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Why Doesn’t Bernie Sanders Get Called Out as A Hypocrite?

By: Nelson Albino Jr. - Feb 17, 2016, 4:02 pm
In 2006, Bernie Sanders rejected the Democratic nomination for senator of Vermont because he thought the party was
In 2006, Bernie Sanders rejected the Democratic nomination for senator of Vermont because he thought the party was “ideologically bankrupt.” (GeneticLiteracyProject.org)

EspañolWho would have thought that an openly socialist politician could win a primary presidential election in the United States?

The country that for decades fought against socialism, a centrally planned economy, and all radical leftist policies now has a socialist who has defended Fidel Castro as a major contender for the presidency.

New Hampshire’s caucus on February 9 showed that many Americans either embrace socialism or simply get carried away by a populist platform that has failed everywhere it has been tried.

Bernie Sanders’s promises of “free healthcare,” “free education,” and higher taxes for the wealthy have grasped the attention of Americans. They believe he is the anti-establishment candidate, but the truth is that Sanders is anything but.

Let’s have a look at his voting record in Congress. Since his announcement that he would seek the nomination, Bernie Sanders has criticized US military interventions in other countries.

But when the United States intervened in the Kosovo war in 1999, Sanders supported the war and voted for it in the House of Representatives. His defense of the military action was so firm that when anti-war activists occupied his office in protest, he personally ordered their arrest.

Even though Sanders calls himself a “fierce critic of the Iraq war,” in 2003 he voted in favor of a resolution that gave more powers to then President George W. Bush to intervene in Afghanistan and Iraq.

[adrotate group=”7″]His silent support for the Iraq war was such that in 2008, when Representative Dennis Kucinich introduced a 35-point document to impeach President Bush, Sanders said it was “impractical.”

Despite his claims of being a peacenik, Sanders’s legislative record shows that he has been a silent ally of US military interventionism all along.

Nor does Sanders have the background to support his image as a “different” and honest candidate, a champion of the popular classes. In 2006, he won the primary elections in Vermont for a seat in the Senate as a write-in candidate having refused the Democratic Party nomination.

He insisted then that he was not a Democrat and even said that he would become “a hypocrite if he ran as a Democrat.” It begs the question: why is Bernie Sanders seeking the Democratic nomination for president now?

In 1986, he scorned the same party that he now intends to represent in November’s presidential election: “the Democratic Party is ideologically bankrupt. Democrats have no ideology. Their ideology is opportunism,” he said then.

Doesn’t that make you an opportunist as well, senator?

Senator Sanders has based his campaign mainly on attacks against billionaires and Wall Street. He has repeatedly criticized his opponent Hillary Clinton for receiving donations from the wealthy, but when reporters ask him if he would back Clinton if she were to win the nomination, he simply says yes, because “I wouldn’t allow a right-wing Republican to win the presidency.”

So are you against Wall Street or not, senator?

Another Sanders hypocrisy lies in the so-called super PACs that collect money to support a candidate. The Vermont senator has long criticized how candidates indirectly receive large sums through these organizations.

Earlier this month, it was revealed that a super PAC run by a nurses union, National Nurses United, has invested over US$1 million to support Sanders. While Clinton receives less than half a million from PACs like Planned Parenthood and Priorities USA, Bernie receives millions from just a single one.

Where does that leave the claim you made in November to CNN, senator, that you don’t have super PACs because they are corrupt?

Finally, he is a hypocrite regarding free markets and capitalism. Sanders loves to bash the private sector, and one of his favorite targets is Uber, the famous ride-sharing app.

Some months ago, Bernie said he had “serious problems” with Uber because it was an “unregulated” company. But his finance reports revealed that every time Bernie Sanders needs a taxi service, he hails an Uber car.

The National Journal revealed that 100 percent of Sanders’s expenses on taxi services goes to paying Uber. The investigation further showed that he is the Democratic politician that resorts to Uber the most, even more than Republicans Scott Walker, Rick Perry, and Bobby Jindal, all of whom have dropped out of the race.

So do you really support traditional taxi drivers, senator?

It’s amazing that voters, specially the younger ones, can’t seem to notice the level of hypocrisy in the Sanders campaign.

Translated by Daniel Duarte.

Nelson Albino Jr. Nelson Albino Jr.

Nelson Albino Jr is a translation specialist with PanAm Post, a Puerto Rican who is also a writer and blogger. Follow him on Twitter @nalbinojr.