A recent “warning” editorial in The Economist cautioned against a Sanders presidency, and the unicorn fart/pixie dust basis (my words, not the Economist’s) for his massive expansion of government largesse. I added a comment of concurrence, pointing out that Bernie’s promising Scandinavian social welfare results with Venezuelan policy ideas.

Of course, this being the open-to-the-world portion of Facebook, I was immediately denounced by the Bernie Bros. Several told me to “stop lying,” even though I detailed the disconnect between what Bernie plans to do and promises to achieve (for more on the Nordic model, go here). Several more replied, to me, and to others who argued the same points, that the Bernie-Venezuela link was absurd, deceitful, wrong, etc., and that those making it knew they were lying. One respondent even called me “Petey-poo,” as if doing so would somehow cause me to take my ball and go home.

One helpful fellow suggested I read up on Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) (I have, it’s garbage word salad that’s being used to justify expanding government recklessness). His apparent ignorance of the fact that MMT isn’t even being properly applied by Bernie and the rest of its proponents did little to dissuade that suggestion, of course.

All this and more, knotted together with a commercial-grade dough hook and left to rise/fester, elicits a particular conclusion: that Sanders’ supporters are engaged in their own cult of personality. They’ve found someone who is telling them what they want to hear, and have translated the fact that he’s been peddling the same junk for decades as proof of his sincerity, his goodness, his speaking truth to power, and so forth. They then took all that earnestness and converted it into some sort of “proof” that he has the answers, that he knows how to fix this terribly broken nation.

I’d posit that many or even most of these people roundly denounce Trump’s staunch supporters as blind to their guy’s faults and engaged in their own cult of personality, wholly oblivious to the obvious irony.

As I recently wrote, there is no way that Sanders can fund all his grandiose plans of universal health care, green new deal, and the like, merely by taxing the rich and taking their accumulated wealth. The Scandinavian model doesn’t do that, nor does MMT call for it, but those disconnects don’t matter to the Bernie Bros. The Scandinavian model does tax the bejeezus out of the working and middle classes, and tends to leave the billionaires alone (compared to both Bernie’s ideas and America’s current tax code).

Considered rationally, citizens of Sweden, Denmark, and Norway themselves pay for the benefits they receive from the government. Bernie isn’t telling his followers that reality. Instead, he tells them that he can give them free health care, free college, free this, and free that, simply by taking money from other people. This is either a lie or deliberate ignorance, and believing it is itself deliberate ignorance, given how readily available all this information is.

But, of course, politics isn’t about working within facts, history, empirical data, or what’s worked and hasn’t worked in the past, so much as it is about selling a tale in order to get elected. The funny thing is that Bernie Bros know this – their support for Bernie as the guy who’ll fix things reflects that – but don’t recognize that they are being sold the biggest whopper bill of goods in US history.

With apologies to Steve Winwood, Eric Clapton, Ginger Baker, and Ric Grech (no one remembers the bassist, of course), Bernie Bros are steeped in blind faith in a man whose ideas have been proven wrong, spectacularly so, time and time again.

Today is Super Tuesday, with fourteen states holding primaries. Biden won big in South Carolina on Saturday, bigger than expected, and many pundits who quietly feared that a Sanders nomination would make the election a cakewalk for Trump suddenly got loud. The whiff of sausage-making emerged since then, with Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar suddenly dropping out of the race ahead of today’s votes, and the gambling markets, which had Sanders running well ahead of Biden for the nomination, flipped around and now favor Biden.

Will the party rescue itself from the Bernie Bros’ blind faith and fervency? Will Bloomberg, who is now poised to be spoiler to Biden’s resurgence instead of white-knight-rescuer from a Bernie-pocalypse, remove himself from the picture? We’ll have many more tea leaves to read after tonight.

Peter Venetoklis

About Peter Venetoklis

I am twice-retired, a former rocket engineer and a former small business owner. At the very least, it makes for interesting party conversation. I'm also a life-long libertarian, I engage in an expanse of entertainments, and I squabble for sport.

Nowadays, I spend a good bit of my time arguing politics and editing this website.


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