WaPo’s Editorial Board Gets It – Time For Sanders To Start Being Honest

*The following is an opinion column by R Muse *

After a far too lengthy presidential primary race, some Democrats are beginning to express their frustration with Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT). There are valid reasons for the frustration with Sanders, the least of which is his intent to transform the Democratic Party to conform to his socialist vision; not unlike Donald Trump hijacking the Republican Party to conform to his nativist fascist vision. What is very interesting, is that like what many Americans have noticed about Donald Trump, no small number of Americans have noticed that, as The Washington Post noted,

Mr. Sanders is not a brave truth-teller. He is a politician selling his own brand of fiction to a slice of the country that eagerly wants to buy it. It proves that many progressives like being told everything they want to hear.”

Now, many Sanders’ supporters who believe they are “progressives” may not like hearing that, but it is true, in a sense. The “sense” is that many of the Sanders’ supporters are not progressives at all or they would never condemn “real progressives” such as one of the guiding lights of the modern progressive movement and founder of the Center for America Progress, John Podesta, as a corrupt corporate shill.

The Washington Post editorial board issued a scathing, but truthful, condemnation of Mr. Sanders last week saying “it’s time for Sanders to start being honest with his supporters.” The truth is that the time for Mr. Sanders to “start being honest” was several months ago; but better to say it late than never say it at all. Forget for a moment that Sanders has proposed an agenda founded on fantasy in this political environment; not that his ideas are bad, they certainly are not. However, they are never going forward until every Republican in Congress is transformed into a tax and spend socialist; a transformation that Senator Sanders has no clue how to initiate.

The Post‘s editorial focused on Sanders’ supporters nasty behavior in Nevada when “they shouted, cursed, and threw chairs because they didn’t get the rules changes they demanded” during a state party convention. The outraged Sanders’ supporters attempted to get more delegates than the caucus results and when they couldn’t get their way they attacked the process as “unfair” and the state chair and her family received death threats.

As a veteran Nevada politics reporter, Jon Ralston put it,

Despite their social media frothing and self-righteous screeds, the facts reveal that the Sanders folks disregarded rules, then when shown the truth, attacked organizers and party officials as tools of a conspiracy to defraud the senator of what was never rightfully his in the first place.”

This kind of outrageous, Trump-supporter actions are a direct result of months of incitement and criticism from the Sanders’ campaign claiming that any- and everyone not embracing Bernie and his agenda, or acquiescing to rule changes to “allow” Sanders to win, is corrupt and a corporate shill. Or, as WaPo’s editors framed it, “Senator Sanders has fostered a toxic mix of unreason, revolutionary fervor, and perceived grievance.” That “fostering” is not unlike Republicans inciting evangelical fundamentalists to perceived grievances; they are already without reason. It is, as the editorial board said, “Bernie Sanders’ campaign selling his own brand of fiction.”

Although there is generally copious amounts of fiction during a campaign, at this late hour as the Post claimed “Mr. Sanders denies reality when he tells supporters he still has a plausible pathway to the Democratic presidential nomination. Mr. Sanders’s irresponsibility is sadly unsurprising. He has indulged and encouraged hyperbolic feelings and that most of the nation agrees with a left-wing agenda but is trapped in a corrupt system, and that nothing but a political revolution will do.”

The fiction is that most of the nation agrees with Sanders’ agenda and that a political revolution will accomplish anything. Historically, political revolutions only produce death and destruction, they never accomplish anything like Sanders’ campaign claims. Besides, no matter how many times they say it, a socialist’s political revolution is never going to transform even one Republican, much less the entire party, into tax and spend socialists.

Only votes change “the system” and it’s why bitching and moaning about a corrupt corporate system driven by money is bitching about fiction. This may come as a revelation to many Americans on the Left, but money does not cast votes. People cast votes; and most American people are not close to being ready to vote to have their taxes hiked dramatically to give Senator Sanders’ acolytes “a bunch of free stuff.” And, many Democrats are not close to being receptive to an Independent politician from Vermont attempting to transform the Democratic Party into something resembling Bernie Sanders and unhinged Obama critic Cornel West.

The Washington Post editorial ended saying,

It is past time for Mr. Sanders to be honest with his supporters, before they take the campaign’s irresponsible ethos to greater extremes and thereby help ensure the election of Donald Trump.”

One might add that it is time for Mr. Sanders to be honest with Democrats and either admit that hubris will not allow him to see reality or confess that his decades-long antipathy towards Democrats will help elect Donald Trump. Because although he is building his bona fides with young angry Emoprogs with no conception of how government operates, he is harming the Democratic Party’s chances of winning in November. Senate Democrats see it, rank and file Democrats fear it and by his campaign’s own admission, Bernie Sanders doesn’t even think about it and it’s beginning to appear he doesn’t care about it either.