Not that we needed any further confirmation of Bernie Sanders’s deep-seated contempt for the United States and its heritage, but a monumentally significant tweet that he sent out on Tuesday made it crystal clear that his political agenda has nothing whatsoever to do with defending the Constitution of the United States. Rather, it is entirely about gaining limitless power and dominance over the lives, the actions, and even the private thoughts of every living American. In a manner reminiscent of Barack Obama’s pledge to “fundamentally transform the United States of America” during his presidency, Sanders tweeted: “Our campaign is not only about changing the system politically and economically. We will change the value system of this country.”
Sanders is made of precisely the same totalitarian stuff as Obama. And like Obama, Sanders’s entire adult life has been devoted to giving aid and comfort to America’s totalitarian enemies. Lest you think that this might be an overstatement, consider the cold, hard facts.
When Sanders was a young man attending the University of Chicago in the 1960s, he joined the Young Peoples Socialist League, which was the youth wing of the Socialist Party USA, which today advocates a “revolution” that will bring “radical and fundamental change in the structure and quality of economic, political, and personal relations.” Sounds very much like the platform of one particular 2020 presidential candidate, doesn’t it?
After college, Sanders, as Daniel Greenfield has detailed, lived and worked for a number of months in an Israeli kibbutz which was co-founded by Aharon Cohen, an Israel-hating Arabist who was arrested for spying on behalf of the Soviet Union in the 1950s, and who referred to the genocidal Joseph Stalin as the “Sun of the Nations.” Sanders stayed at Cohen’s kibbutz as a guest of Hashomer Hatzair, a Zionist-Marxist youth movement that pledged its allegiance to the Soviet Union. Hashomer Hatzair’s founder, Ya’akov Hazan, described the USSR as a second homeland. In 1953 Hazan lamented “the terrible tragedy that has befallen the nations of the Soviet Union, the world proletariat and all of progressive mankind, upon the death of the great leader and extolled commander, Josef Vissarionovich Stalin.” “We lower our flag in grief in memory of the great revolutionary fighter, architect of socialist construction, and leader of the world’s peace movement,” Hazan added. “His huge historical achievements will guide generations in their march towards the reign of socialism and communism the world over.” In a similar vein, Eliezer Hacohen, one of HH’s ideological leaders, characterized Marxism as “the key to renewing our spiritual creativity.”
Sanders made unsuccessful runs for the U.S. Senate in January 1972 and November 1974, and for Governor of Vermont in November 1972 and November 1976—all on the ticket of the far-left Liberty Union Party (LUP). Sanders’s LUP platform called for the nationalization of all U.S. banks; public ownership of all utilities, drug companies, capital, and major means of production (such as factories); and the establishment of a worker-controlled federal government. According to the Guardian, a press release from Sanders’s 1974 campaign stated that the candidate advocated “the public takeover of all privately owned electric companies in Vermont.” Moreover, Sanders called for a 100% income tax on America’s highest income earners.
In a 1973 open letter to Vermont Senator Robert Stafford, Sanders called for the nationalization of America’s energy industry: “I would also urge you to give serious thought about the eventual nationalization of these gigantic companies…. The oil industry, and the entire energy industry, should be owned by the public and used for the public good — not for additional profits for billionaires.”
During his 1974 Senate run, Sanders said that one plan he was considering would make it illegal for anyone to accumulate more wealth than he or she could spend in a lifetime, and that any income above $1 million per year would be taxed at a rate of 100%. “Nobody should earn more than a million dollars,” he stated.
Sanders reiterated a number of his positions in 1976. “I will be campaigning in support of the Liberty Union utility proposal which calls for the public ownership of Vermont’s private electric companies without compensation to the banks and wealthy stockholders who own the vast majority of stock in these companies,” he said in a July press release. “I will also be calling for public ownership of the telephone company — which is probably the single greatest rip-off company in America.”
In a press release the following month, Sanders, evoking the totalitarian spirit in which the Berlin Wall had been constructed, introduced a proposal to punish private companies wishing to relocate to more business-friendly environs: “We have got to begin to deal with the fact that corporations do not have the god-given right to disrupt the lives of their workers or the economic foundation of their towns simply because they wish to move elsewhere to earn a higher rate of profit.” He stated that large businesses should not be able to leave a city without first obtaining permission from that locale and the workers therein; and that if the company failed to get that approval, it should be required to pay the workers a guaranteed two years of severance, and to pay the town 10 years of taxes. “In the long run,” Sanders added, “the problem of the fleeing corporations must be dealt with on the national level by legislation which will bring about the public ownership of the major means of production and their conversion into worker-controlled enterprises.”
In 1976, Sanders said: “I believe in socialized medicine, public ownership of the drug companies and placing doctors on salaries. The idea that millionaires can make money by selling poor people drugs that they desperately need for highly inflated prices disgusts me.”
In the mid-1970 as well, Sanders became the head of the American People’s History Society, which journalist Paul Sperry has described as “an organ for Marxist propaganda.” “There,” writes Sperry, “[Sanders] produced a glowing documentary on the life of socialist revolutionary Eugene Debs, who was jailed for espionage during the Red Scare and hailed by the Bolsheviks as ‘America’s greatest Marxist.’ This subversive hero of Sanders, denounced even by liberal Democrats as a ‘traitor,’ bashed ‘the barons of Wall Street’ and hailed the ‘triumphant’ Bolshevik revolution in Russia.”
Sanders left the LUP in 1977 and became a political Independent. In 1981 he was elected mayor of Burlington, Vermont, by a margin of just 10 votes. He was subsequently re-elected three times and served as mayor until 1989.
