This appeared in the Boston Herald over the weekend:
Bay State U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren welcomed fellow liberal from the north, Vermont U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, into the presidential sweepstakes yesterday, even as she continues to resist efforts to draft her into the race.
Being the cynical beast that I am, I can’t help but imagine a private conversation recently taking place, one that perhaps went something like this:
“Bernie. Hey, thanks for taking a few minutes. Listen. I’ve been thinking. Someone’s got to run against Hillary.”
“I’ve been thinking the same thing, Liz. You can already see how’s she’s being pulled more and more toward the bland center. Pretty soon she won’t stand for anything.”
“Or stand up to anyone. Not the banks, not big money in politics, nothing.
“Sure seems likely.”
“So we’re agreed, Bernie? One of us should run?”
“I think so, Liz. Probably it should be you. You’ve got much more of a national profile. You could actually pull off an upset.”
“Yeah….hmmmm….I’m not so sure….I think Hillary’s probably going to end up with the nomination anyway. I’m thinking it might be better if it were you, Bernie.”
“Why me? I’m not set up to go national at all. Hell, most of the people in my own neighboring states think I’m a bit of a left-wingnut, thanks to that ‘socialist’ comment I made a while back.”
“Right. That’s the reason, actually. You see, Bernie, somewhere in the not-too-far future—let’s say, I don’t know, maybe eight years from now—I could actually win. While you…well… let’s be honest….”
“So you’re saying I should be a sacrificial lamb, Liz? Don’t know if I like that so much.”
“It’s probably our best move if we want to have any influence on the issues at all.”
“Jeez… OK… Sure…. Why not…”
And so Bernie’s in the race.
But even if he is something of an extremist, something of a sacrificial lamb, does that make him like Ted Cruz? Of course not. But this does:
Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders is NOT a Democrat.
Check it out for yourself if you don’t believe me. He’s an (I), and has been since 1979. He caucuses with the Democrats, of course, and certainly leans more leftward than anyone else currently holding national office, having declared, in 1990, “I am a socialist and everyone knows that.”
That statement—that one statement—makes him quite a bit like Ted Cruz.
Stay with me for a minute while I ask you to remember the key thrust of nearly all my political commentary: Hypocrisy, dishonesty, and political hijackery is completely and totally unacceptable, even when viewed as the means to an otherwise desired result.
In the same way that Ted Cruz isn’t a real Republican, Bernie Sanders isn’t a real Democrat. Both of them are using the major parties as cover for extremist views, ones that, if implemented, would create radical changes in the fabric of our society. In both cases these men lack the courage, the willingness, to come out and run as they truly are. Ted, you’re not a Republican. You’re a Tea. Bernie, you’re not a Democrat. You’re a Socialist.
I’m particularly disappointed in you, Senator Sanders, since you have, until this time, proudly declared yourself an Independent—and won while doing so. But now, regardless of your reasons (and how noble they might appear to your supporters), you apparently believe the only way to make an impact is to disavow one of your core beliefs, something that makes you who you are.
I simply can’t respect that. In the same way that Ted Cruz blithely lies about being a genuine Republican, you think it’s okay to pretend you’re a genuine Democrat.
We deserve honesty from our politicians. We won’t get it, though. Too many are perfectly happy seeing our process hijacked by dishonesty, as long as it serves a purpose they happen to deem somehow “higher.”
But remember not just who you’re voting for, but what. A vote for Sanders (or for Cruz) is a vote for deception, a vote for the two-party system, a vote for corruption.
Because lying to get what you want—even if it’s just to make a point—is corrupt.
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