Bernie Sanders's New Hampshire victory speech: Terrifying
I listened to the victory speeches of both Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump last night. Frankly, in terms of delivery, Bernie's was a lot better than The Donald's. Trump's speech was mostly extemporaneous happy talk, and not particularly inspiring.
On the other hand, Bernie's speech was delivered with profound sincerity and conviction, and his supporters were wildly enthusiastic. His delivery was excellent.
It was the content I found to be not just troubling, but frightening.
I've never in my life heard such unapologetic, full-throated socialism in American politics. Sanders is the real deal. He's so left-wing he practically makes Obama look like the chairman of the Republican National Committee. At least Obama felt compelled to lie about the true extent of his leftism. Sanders doesn't – and he isn't kidding around. This is damn near Clement Attlee and Fabian socialist-type stuff. True, he's not advocating nationalizing industries (yet), but he's cocksure that he can take as much of anyone else's money as he wants and spend it on just about anything. Free single-payer health care, free college, green energy, no more fossil fuels, $15 minimum wage, end "institutional racism" – Sanders sees no limits on what government can, should, and will do. And "Wall Street" will pay for it all.
Yes, Sanders is right that "The System" is rigged in favor of "special interests." But he's not talking about "reform"; he's talking about transforming the federal government into Robin Hood. If Sanders ever read the Fifth Amendment's guarantee that "property" shall not be taken without due process and just compensation, it sure wasn't evident in his victory speech.
Sanders is absolutely killing Hillary, especially among millennials. She deserves the thumping she's getting, but Sanders supporters seem blithely ignorant of the fact he has never actually managed anything, and he has absolutely no track record to indicate that he could fulfill his promises – especially given the fact that the country will be $20 trillion in debt by inauguration day.
If Bernie's European-style socialism does come to America, it will be an utter disaster. Euro-socialism works because Europe still has a socially stratified society. A British girl who is born a princess or a baroness knows from the time she is a toddler that she is a princess or baroness – and the daughter of a working-class soccer yob knows from the time she is a toddler that she will never, ever be a princess or baroness. The purpose of European socialism is to buy off the lower classes to maintain the existing social order, and the European elites do a reasonably good job of managing socialist programs because maintaining their superior status depends upon it.
But in the United States, everyone is born equal under the law. The American attitude was always that any individual could enrich himself beyond his wildest dreams – but his ambition was tempered by the fact that he could just as well fall into complete destitution. Socialism in America would eliminate the latter – but not the former. American socialism would turn into the same kind of corruption, plunder, and special-interest favoritism that Sanders decries in the private sector.
But the kids are eating it up. Prior to last night, I thought Hillary would be the Democratic nominee for sure. Now I'm not so certain.