Sanders created some controversy when he hung a Soviet flag in his mayoral office, in honor of Burlington’s Soviet sister city, Yaroslavl, located some 160 miles northeast of Moscow. Also during his tenure as mayor, Sanders placed restrictions on the property rights of landlords, set price controls, and raised local property taxes in order to fund communal land trusts. Further, he named Burlington’s city softball team the “People’s Republic of Burlington,” and its minor league baseball team the “Vermont Reds.” Local business owners, meanwhile, distributed fliers complaining that Sanders “does not believe in free enterprise.”
According to an Accuracy In Media report by Cliff Kincaid, Sanders during the 1980s “collaborated with Soviet and East German ‘peace committees’” whose aim was “to stop President Reagan’s deployment of nuclear missiles in Europe.” Indeed, he “openly joined the Soviets’ ‘nuclear freeze’ campaign to undercut Reagan’s military build-up.”
In the 1980s as well, Sanders paid a friendly visit to Fidel Castro’s Communist totalitarian dictatorship in Cuba, where he had a pleasant meeting with the mayor of Havana.
In 1985 Sanders traveled to Managua, Nicaragua, to celebrate the seventh anniversary of the rise to power of yet another totalitarian tyrant, Daniel Ortega and his Marxist-Leninist Sandinista government. In the course of his speech there, Sanders said: “[I]n the last 30 years, the United States has overthrown governments in Guatemala, [the] Dominican Republic, they murdered Salvador Allende in Chile, they’ve overthrown the government of Grenada, they attempted to overthrow the government of Cuba, they overthrew a government in Brazil, and now they are attempting to overthrow the government of Nicaragua.” He also denounced the U.S. for “dominating weak nations and poor nations.”
In a letter which he addressed to the people of Nicaragua, Sanders denounced the anti-Communist activities of the Reagan administration, which he said was under the control of corporate interests. Assuring the Nicaraguans that Americans were “fair minded people” who had more to offer “than the bombs and economic sabotage” promoted by President Reagan, he declared: “In the long run, I am certain that you will win, and that your heroic revolution against the Somoza dictatorship will be maintained and strengthened.”
Following his trip to Nicaragua, Sanders penned a letter to the White House indicating that Ortega would be willing to meet with Reagan to negotiate a resolution to the conflict. The mayor also sought to enlist the help of former president Jimmy Carter, telling him that the people of Nicaragua were very fond of him (Carter). Sanders even invited Ortega to visit Burlington, though the Nicaraguan president declined.
Also after his trip to Nicaragua, Sanders praised the living conditions under that country’s Communist regime:
- “No one denies that they are building health clinics. Health care in Nicaragua is now free…. Infant mortality has been greatly reduced.”
- “[The Nicaraguan government is] giving, for the first time in their lives, real land to farmers, so that they can have something that they grow. Nobody denies that they are making significant progress.”
- “Sometimes American journalists talk about how bad a country [like Nicaragua] is because people are lining up for food [e.g., bread lines]. That’s a good thing. In other countries, people don’t line up for food. The rich get the food, and the poor starve to death.”
In an August 8, 1985 interview with a Vermont government-access television station, Sanders drew parallels between the Castro and Ortega regimes. “In 1961,” he said, “[America] invaded Cuba, and everybody was totally convinced that Castro was the worst guy in the world, that all the Cuban people were going to rise up in rebellion against Fidel Castro. They forgot that he educated the kids, gave them health care, totally transformed the society.” During the same interview, Sanders characterized Ortega as “an impressive guy” while criticizing U.S. President Ronald Reagan. “The Sandinista government, in my view, has more support among the Nicaraguan people, substantially more support, than Ronald Reagan has among the American people,” said Sanders.
When Sanders in 1988 married his wife, Jane, the couple honeymooned in Yaroslavl, Russia. In an interview with that city’s mayor, Alexander Riabkov, Sanders acknowledged that housing and health care were “significantly better” in the U.S. than in the Soviet Union, but added that “the cost of both services is much, much, higher in the United States.” After returning to the U.S., Sanders told reporters that he had been “extremely impressed with their [the Soviet] transportation system.” He continued: “The stations themselves were absolutely beautiful…. It was a very, very effective system. Also, I was impressed by the youth programs that they have. Their palaces of culture for the young people, a whole variety of programs for young people. And cultural programs which go far beyond what we do in this country.”
In November 1989 Sanders addressed the national conference of the U.S. Peace Council, a Communist Party USA front group whose members were committed to advancing “the triumph of Soviet power in the U.S.”
By 1990 Sanders was a leading member of Jesse Jackson‘s National Rainbow Coalition, and he ran successfully for Congress as a socialist, representing Vermont’s single, at-large congressional district. In 1991 he co-founded the Democratic Party’s most fervently socialist wing, the Congressional Progressive Caucus. During the ’90s as well, he participated multiple times in the Socialist Scholars Conferences that were held annually in New York City.
In November 2006 Sanders ran successfully for a seat in the U.S. Senate. Then-Senator Barack Obama, whom Sanders described as “one of the great leaders” of that legislative body, campaigned enthusiastically on Sanders’s behalf. When a Washington Post reporter asked Sanders just prior to the election: “Are you now or have you ever been a Socialist?” Sanders replied, “Yeah. I wouldn’t deny it. Not for one second. I’m a Democratic Socialist.”
And that has been Bernie Sanders’s self-description ever since. “Democratic Socialist” is a term that is intended to sound benign, so as to conceal the fact that Sanders is in fact a hard-core, uncompromising Marxist who is on a crusade to advance the creation of an all-powerful government that controls and dictates every aspect of every American’s life. To his core, to his marrow, he is in every respect a 100% totalitarian who – while routinely casting aspersions upon the United States — has openly revered the Marxist totalitarian dictators of such nations as the old Soviet Union, Cuba, Nicaragua. As the old saying goes, you could look it up.