My Thoughts On Bernie Sanders: Backstory

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I’m beginning a new series on someone else I do NOT like, who just so happens to be running for President. His name is Bernie Sanders, and his supporters are on-par with the rabid-supporters of Donald Trump, but probably more economically illiterate.

Sander’s is the self-proclaimed “democratic-socialist”, and if we know anything about the progression of terms with lefties, we can just eliminate that democratic part right there.  Bernie has been a Congress-critter for a long time, and a politician for much longer. He first ran for Governor of Vermont in 1972 and 1976 with the Liberty Union Party (a democratic-socialist left-wing party), and for US Senate in 1972 and 1974. So, already at age 30, he’s running for State and Federal office.

Here is the World Socialist Web Site talking about Sander’s and the Liberty Union Party:

In the end, the party collapsed in the mid-70s, a victim of the demise of the anti-war movement, which had a broad demoralizing effect on the middle class radical milieu. Sanders, speaking to the Globe shortly after leaving the party, expressed both the ennui and political narrowness of this outlook:

“’I have done as much as I can,’ said Sanders, who volunteered that he is an admirer of Fidel Castro. ‘My feeling is that I had remained we’d have gotten just as many votes. But if I can’t see growth …’ His voice trails off and he shrugs.’

He resigned from the Liberty Union Party in 1979, and went to work, and created the American People’s Historical Society, or originally called Green Mountain Media, which is also a leftist organization who made filmstrips for educational institutions in Vermont, such as elementary, middle, and high school students. One of his films was on Eugene Debs, who was a Socialist candidate for President in the early 1900’s. Not much is left from then, but I managed to pull this from the University of Vermont – Montpellier:

The fourth brochure marks a new direction for the society. Debs, about trade unionist, socialist and presidential candidate Eugene V. Debs, was issued as a color videocassette. In the brochure’s “Dear Educator” section, Sanders announced that Debs was the first documentary in a new series called “The Other Side of American History,” which would “deal with people and ideas that the major profit oriented manufacturers of audio-visual material will not cover because of economic and political reasons.”

In his memoir, Outsider in the House, Bernie Sanders remembers that the educational filmstrip business was reasonably successful and “a lot of fun.” It ended when he turned his attention back to the political arena and won the 1981 mayoral election in Burlington, Vermont.

Sanders ran for Mayor of Burlington, Vermont in 1981 and won. He ran as an Independent, but once Mayor, he formed a Progressive coalition with members of the city council from the Citizens Party. This coalition would later turn into the Vermont Progressive Party. If you visit their site, you’ll notice they’re big fans of Bernie too.

Sanders, as Mayor, was a critic of US Foreign Policy under Reagan. He held a summit in Burlington, and invited Noam Chomsky, the “libertarian” socialist to speak about the evils of said policy. Sanders mounted campaigns against developers taking property along the shore of Lake Champlain, and instead, turned it into mixed-use areas instead. Sanders brought in a Minor League baseball team, which died out in 1988. He decided to not run for another term as Mayor in the 1989 election, but went to teach briefly at Harvard (specifically in Political Science) and eventually Hamilton College in 1991.

Sanders ran for US House in 1988, the year before his next election as Burlington Mayor. He lost to the Republican, the then-Lieutenant Governor, but unseated him in 1990. He ran also as an Independent, though he was heavily backed by the progressives and Democrats.

During the deliberations for the Gulf War, the World Socialist Web Site reports:

During congressional deliberations over authorizing the first Gulf War, Sanders declared his support for sanctions, diplomatic pressure and even the use of US forces to “pressure” Iraq into submission, while stopping, along with most congressional Democrats, just short of voting for the actual war. This caveat was dropped in 1993, when Sanders voted for US intervention in Somalia. Sanders then voted for the NATO air war against Serbia in 1999.

His support for the actions in Serbia were the cause one of his own staffers to leave, writing this note on his resignation.

When it came time to vote on the Authorizations For Use Of Military Force in 2001, Sanders voted IN FAVOR of the AUMF. He voted for the Non-binding Resolution expressing support for the use of troops at the invasion of Iraq. That doesn’t sound like the big anti-war guy he’s supposed to be. He has since voted in favor of continuing funding to both the Iraq and Afghanistan wars since.

Sander’s voted against the PATRIOT Act originally, but recently voted in Co-Sponsored the USA FREEDOM Act, which practically cemented several key provisions of the PATRIOT Act. He has voted in favor of the Intelligence Authorization Act, which is one of those pesky anti-civil liberties bills that makes it through Congress every year.

As Price Of Liberty points out:

Sanders has an extensive history of supporting the expansion of the ‘Security State’; he not only supported the creation of the Director of National Intelligence, but also voted ‘Yea’ to continue the collection of intelligence without civil oversight (suggesting that the state has a right to keep secrets from the public).

While in the House, Sanders was supposedly a critic of then-Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan. When he was questioning Greenspan, he said the following about what the Chairman of the Fed was supposed to do:

Mr. Greenspan, I have long been concerned that you are way out of touch with the needs of the middle class and working families of our country, that you see your major function in your position as the need to represent the wealthy and large corporations.

And I must tell you that your testimony today only confirms all of my suspicions, and I urge you — and I mean this seriously, because you’re an honest person, I think you just don’t know what’s going on in the real world — and I would urge you come with me to Vermont, meet real people. The country club and the cocktail parties are not real America. The millionaires and billionaires are the exception to the rule.

But he has done nothing to go after the Fed. He has only spewed hot air. He has though messed up the Audit The Fed bill proposed by former Texas Rep. Ron Paul.

Sanders ran for US Senate in 2005, and received the backing of prominent Democrats like Sen. Chuck Schumer, Sen. Harry Reid, and then-Vermont Governor Howard Dean. This support cut off any chances of a Democrat entering the race, thus making him, though Independent, the de-facto Democratic Candidate for US Senate. He won his race, and has remained in the Senate since.

As a member of the Senate, he currently serves on these committee’s:

So, to recap: only jobs he’s had are being a teacher for a year, and making “educational” video’s for students for about two years, and a Professor at two universities for no more than maybe a full year and a half. That’s not exactly what I’d call experience in the private sector, but Sanders doesn’t care. He’s been chasing after a Government job practically since 1970. That’s 45 years. He’s been in an elected position 24 years. He doesn’t know what it’s like to have to work. Sure, he’ll hear stories from his constituents, but he can’t say that he knows what it’s like. He’s been a political beast since his college days back at the University of Chicago.

That sums up all of Sander’s history that I’m going to go into right now. I could go on, but that’d mean I’m getting into his policy further, and I’m saving that for separate posts. Make no mistake, Bernie Sanders is not what he seems.


 

I’m doing a series on Bernie Sanders, and all of those posts can be found at this link here, which will be updated every time I finish a new part of the series.

You can find that page here: [LINK]

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