The Bernie Sanders Epidemic

If you don’t think the United States is a socialist country, then you don’t read very much.  If you think that, just because we don’t have single payer health care like they do in European countries, that that makes the United States a capitalist country, then you are probably either a democrat or someone who isn’t too deeply involved in politics.  If you think that the United States SHOULD be a capitalist country, but that there are forces at play trying to move it away from that, NOW you’ve got the right idea.

A few of my friends are deathly scared that the socialist Bernie Sanders will become the president of the United States based solely on the fact that Clinton is looking pretty bad these days.  From her past where she supported the Iraq war to her recent email scandal and even the Benghazi incident – although it seems ardent anti-conservatives love to sweep that one under the rug because it’s only FOUR Americans and well, so what, shit happens – but that’s all beside the point. 

If his Facebook page is any indication, Bernie Sanders has ignited the passions of at least a million people who feel the man is an honest, not “politics as usual” politician.  And that’s pretty refreshing, isn’t it?  Who cares what the man stands for as long as he stands for something, right?  And therein lays the problem.

Bernie Sanders isn’t going to get elected president in this election, nor will someone like him get elected in the following election, but that doesn’t mean someone like him won’t get elected in the election after that.  Let me explain.

As the country moves more and more to the left and as the older generation, the one that valued hard work, dies off and as more young people go to indoctrination centers…err,  universities and as more young people feel disenfranchised with “politics as usual”, the harder it will be to convince young people that hard work, education and innovation lead to prosperity.  It will be harder for them to believe in the notion of having equal opportunities, but not necessarily equal outcomes.

Who are Bernie Sanders’ supporters?

They’re a mixture of people.  There are those honest but na├»ve socialists who, for some reason, have a “grass is greener” attitude about Europe.  Thanks to the propaganda at the universities and in the media, these people have been taught that Europe simply is better.  The food is better, the culture is better, the people are better; the young people are more into going to museums rather than watching sports - when they do watch sports, it's a sophisticated sport like soccer...err football -  they prefer underground music rather than mainstream music, are into reading books more than watching reality TV and overall are hip, ultra-sophisticated urban socialites who hang around in cafes, drink craft beers and keep fit by riding bikes all day.  And, above all, they have time to absorb all of this culture and sophistication because they only work 20 to 35 hours a week.  The women are all of course gorgeous and statuesque and you can get one of your very own to take to the Louvre before engaging in an all-night fuck-a-thon with zero consequences – because, after all, the state pays for the birth control and abortions.

Oh, and everything is free.  You work 20 to 35 hours – provided you don’t skip Mondays and Fridays – and reap the benefits of a single payer healthcare system and, should you decide that work isn’t for you, go on the dole.  Of course calling it that or welfare doesn’t make it sound so appealing, but, in any case, it provides you free time to pursue your intellectual interests.

And how do we accomplish this utopia?  Well, we just tax those evil corporations and make them pay their fair share!   What exactly is a “fair share”?  Is it 50%, 60%, 100%?  Who knows?  Who cares?  Just pay up so we can have our 20 hour work weeks, free health care and care free, sophisticated, European lifestyles because working is what those stupid Americans, who watch sports, guzzle Budweiser and watch reality TV, do!

The other group of Sanders supporters are otherwise political ignoramuses who,  by nature of working a lot and/or only caring about hobbies that are outside of the political realm, see a man who “says it like it is.”  These are people who jump between Ralph Nader, Ron Paul and then back to Bernie Sanders, who see a person that, rather than talk in “complicated” political rhetoric about boring policies that are written in 100 page volumes, talk about the man in the street.  “Corporations are evil, MAN!  They enslave the little guy, man!” 

Sanders’ folky appeal lies in the fact that he’s from a pro-gun state, and as a result, people don’t see a threat in their guns being taken away.  After all, if only the rich will suffer under Sanders and you don’t lose your gun rights, then what’s the big deal?

Of course anyone who follows politics knows that there are myriad of reasons that European countries have the so-called prosperity that they do, that nothing is in black and white and, above all, what may have worked for Sweden wouldn’t necessarily work for the U.S.  The democratic governance of cities like Detroit and Baltimore are not the MAIN reason crime is so high there – it’s the population who live in a “kill or be killed”, Mad Max-style, ghetto thug gang world, sorry to say.  Sweden doesn’t have crime on that level that the U.S. does not because they’re barely allowed to own fire arms or because the government gives people everything they want, but because their culture is more homogenous – a statement that could get you in trouble with more politically correct folks, but that’s the way it is.

Otherwise, the sheer size and diversity of the type of different environments, from the urban to suburban to rural all heavily contribute to their being different monetary values in different places of the U.S. compared to Sweden.  Just that makes the notion of a taxing everyone the same, heavy amount is absurd.  And, at the end of the day, are people in Norway and Sweden truly living better lives?  Some say they live in a state of complacency with no big highs or lows, no true reward for accomplishments, because there are none to be had since the government picks the winners and the losers.

It seems that I’ve gone on a tangent, but the bottom line is, regardless of whether Sanders gets elected now or in the future, we are heading down a path where young people WELCOME socialism.  They’re actively getting excited about lower work hours and free everything.  My excitement comes from getting a well-paying job and all of the wonderful things I can buy with that money, not from the things the government can give me.   Unfortunately, unless we quell the socialist epidemic now, the million or so Sanders supporters of today will grow into tens of millions of supporters of the next person who promises free everything and then soon we’ll become the mediocre, heavily taxed, sophisticated European nation that the Sanders’ supporters of today have always hoped for.