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Bernie: Hey, Breadlines are a good thing!
Insert Yakov Smirnoff joke here.
It's no secret that Bernie Sanders adores dystopian socialist and communist nations. Back in the 80's, he travelled to Nicaragua and Cuba, while his Soviet honeymoon is the stuff of both political and romantic legend. Those countries had, at least in part, figured it all out. Who cares if they were murderous fascist regimes with no tolerance for dissent? They were feeding people - even if those people had to wait in breadlines for their rations.
Breadlines are super, because they serve as evidence that a nation has defeated income inequality!
“It’s funny; sometimes American journalists talk about how bad a country is, that people are lining up for food. That is a good thing. In other countries, people don’t line up for food: the rich get the food and the poor starve to death.”
Bernie swears that those comments are specifically directed at the situation with the Contras and the Castro-backed Sandinistas back in the mid 80's. As it says on his website, "Bernie formally protested the Reagan involvement in the Contra and Sandinista government feud. He visited Nicaragua in the summer of 1985 to condemn the war on the people there and came back very influenced by their health care, education, and land reform."
As far as Castro goes, Bernie believes people "forgot that [Castro] educated their kids, gave their kids healthcare, totally transformed the society.” Never mind that the "education" is more akin to "brainwashing," and that the "transformed society" is a complete hell hole. Those things don't penetrate Bernie's bizarre worldview. "It would be wrong," he claims, "not to state in Cuba they have made some good advances in health care."
Heck, even Hillary Clinton understands how warped Sanders is:
"I think in that same interview he praised what he called the revolution of values in Cuba and talked about how people were working for the common good, not for themselves. I just couldn't disagree more.
You know, if the values are that you oppress people, you disappear people, imprison people or even kill people for expressing their opinions, for expressing freedom of speech, that is not the kind of revolution of values that I ever want to see anywhere."
It's entirely possible that making me agree with Hillary Clinton is Bernie's single greatest political achievement. It's true, I can't seem to find any others, but it's impressive nonetheless.
To be clear, there's nothing inherently new about any of this. The video of Bernie, as well as the transcripts of his comments, have been around for a while. It's simply been flying - mostly - under the radar, so it seemed like something that was worth sharing. If there's one thing you should take away from it (other than the fact that Bernie is shockingly wrong-headed) it's this: isn't it telling that so many Dems are willing to look the other way and let this man take the reins of their organization?
The fact that these comments don't give Democrats pause about Sanders' candidacy speaks volumes about the real long-term goals of their party.
A Stossel segment on this appears below. h/t The Daily Beast