Saying that “Bernie is just a Trump of the Left” is an intellectually lazy way to criticize a candidate. When you cannot fault him on policy or personal grounds, you go after his base of support. Such an attack is as despicable as it is stupid.
Many benighted liberals at outlets ranging from the Washington Post to The Daily Beast like to concern troll by condemning Bernie for seeing things as too black and white yet they themselves are quick to dismiss the Bernie movement as simply “Trumpism of the left.” That is patently absurd. Firstly, conservatives and fascists are the ones who crave authoritarianism. If this mindset is to be found anywhere outside of the GOP then it is only to be found in the “vote blue no matter who” shock troops of the Democratic Party, who stand ready to condemn anyone who will not follow orders.
Even worse, neoliberal pols like Pete Buttigieg are explicitly condemning Bernie supporters by comparing them directly with Trump supporters. It is almost as if passion, enthusiasm and commitment in politics have become gauche, unacceptable and defined only as hallmarks of the Right.
How things have changed.
When I was a young Democrat, we used to say that “Republicans fall in line, Democrats fall in love.” That axiom seems to have been tossed to the curb, discarded along with Keynesian economics and the New Deal ideology of standing for the working class. The centrist or “moderate” corporate Democrats have now completed their transformation into Republicans (just Republicans who are OK with abortion and gay marriage).
We must all “fall in line” and be practical and listen to our leaders and our betters, our thought police and the corporate think tanks. Heck, it’s not just Obama liberals like Jonathan Chait, it’s also unabashed Republican neocons like Bret Stephens, Max Boot and Jennifer Rubin who are falling all over each other to tell us Democrats how we should vote, and why. It is a sad day when Democrats have to get their political marching orders from the mouths of neocon Republican pundits. But hey, I never thought I would see Democrats protesting vigorously to defend an unreconstructed racist like Jeff Sessions or a war criminal like John Bolton.
But I digress.
Those who try to equate Bernie with Trump have joined that most insidious cohort of neoliberals and #NeverTrump dead-enders who are clutching their pearls in horror at the thought of a potential resurrection of the Party of FDR, i.e., one that stands more with the blue collar working class than with the PMC; a Party that represents Main St. rather than Wall St.
The idea behind this “Trumpism of the Left” argument is fairly clear: it is to portray the agenda of Bernie Sanders as extreme and as unpopular as the policies of Donald Trump, while also trying to portray Bernie himself as an uncompromising, extremist who is also then to be rejected like Trump.
Passionate? Yeah. Engaged? Yeah. Willing to fight? HELL yeah!
When they aren’t comparing Bernie himself with Trump, the elitist media like to go after the supporters of Sanders, portraying them as equally unhinged, ill-informed and/or violent. That these neoliberal elitists would compare “#NotMeUs” to “#MAGA” is profoundly telling. It means they are either intellectually lazy, deliberately obtuse or just one more dissembling propagandist.
That said, Berners in 2016 developed a reputation for taking “direct action” against Trump, protesting his rallies and forcefully ejecting Trump infiltrators from Bernie events.
It helps to be organized, and that is what the Bernie Movement is all about.
Remember the #TrumpRally wasn't just luck. It took organizers from dozens of organizations and thousands of people to pull off. Great work.
— People for Bernie (@People4Bernie) March 12, 2016
Going to war with the army that we have
Within the Bernie Movement there are millions of activists, supporters and allies who are ready to mobilize on a moment’s notice. We are ready to get in the streets and fight because we know that is what it is going to take for us to bring real change to America.
But in the meantime, it is what we will need to defeat Trump and his MAGA army.
EuroYankee is a dual citizen, US-EU. He travels around Europe, writing on politics, culture and such. He pays his US taxes so he gets to weigh in on what is happening in the States.