Although Bernie's rape fantasy essay is getting scrutiny, it's not worth the effort
One of the weapons in Mike Bloomberg's arsenal is the fact that Bernie Sanders has written and said some pretty bizarre things about sex over the years. Tim O'Brien, a former adviser to Mike Bloomberg, told CNN's Alisyn Camerota about an essay Bernie wrote in the 1970s claiming that capitalism promotes pornography. Bernie apparently asserted there that little children should be naked and touch each other to end the sexual frustration that drives the pornography market.
O'Brien added, "He has written about women's rape fantasies[.]" Much as Bernie's embrace of socialism makes him a vile candidate, that last allegation isn't something to tag him with. Here's the real story.
In 1972, Bernie wrote an essay entitled "man-and woman":
The first paragraphs are the ones that got all the attention:
A man goes home and masturbates his typical fantasy. A woman on her knees, a woman tied up, a woman abused.
A woman enjoys intercourse with her man — as she fantasizes being raped by 3 men simultaneously.
The man and woman get dressed up on Sunday — and go to Church, or maybe to their "revolutionary" political meeting.
Read on, though, and you'll realize that Bernie, a terrible writer, was using shocking imagery to make a point that had nothing to do with rape fantasies. Instead, he was saying that both pornography and newspaper headlines push a worldview that says men should dominate women and women should enjoy being dominated.
For paragraph after paragraph, Bernie awkwardly tries to explain that men and women should no longer be controlled by traditional dynamics that see women entirely dependent on men for food. He also notes that women resent men (something that feminism emphasizes) and that men, therefore, distrust women. He urges men and women to find a new method of communication for a better type of relationship.
At worst, Bernie is an awful writer. At best, he was writing not about porn but about the way people can be better than mere consumers of porn.
The important point is that this essay is not the battlefield on which Republicans should be fighting. Bernie has a defensible position here.
Instead, conservatives should focus on the real problem with Bernie: he is a genuinely evil man. Yes, that sounds extreme, but keep in mind that despite knowing that socialism has caused 100,000,000 deaths and countless ruined lives over the past 104 years, Bernie still thinks it's the best game in town. Everyone says Bernie is honest, but he's not. No one can be honest when peddling the world's biggest lie, which is that socialism benefits people.
What's become increasingly clear over the course of the last debates, and after studying Bernie's history, is that he has an affinity for totalitarian socialist dictatorships. He's traveled to Cuba, Nicaragua, and the Soviet Union. He's come back from each marveling at the wonders of places that support the NPR vision of a perfect world — namely, free cultural events, free health care, and literacy.
In each socialist dictatorship to which he traveled, Bernie was willfully blind to the costs of the free health care cultural initiatives he admired. He still is. He disavows the authoritarianism, the gulags, and the dead bodies but repeatedly states his admiration for the other things associated with hardcore socialism: socialized medicine (which means people get seen but not treated), gun control (which he opposed when he was a foot soldier and supports now that he's got power within his reach), the destruction of capitalism, wealth redistribution, total government education, and everything else that a true socialist dreams about.
Bernie's a fool, but he's not stupid. He must know that these initiatives, by vesting all power in the government, inevitably require authoritarianism because the government is calling the shots. It's obvious that Bernie dreams of tyranny. He just tells himself he's going to be a nice tyrant.
Bernie's support for despotism is a much better line of attack than focusing on a stupid, awkward essay saying men and women shouldn't have fantasies about rape.