Reality Check: Bernie Sanders Covers Himself with Collaborationist Shame
January 10, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us
January 9 on CNN, Bernie Sanders played his role in the continuing effort to normalize Trump, to put lipstick on a fascist pig. Right from the jump, after an obligatory criticism of Trump’s racism, sexism, xenophobia, and climate change denial—but without a mention of Trump’s underlying (and overriding) fascism—Sanders agreed that he would work with Trump “when Trump has ideas that make sense,” like building up infrastructure, and allowed as to how he would be “happy” to work with Trump on “trade” (that is, making the economic relations between the imperialist U.S. and oppressed nations like Mexico even more oppressive and onerous to the oppressed).
How is this any different from giving a tut-tut disapproval of Hitler’s anti-Semitism, but then agreeing to work with him on building the German highway system and canceling debts for war reparations (both of which Hitler did and both of which made him quite popular with “ordinary—that is, ‘good’—Germans”)?!? How is this not collaborating with a fascist? And how is it not particularly shameful and damaging for a Bernie Sanders—who rose to fame by promising a “revolution” and cultivated an (extremely phony) image of defiance—to now pimp himself out to perform this service for Trump-Pence?
And why should Sanders agree to “listen to” Jeff Sessions, the Trump pick for attorney general, before voting on him? Sessions is infamous for being so racist, so anti-immigrant, so anti-woman, so utterly anti-gay rights, such an extreme champion of the death penalty and mass incarceration that even the Republicans thought he was too extreme to be a federal judge or chair a committee! And now he’s going to be “interpreting” the law and using the power of the state to enforce those fascist interpretations.
What Sanders needed to say was that Trump’s promises were the lies and traps of a FASCIST, that Trump’s nominees were gangsters and ghouls and should receive no consideration whatsoever, and that indeed instead of talking about whether and where “we” should work with Trump people, we need to be talking about how we were going to prevent this illegitimate fascist monster from taking office! And what anyone who previously supported Sanders needs to do is to refuse to follow this march to the slaughter that he’s now leading and be part of stopping this looming madness.
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