It will come as no surprise to anyone familiar with the National Review that they would run a dishonest hit piece on Bernie Sanders. The site’s entire platform is right-wing extremist propaganda making an effort to incite fear amongst its readers.
Writer Kevin Williamson takes this extremism to a whole new level by claiming that Sanders, a known and vocal Democratic Socialist, is instead a National Socialist, the party of Adolf Hitler and the Nazis. He even opens by claiming that Sanders has no chance of being elected and is not even running a real campaign. “Team Bernie is trying to make this a real race, but it isn’t — not yet, anyway,” writes Williamson, forgetting to mention that no candidate has drawn a larger crowd than Sanders this entire race, and no candidate has raised money like Sanders.
These facts do not matter when you have an agenda to smear campaign supporters and draw false Nazi conclusions.
After a failed attempt to insult an elderly woman at a Sanders event — he claims she’s wearing a hammer and sickle t-shirt and is unaware of Sanders current elected position — he moves on to claim that Sanders won’t even admit to being a socialist.
Aside from Grandma Stalin there, there’s not a lot of overtly Soviet iconography on display around the Bernieverse, but the word “socialism” is on a great many lips. Not Bernie’s lips, for heaven’s sake: The guy’s running for president.
What this statement actually means is that Williamson has not heard of Sanders and is unaware of his position at all. Sanders has long been open about his Democratic Socialism, and openly admits to backing ideals of socialism coming out of Europe today.
In fact, when Sanders visited Late Night with Seth Myers recently, he was directly asked about his socialism.
“What it means,” Sanders continues, “is you have countries like Denmark, Sweden, Norway, other European countries, which have had social democratic and labor governments.” In those countries, Sanders says to audience applause, “health care is a right for all people. I don’t see that as a great problem.”
So Williamson obviously didn’t use Google to write his article and instead decided to lie directly to his readers and lead them to believe that Sanders is some secretive socialist.
He then crosses the most despicable line one can cross, accusing the Jewish Bernie Sanders of being a National Socialist.
In the Bernieverse, there’s a whole lot of nationalism mixed up in the socialism. He is, in fact, leading a national-socialist movement, which is a queasy and uncomfortable thing to write about a man who is the son of Jewish immigrants from Poland and whose family was murdered in the Holocaust. But there is no other way to characterize his views and his politics.
No other way to describe them? I believe he has done so quite well by openly saying he is a Democratic Socialist. And nationalist? Sanders is one of the harshest critics of the US Government and policies and wants to adopt policies from outside the US to make the country better. That could not be further from the definition of Nationalism.
But after comparing an elderly woman to Stalin and then accusing Sanders of aligning with Hitler, he then jumps the shark and tries to compare Sanders to Hugo Chávez, the deceased dictator from Venezuela who called his politics Socialism of the 21st Century and was anything but a socialist, adhering to strict dictatorship and fascist ideologies. Just more commonly known facts Williamson was too ignorant to understand.
There are many kinds of Us-and-Them politics, and Bernie Sanders, to be sure, is not a national socialist in the mode of Alfred Rosenberg or Julius Streicher.
He is a national socialist in the mode of Hugo Chávez. He isn’t driven by racial hatred; he’s driven by political hatred. And that’s bad enough.
Williamson, of course, offers no argument or evidence to back up the claim that Sanders is hateful but assumes he has lied to his readers enough to convince them.
Williamson’s attempt to discredit and attack Sanders is pathetic and born out of fear. He is afraid of what he is too ignorant to understand, and instead of taking ten minutes to actually Google a single position Sanders holds, he compares him to the worst thing he can think of. It’s the new “Obama is a Muslim.”
This is the dishonest “journalism” one can expect from the National Review and Kevin Williamson is no journalist, and this trash heap of an article proves just that.
[Image: Bernie Sanders campaign website / Used with permission]