Class Warfare Blog

February 24, 2020

Why the “Bernie’s a Socialist! Bernie’s a Socialist! Campaign Will Fail

Quite a few establishment defenders are claiming that if Bernie Sanders is nominated by the Democrats to run for president, that the GOP will wage war based upon Bernie being a Socialist! A Commie! and wipe the floor with him.

That approach really would have worked in this were the 1950’s or the 1960’s, maybe even the 1970’s. Back them everyone knew that capitalism was the best system and the USA was the champion at capitalism. (U . . . S. . .. A . . . U . . . S. . .. A . . . !) But right now, there are huge swaths of this country who have been decimated numerous times by “capitalism.” For example, the big banks caused the largest economic recession in the history of the world in 2008 and who gets bailed out by the capitalist government of the U.S.? Answer: the big banks, which are now bigger than when they were just “too big to let fail.” ordinary people lost their homes and jobs in the millions.

So, the old aversion to socialism is just not there. Conservatives seem to conflate socialism with communism, which is why they are the same thing but have different names . . . ? If Bernie were a communist, he might have a problem.

Bernie is not even really a socialist. A more accurate categorization would be he is a social democrat. I think Bernie has clung to his self-description as “a socialist,” which he might have been at one time but is not now, because it is a clear way to say “I am not like those other politicians.” This will actually help him in the general election.

Think about this. when Donald Trump entered the race for the GOP nomination (with the other dozen and a half plus candidates) how many people thought his chances at the nomination were “good” or even “possible”? If you think back, most people, even while enthralled by the chaos and hijinks of his campaign, thought his chances of getting the nomination were “slim to none.” But win the nomination he did and then, what did people think his chances were of winning the general election against a seasoned, experienced campaigner like Hillary Clinton? Most thought he had no chance, his campaign was too disorganized (at least it appeared to be so). But Ms. Clinton couldn’t have been a more stalwart defender of the status quo and she lost.

If the Dems were to nominate another icon of the status quo, Joe Biden maybe, they would lose again. But if Bernie and Mr. Trump go head to head, who do you think will capture the “anti-status quo” vote this time? Mr. Trump often tackles the status quo but in strange ineffective ways that maybe affect one at the gut level, but don’t really effect positive changes. Bernie promises changing the status quo in favor of the down trodden. He has all of the favoritism Mr. Trump has bestowed upon the rich (tax cuts, environment deregulation, oil drilling leases on public lands, etc.) and the well connected (pardons for his friends, loosen rules for his friends, etc.) to show that Mr. Trump has proven that he has no poor or even middle class friends and that we can expect no favoritism from him.

Bernie is not some shy, wilting flower that will wither under a Trump attach. If Trump thunders “Bernie’s a socialist!” Bernie will respond, “Yes, and you are a liar and you are fat. So what?” End of controversy.

Hint: Trump already has locked up all of the voters who would not vote for a milquetoast socialist, so the Bernie is a Socialist! Campaign will win him no new voters.

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