea, Afghanistan, Syria, Pakistan, Somalia, Sudan, Iran and Libya.

All these nations are ruled by Communists or Muslims or both.

Notice that none of those nations are being targeted by the BDS movement.

SOURCE: 2015 Was Not a Good Year For Jews and Christians Living in Muslim Lands, an article by Martin Barillas 2016 January 18, published by Spero News

Mr. Cohen said...

“The very existence of people living free and happy, free from Islamic dominion, is blasphemy [against Islam]; Blasphemy that must be remedied by bringing them into Islam, or under the rule of Islamic law.”

What Drives Islam to be the Religion of War by Daniel Greenfield, 2010 April 14

Mr. Cohen said...

Understand how Leftists think about Muslims:

Understand how the Muslims think:

Empress Trudy said...

As a red diaper baby Bernie never sold out at all. He's always believed this in his bones. It wasn't as popular or opportune to scream it from the rooftops as it is now. Bernie dreams of a Jewish Autonomous Oblast in Alaska where he can shove us all.

RAM said...

OK, so he's upping his Commie Rating from 95% to 100%. He wasn't exactly a flaming conservative before that.

Anonymous said...

The Left is home to those who prefer theft to creating.
The panoply of "victims" is a shill,
covering the middleman enslaving honest producers,
and taking the biggest cut.

How do Producers continue to fall prey to parasites?
This ancient, evil game attacks human psychology.
Its practitioners are expert con artists.

Anonymous said...

The Left is tolerant of everything except of difference of opinion. And they will try to censor or punish you if you don't conform to their views.

Ron said...

Is it just me, or has anyone noticed that guy looks laugably guilty? Like some nerdy little weasel who lies to the teacher about why hes late for class and then looks to see if shes buying it.

I think he himself cant belive that people dont see through his brazen lies, and feels guilt and shame over what a wretched cowardly little weasel he is.

JP said...

When the devil offering Bernie Senatorship for his soul ... I heard that Bernie said "what's the catch ?"

Nancy Assaf said...

Thanks, Daniel, for my laugh of the day! Loved the line "a robot reciting dogma in a voice borrowed from Larry David". It's unfathomable to me how people can support this man. He seems a bad joke to me.

Dymphna said...

In an essay with one bon mot after another, this one caps them:

"Bernie had always been on the right side of the left when it came to Israel or immigration or gun control... or anything else."

Ah, yes - the evil spot, that 'right side of the left'. Well said!

Daniel Greenfield said...

thank you, Dymphna

Alex in Montana said...

The Democrats are Socialist - Bernie is hardcore Communist

D.D.Mao said...

I read somewhere once of Bernie being compared to one of the Muppet character named "Waldolf". He would be one of the two Muppet grumpy old men in the balcony. How appropriate !

Anonymous said...

Bernie is a red herring whose job it was to make Hitlery look more reasonable. The plan backfired when the products of liberal uneducation rallied to his free everything message.

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