I have been peppered by bicoastal Friends on Facebook recently regarding the awesomeness that is Bernie Sanders. I don't know whether this is some desperate reaction to the train wreck that is Hillary or a real embrace of socialism which, of course, is a discredited social system.
What seems to have triggered this paroxysm of liberal delight was Bernie's appearance at Liberty University. That school, you will recall, was founded by The Reverend Jerry Falwell, one of liberalism's most hated figures from the last 25 years. And freakin' Bernie ventures right into the belly of the Beast and draws a huge crowd! Wow!
If I'm not mistaken, though, Sanders was invited to Liberty as part of Convocation where students gather to hear guest speakers. He was graciously introduced by Rev. Falwell's son, given a "Sanders" personalized jersey, and, according to nearly every news report, treated cordially and respectfully.
Let's imagine a contrasting (but fictional, unfortunately) contrast. If Ted Cruz, for example, appeared at Columbia University or UC-Berkeley, how might he be received? Would there be an open-minded audience of eager college students, offering a philosophical opponent the opportunity to present his vision? Would the university administration welcome such a forum, let alone actually invite Sen Cruz to address their student body?
The answers are all too obvious. Whether one is comfortable with evangelicism or not, there is an atmosphere of tolerance and acceptance on that campus that is all too rare these days. It is ironic that most people who might ally themselves with Sanders view evangelicals with disdain, believing them to be religiously simplistic and intolerant of those who do not share their beliefs. Worse, the dog whistle implication is that they're unsophisticated, so foreign to the bicoastals - a scary Force of The Lord, dedicated to destroying ungodly Liberalism.
But the very opposite has become true. Bernie Sanders and those who share his dogma have become the arbiters of free speech. They have determined what is acceptable these days and what is not. Examples abound. Though 98 Senators voted to approve the Corker-Cardin bill, giving the Senate a limited level of input to JCPOA (which violates Article 2, Section 2 of the Constitution), the Democratic minority, including Bernie Sanders, blocked via filibuster any meaningful debate, so no one would have to go on the record with an up or down vote.
Similarly, both Bernie and Hillary have centered their campaigns around reversing the Supreme Court's "Citizens United" decision. They have both said that if elected they will hold any Supreme Court nominee to overturning this decision. Again, it is ironic to take this stance seriously when the left gets so outraged if someone on "the other side" claims to want to do the same with Roe vs. Wade.
Citizens United gave corporations the ability to contribute to campaigns and PAC's as any individual or union might. Somehow this has enraged the left, but it begs the question: under what circumstances are unions permitted to contribute liberally to political campaigns, but corporations cannot?
Uh, could it be that nearly every dollar contributed by unions goes to Democratic candidates? Please.
And Bernie, like many of his fellow social Democrats, loves to complain about "getting big money out of politics" and always focuses on the Despised Koch Brothers as the devil incarnate of Big Money. What Bernie and Hil never tell you is that, for example, 16 of the top 20 contributors to political campaigns during the 2014 election cycle gave to liberal Democratic causes/candidates nearly exclusively. How does this elude any media scrutiny?
Yes, Koch Industries was on the list at #14 with $10 million in contributions. At the top of the list - oh my goodness - is Tom Steyer's Fahr LLC at $75 million in contributions, all of which went to democrat and liberal causes.
Where is the outrage? Where is the absence of hypocrisy? How dare that evil corporatist Tom Steyer be permitted to influence American electoral politics so blatantly? Bernie and Hil indulge in such offensive, selective outrage; the only way their claims escape media scrutiny is because.....the media does not want to scrutinize these scurrilous claims.
Bernie is no more the "outsider" than Hil is. He may have a lot less money, but he has been inside Washington since 1991 - that's 24 years. He has sometimes labeled himself a "socialist", but now seems to prefer "independent". But there's nothing the slightest bit independent about him: he caucuses with Democrats, his committee assignments are determined by Democrat leadership, and
he votes with Democrats 98% of the time.
By what conceivable definition of "independent" is he an independent? How does he have the cojones to refer to himself as an "outsider"?
Give me a shout when he denounces Tom Steyer with the same vitriol he reserves for the Koch Brothers and "Wall Street bankers". He is playing the cheapest of all political games, not unlike Donald Trump. He is preying on fear, he is identifying boogie men upon whom we can place blame for the sorry state of this country, and he does all this very selectively. It is demagoguery, pure and simple, culled from his heroes, Noam Chomsky, the Sandinistas and other "revolutionary" heroes from the Sixties.
This is pure political theater that only shines its light on one side of the stage.