By Todd Smith | The Caledonian Record
To the surprise of precisely no one, “Independent” Senator Bernie Sanders has announced for reelection to a third term in the U.S. Senate.
In a message to constituents, Sanders ran through his well-worn “democratic socialist” shtick (without naming it as such): “Medicare for all, a $15/hour living wage, free college tuition at public colleges and universities and the reduction of student debt, rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure, fighting climate change and promoting racial, social and environmental justice.”
At the same time he decried these evils: the “right-wing extremist, Republican Congress attempt to throw up to 32 million Americans off of the health care they have, give a trillion dollars in tax breaks to the richest people in our country and the largest corporations, destroy environmental legislation, work aggressively to deny women the right to control their own bodies and end net neutrality.”
He also asked recipients to make a $3 donation to his campaign. Even with no serious opponent, Bernie apparently believes that his $6.9 million war chest might not be enough to put him over the top. So he wants more, especially from people who can’t afford more than $3.
It’s clear Bernie has no plans to stop masquerading as an “independent.” The lifetime politician is sitting chair of the Democratic Senate Caucus Outreach Committee, which you can bet won’t encourage anyone to run for office as an “independent.”
This also is the same “independent” who sought the presidential nomination of a party he refuses to belong to, and may well do so again (when he’s 78).
This is an “independent” who organizes his supporters to vote in the primary of the party he won’t belong to, in order to give him the Democratic nomination for re-election. Then he will politely decline the nomination he organized people to deliver to him. That way no real Democrat can get on the ballot and jeopardize Bernie’s chances of winning in November as an “independent.”
Whatever one may think about Bernie Sanders’ “democratic socialism” agenda, the myth of his “independence” has long since succumbed to his lust for the easiest path to a lifetime job in Washington as America’s fiercest apostle of democratic (small d) socialism.
Over the next month Bernie will hold spaghetti dinners and local rallies around the state, to remind voters that he’s the Senator from Vermont. Then, facing no reelection threat here at home, he’ll disappear around the country with his $6.9 million war chest to urge voters in other states to elect Bernie-clones, running on the ticket of the party he won’t belong to because he’s an “independent.”
Bernie Sanders will never make anyone’s list of Great Statesman, but he sure ranks on top of our list of Great Self-Serving Hypocrites.
Todd M. Smith is the publisher of the Caledonian Record, where this editorial first appeared. He lives in St. Johnsbury.