This week Bernie Sanders announced his 2020 campaign run for president. Of course, millions of people jumped enthusiastically on board with no pause or consideration.
There is no way at this point that I can support Bernie. I know my views will be immensely unpopular but they are based on objective observation and rational thinking. I cannot base my political views or the future of this country and the planet on mere emotional response.
I give Bernie credit for his 2016 campaign and what it achieved for us. His campaign made Socialism an acceptable word for millions, after decades of indoctrination which made the word unspeakable in public. While the original ACA had suggested but never lived up to the promise of universal healthcare, Bernie’s campaign made it a dominating narrative which remains intact. He brought millions of us together who had felt isolated in our views. His campaign was the major impetus for the rise of independent media as a force to be reckoned with. New voices are being heard which would have been nearly silent otherwise.
However, it is time to move on from 2016 and face the current reality. This is a list of criticisms which cannot be denied as that reality.
Cult mindset. Of course, in true cult fashion they have since attacked anyone that does not fully support Bernie without question and if they cannot convert you, they unfriend you, block you, disown you, whatever. It doesn’t matter at all how progressive your views are, to them you are not a real Progressive unless you join the cult.
Is this sounding familiar? Is this sounding an awful lot like the Hillary campaign in 2016? Are they going to start telling us, “We don’t need you”?
Or how about, “Third parties can’t win”? That makes sense. Bernie is once again running under the DNC banner. Never mind that he is allegedly Independent. Never mind many of his claimed followers have been saying for over 2 years that we should not trust the DNC.
Donate to the DNC! Not only that but if you donate to Bernie, that donation will go through ActBlue, which is the fundraising entity of the DNC, so a percentage of each donation goes directly to the DNC and their authorized candidates. So if you give to Bernie, you are donating to Kamala Harris, Warren and maybe Biden. Have fun with that. BTW, that arrangement also means if you donate directly to his campaign and bypass ActBlue, Bernie is mandated to still pay the same percentage to the DNC. They’ve been at this a lot longer than you have and know every trick to look for.
Russiagate is being used against Bernie once again. However, that does not stop Bernie himself from pushing the Russiagate narrative still. I am making a prediction right here and now. Bernie pushing Russiagate will lose him more votes than it gains. He has pushed Russiagate to the point that he has accused his own 2016 followers of being Russian trolls or being brainwashed by Russian propaganda if they so much as questioned Hillary’s dedication to a Progressive agenda.
Danger. Russiagate comes with a long list of dangers inherent to it. Aside from the obvious risk of hot war with Russia, there is censorship. Russiagate has already been used as a rationale for corporate media to censor Progressive media. Over 600 Progressive pages were removed from Facebook and Twitter a few months ago, citing “Russia” as a rationale. Just recently, we saw In The Now blocked from Facebook and YouTube because they get part of their funding from RT.
The worst part of this is that, if Bernie does not back down from pushing Russiagate immediately, he will not be able to do so later. The fact that he has continued pushing it means he is complicit in the corporate silencing of Progressive media. The same media that hailed him in 2016 while corporate media conducted a complete blackout of his campaign unless to attack him. In other words, he has absolutely turned his back on the people who brought him to popularity and has fully embraced the Establishment narrative and corporate visibility.
At no time has Bernie broken with the Establishment narrative to suggest diplomacy with Russia and decrease tensions.
Julian Assange. The fact is, you cannot support both Bernie and Julian Assange. They are diametrically opposed. Bernie pushes Russiagate, which implicates Assange. Bernie has remained as silent on Assange as he has about election fraud in 2016. Which makes him complicit in the attacks on Assange.
Loyalty. Some claim that in 2016 he kept a commitment. A candidate’s commitment should be to the people that supported him, that donated their money, time and effort to promote him. So yes, he kept his commitment, or rather revealed where his commitment truly resides. With the Establishment he claims to oppose.
Bernie lost no pay or benefits. Something should be noted here. Bernie never lost his job, his income or his health insurance as a result of the 2016 election. Over 7 million have lost health insurance in 2 years. Hundreds of thousands have lost jobs and/or been forced to take even lower wages than they were earning even in 2016.
Sanctions. Bernie has openly promoted sanctions on numerous occasions. I have detailed on numerous occasions that sanctions kill. Sanctions are acts of war. More so when not approved by the UNSC. Not only that but sanctions impact industries and economies of our allies. They decrease trade in those allied countries. They cause dissent with those allies which will only grow worse as long as we continue imposing unilateral sanctions on other countries. Bernie has not suggested even lifting sanctions which do not have UNSC approval, he has supported unilaterally imposed sanctions by the US Empire.
Drones. Bernie has publicly supported US drone strikes in other countries. While drone strikes reduce the physical risk to US personnel, they still cause massive loss of innocent lives and PTSD for drone pilots. Not to mention the fact that the average cost of a missile launched from a drone is $80,000, which does not include the cost of the drone, itself.
Independent media. I mentioned above that his 2016 campaign was a major impetus for the rise of independent media. However, it was not the only thing which drove that rise. Independent media was already in existence and increasing in popularity before 2016. His campaign accelerated that rise and drove the motivation for new voices, including my own to a point. On the other hand, he has not exactly been a staunch supporter on social media. Jimmy Dore is a very strong public fan of Bernie’s who has invited Bernie on his show numerous times. Bernie has not only not accepted the offer but last I heard had not even responded to the invitation. RT was the only major broadcast channel to cover his 2016 campaign yet Bernie did not accept invitations to appear on RT, either. Some shows such as TYT claim to be Progressive but are actually known neoliberal sources that support the DNC blindly and spout Russiagate as frequently as Rachel Maddow. If he appeared on those shows and not Jimmy Dore or Thom Hartmann, that says a lot in and of itself. Though Thom endorsed Hillary, which should not be forgotten.
It is not 2020. I’ve pointed this out before and do so again. It is not 2020 yet. 2020 is still 10 months away. To fervently adopt a candidate with no room allowed for questioning is not making an informed choice. It is an emotional fixation, nothing more. Too many people are turning this into nothing short of a religion. There is little or no objective, rational thinking involved in such a decision.
So, I expect a lot of hate messages over this. Do your worst. It’s really nothing I have not suffered through by Hillary or Trump supporters. You can try and tell yourself you’re different but when you support one candidate without waiting for debates, not waiting for policies to be laid out, remain blind to the dangers and even accept those dangers willingly, you are no different at all. Look in the mirror and accept that. You have become the very thing you once raged against.