Senator Bernie Sanders: Man of the people?


Bernie Sanders, after winning his first election for the U.S. House of Representatives. Photo by Lisa Jacobson, published in the Nov. 8, 1990 issue of the Cynic.
Bernie Sanders, after winning his first election for the U.S. House of Representatives. Photo by Lisa Jacobson, published in the Nov. 8, 1990 issue of the Cynic.

One month ago, after the GOP debate hosted by Fox News, the honor of most retweeted tweet for the Republican debate came not from a Republican, but from Democrat, or independent, or democratic socialist, or socialist — depending on what day of the week it is, or what is more palatable given the audience and venue — Sen. Sanders:

“It’s over. Not one word about economic inequality, climate change, Citizens United or student debt. That’s why the ours are so out of touch.”

It remains to be seen why Sanders (Yes, Sanders. Not “Bernie.” He’s a senator, not your freshman year roomie whose fake ID was primarily responsible for your social life) was hoping for any commentary on economic inequality or the Citizens United decision.

What does he think this is? The Party for Quasi-Independents Who Caucus with Democrats While Calling for Socialism as Seen in Scandinavia, Despite the Fact that Sweden is, in Fact, Not a Socialist Country?

Still, his tweet is funny for a few reasons.

1) If the Republican Party is so “out of touch,” why does it control both houses of Congress and the majority of state gubernatorial positions?

2) If we should assume, then, that Sanders is “i
n touch,” why is he trailing Clinton?

3) If Sanders vowed to run an “issue oriented campaign,” and to “not go negative,” why is he attacking Republicans and going negative?

4) If membership with the Republican Party guarantees one a place that is out of touch, what are the prerequisites for being in touch? Does it require next to no private sector experience since the ‘60s creating wealth to which one feels vicariously entitled?

Or maybe the sort of attitude that education is only peripheral to the act of protesting on campus (refer to the online article on the Cynic website entitled “Bernie Sanders on College Education”).

(Seriously, read it. He skipped his classes, protested on campus, said his protesting was more important than his education, and nowadays claims that a college education is cardinal enough to everyday life that it must now be free.)

Or perhaps the belief that if one does work in the private sector, maybe as a result of the education one received from a college degree, then that person is a “nice cog in the machine”? You know, like most people.

Indeed, Sanders’ immense disconnect from FDR’s archetypal “forgotten man” is not very popular to point out in most circles, especially given his unquestionable left-wing bona fides.

APRIL FOOLS - some commie shoots four guys on slopesBut his angsty, progressive-ish tirades against the number of deodorant sprays available, claiming that the inherent diversity of toiletry options represents a trade-off between smelling good and feeding children, betrays the already half-assed “man of the people” getup.

Not everybody appreciates Old Spice “Pure Sport,” and even fewer people believe that its alternatives starve children. But Sanders’ faux-asceticism must be good for everybody.

We can criticize Bush Sr. for the (debunked) story of him appearing befuddled by the sight of a grocery store barcode scanner, but we can at least assume he wasn’t kept up at night in the belief that he was contributing to world hunger by switching his brand of antiperspirant at the check out line.

Man of the people? Probably not. His lack of wealth notwithstanding, he’s as entitled and morally presumptuous as the most overreaching of plutocrats. Keep Vermont weird, sure; butkeep the executive office away from Sanders.