The only people happy about the ascent of Bernie Sanders are those conservatives who love Donald Trump and those progressives who hate Donald Trump. The former believe that Sanders is unelectable, thus smoothing the path to a Trump second term. The latter see Sanders as the fulfillment of their deepest yearnings – an anti-American, anti-Israel, capitalism-hating, Communist dictatorship-loving septuagenarian bundle of energy, George McGovern reincarnated (except that McGovern was a decorated World War II hero).
The irony is that the Democrats, attempting to cure what ailed their party in 2016, have inverted their process and duplicated the Republican squabble from that historic year. Numerous candidates representing every conceivable wing and branch of the party vie with each other, and diminish each other sufficiently that the only survivor is the anti-establishment figure with the outsized personality and a core of rabid and disaffected supporters who cobble together narrow victories in state after state.
For the Republicans in 2016, President Trump won most of the early primaries with far less than half the votes, did not even win a majority in any state until April, and ended up with less than 45% of the total vote. Not that it matters – the rules are the rules and you win or lose by those rules. Nevertheless, the plethora of candidates then, and for the Democrats now, mean that the margins of victory are very narrow, the base of support is thin but passionate, and fluke candidates have an increased chance of success.
Add to this the dearth of real voters and the strangest things can happen. In Nevada, a state of more than 3,000,000 people and 611,000 registered Democrats, Sanders received about 35,000 votes in his smashing victory. That is not exactly an overwhelming show of strength, less than 6% of all Democrats.
But a win is a win is a win, and when elections feature so many candidates, the prospects of a fringe and eccentric candidate prevailing are increased. For all of Donald Trump’s uniqueness, he was far more in the mainstream of Republican position than is Bernie Sanders for traditional Democrats (except for trade policy, on which they largely agree). The difference between Trump and his rivals is that – being a non-politician – he has actually made a concerted effort to fulfill his campaign promises and has largely succeeded. He has been a disrupter, to the great chagrin of most politicians and the political and journalistic elitists, and it is most apparent in his policies in Israel and the Middle East (far better than his predecessors) and in North Korea (no worse than his predecessors who repeatedly succumbed to financial blackmail). The Democrat default position always seems to be “we will work with our allies in the region,” a euphemism for “we have no clue and they have no clue, but together we will foster the illusion that we are doing something.” That is political happy talk, not a sensible policy disagreement.
Sanders is far outside the mainstream of Democratic liberalism, and his contempt for capitalism, liberty, and free speech should be worrisome to all, especially Democrats. Of course, some will say, he can’t possibly win but we have heard that before and the American electorate is volatile, and the far left in particular is both masochistic and suicidal. They don’t really care what has never worked and what will never work as long as those on their enemies’ list suffer. On that list are people of faith, prosperous entrepreneurs, and patriotic Americans. That is divisive and dangerous. Class warfare combined with utter disregard for biblical morality is especially lethal. Stalin and Mao murdered tens of millions of people in order to create their socialist paradises, and neither lost any sleep over it; all for the cause.
Those with the greatest affinity for Sanders invariably include the unsuccessful, the slothful, power seekers, haters of Western civilization and the blame-America-first crowd. His brand of socialism is a train wreck ready to happen – something that sounds noble on paper but derails when it hits the tracks. As Justice Benjamin Cardozo said over a century ago about these “unrealistic altruists…advocating an absolute community and equality of wealth,” their policies are “equally impracticable and pernicious.” History, and not even ancient history, has been perfectly clear on that.
Jews, liberal Democrat Jews especially, should be most concerned over the direction of their party and will find themselves in a real pickle should Sanders be the nominee. And if r”l he is elected president, Jews will go immediately from enjoying the best president Israel has ever had to the absolute worst. The tensions that arose during the presidencies of Eisenhower, Carter, and Obama will seem trivial compared to the unrelenting hostility of the first “Jewish” president. The US and Israel for the last several years have a symmetrical view of world events. That will cease on day one of a Sanders administration. At best, Sanders perceives Israel as a racist, colonialist state that embodies values that are anathema to him; at worst, intermarried Jewish renegade that he is, he sees the Jewish national idea as fundamentally illegitimate. That Sanders could label Israel’s prime minister a “racist” (granted, it is his epithet of choice for everyone with whom he disagrees about anything), and not have even one Democratic candidate on the debate stage rebuke him, challenge him or even protest the characterization, is a warning signal for Jews as to how far Israel’s stock has fallen in the Democrat party.
Imagine for a moment that nominee Sanders chooses as his running mate defeated Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams, who has already recommended herself for the position and not because she is in the least qualified. Rather, she checks off two indispensable boxes in the diversity scorecard that defines leftist politics in America today, being a black woman. Her utter inexperience in government and contempt for her electorate are further qualifications in the eyes of her radical leftist supporters. What would Jews do? We can assume that both Sanders and whoever his VP nominee is would dutifully parrot enough Israel-friendly bromides to assuage the consciences of Jews who would not vote for a Republican even if it was Abraham Lincoln himself who was the nominee. But even for them, it should be a rude wake up call, and an indication of how their Jewish identity has disintegrated and their Jewish pride plummeted. The only question remaining is why the Jewish cabal that supposedly runs the world would even allow Sanders to compete, much less to win…
It is hard to imagine a Sanders victory, which is why most Republicans are salivating at the chance for Trump to run against him. But even if he loses, Sanders’ unique brand will be stamped on his party for years to come – the Jew who surrounds himself with Jew haters, who disparages success and promotes dependency, and indulges in class warfare as his ticket to electoral success. It is hard to imagine but don’t count him out. Trump’s triumph in 2016 was very narrow. He barely prevailed in the few Midwestern states that put him over the top. And never discount the allure of free stuff that Sanders is promoting – free health care, free housing, free college, free loan forgiveness, free drugs, all paid for through higher taxes on the “wealthy.” Sanders loves everything that is free, except for free markets.
Such a campaign of giveaways worked for Obama, who lacked the rough edges that Sanders possesses and faced weaker Republican opponents. Can it work again?
Sanders should lose – that is how radical he is. But if he wins, Israel will fare much better than will the United States.