Yes, it matters that Bernie was a communist
Many on the left want you to remember what Bret Kavanaugh allegedly did 36 years ago when he was 16, and want you to forget what Bernie Sanders said in the 1980s about communism.
Yes, it matters what Senator Sanders was running around saying about communism. This is a sample of what he said:
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I–Vt.) has spent his entire career explaining away the inevitable downsides of massively increasing the power of the state over the individual.
Sanders once identified as a socialist who, with reservations, admired the economic achievements of Cuba under Fidel Castro, of Nicaragua under the Sandinistas, and of the Soviet Union right up to the fall of the Berlin Wall.
Running for office as a candidate for the Liberty Union Party in Vermont in the 1970s, Sanders sought a top tax rate of 100%, saying "nobody should earn more than $1 million."
Sanders wanted to stop businesses from moving out of their original communities, arguing that the ultimate solution to protect workers was national legislation that would "bring about the public ownership of the major means of production." He favored the government seizure of "utilities, banks, and major industries," without compensation to investors or stockholders.
Shortly after he was elected mayor of Burlington, Vermont, in 1981, Sanders told a room full of charity workers, "I don't believe in charities," because only the government should provide social services to the needy.
He traveled to Nicaragua in 1985 to meet Sandinista leaders, who had installed a socialist government after overthrowing an American-backed dictator. Sanders attended the sixth-anniversary celebration of the Sandinistas' revolution and praised Nicaraguan president Daniel Ortega.
That 's your Bernie when he was in his 40s!
To be fair, people change. I have met many people who traveled to Cuba in the 1960s and became totally disillusioned with the socialist paradise. They went to Cuba as idealistic young people but left realizing that the whole thing was a fraud.
The real question is this: Has Senator Sanders made a speech saying that he was wrong? Has he told his young audiences that socialism is not what they read in textbooks?
Yes, it matters what Sanders said in the 1980s. It matters because Sanders has never taken back any of his praises of socialism or communism.