Free Markets, Free People

Why is Bernie Sanders so popular?

Essentially three reasons – youth, “progressive” leftists and economic illiterates.  And, yes, they can be all three.  But not necessarily.

Back in May as Sanders was emerging as a presidential candidate, many were caught by surprise that an avowed socialist could pile up the numbers he was getting.

Bernie Sanders, a Senator for Vermont and currently the only declared challenger to Hillary Clinton for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination, is the only member of Congress to describe himself as a socialist. For much of the Cold War socialism evoked images of military parades in Moscow’s Red Square, but for Sanders, and many of America’s self-declared socialists, their aim isn’t to bring revolution to America but to make America more like Sweden and Norway.

And, of course, that’s precisely what we’ve seen Sanders continue to do – tout the European model to hide the well-deserved reputation that socialism really has among the historically literate.  Apparently it has worked.  YouGov did a poll at that time and discovered the source of Sanders support.  While 52% of Americans have a favorable view of capitalism, only 26% have such a view for socialism.  Where is that favorable view to be found?

 Among younger Americans, however, attitudes are a lot more divided. 36% of under-30s have a positive view of socialism, while 39% have a positive view of capitalism.

Among older Americans, who actually lived through the era of socialism and watched its pernicious effects, only 15% view it favorably while 59% view it negatively.  So we have a whole generation growing up who have no experience seeing the reality of socialism played out in front of them.  Instead they’re pointed to a couple of socialist Potemkin villages and told that’s how it can be.  Don’t expect them to read the recent trashing of the Nordic model that is so obvious to those who have even an inkling of economic savvy.

Of course, we shouldn’t be surprised, as the Democratic party continues to move further left, that they support socialism more and more.

Democrats (43%) are also much more likely than either independents (22%) or Republicans (9%) to have a favorable view of socialism. Democrats, in fact, are as likely to have a favorable view of capitalism (43%) as socialism. While only 9% of Republicans see socialism in a positive light, 79% have a good view of capitalism.

History, apparently, has no relevance with the left.  Nor do facts or economic laws.  They’re sure that the only reason the magic of socialism hasn’t been successful and produced the utopia they’re sure it promises is it just hasn’t been done right … yet.

To a good portion of them, Bernie is the man to make that happen.

And, probably just as important is this is the same contingent that helped put our current occupant in the White House and keep him there for 2 terms.

~McQ

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21 Responses to Why is Bernie Sanders so popular?

  • “History, apparently, has no relevance with the left. ”
    Can’t have, they’re not learning any.

    Well, except to be told Columbus was a monster and that colonialism, anything that white people did back in the day, is a horrid stain on mankind…
    And hey, while we’re at it let’s remember that mankind itself is a horrid stain on the planet and there need to be fewer of us living in harmony with nature.

    But not to worry how we achieve <strong>that kids, let’s move along now, we have lots to hear about and see!

    Gender bias, white privilege, capitalism, climate change, evil white European males, anti-immigrant redneckery, Confederate flags, social justice, PIV is rape, war on women, Tea Party lunatics, slave holding founders, last century thinking!

    Ain’t got no time to discuss no Josef Stalin, North Korea, Mao’s cultural revolution, Khmer Rouge, personal responsibility, actual economics stuff!
    Move on! Move on!

  • Oh., furthermore, Bernie Sanders should really come as no surprise when we consider the only other viable and allegedly front running candidate for their party is, effectively, a national security violating felon who literally laughs at the idea that there’s any substance to any investigations of her illegal actions.

  • Yet another POS promising the children free candy.

    • … perhaps his campaign could rent a white van and go around and offer free candy and stuff

  • Bernie is the closest the idealistic idiots on the left have in this cycle to Barack Obama.

    Consider. They don’t really think about politics. They feel their way into political opinions. They backed Obama because it felt good. The rest was just rationalization. All of them, including idealistic idiots supposedly on the right such as David Brooks and Peggy Noonan, just made stuff up to justify their feel-good opinions. That’s why pant creases and supposed “world class temperament” were claimed Obama advantages.

    A subset of these idiots are so deep into magical thinking that they believe Bernie can transform America into a socialist paradise just by waving a wand or something. They don’t do the math. Most of them can’t count to twenty without taking off their shoes and socks. They just assume those wicked capitalists have some infinite money machine that will pay for anything they want. They don’t think anyone should ever have to worry about balancing their personal budget, or make tough decisions about attending college, or pay for healthcare.

    Dealing with those things is *hard* and to them, life should never be hard. It should be easy. They see others for whom life looks easy (without realizing the work they’ve done to get there) and think it’s unfair if life isn’t just easy for everyone.

    Those people voted for Obama to a man. He disappointed them, of course, by not being omnipotent enough to change the laws of economics and reality. So now they want a more undiluted form of magic, and Sanders offers it.

    These people are the stupid type who really thought that letter from Hogwarts was coming when they turned eleven. The entire world is magic to them, from the magical grocery store that has any kind of food they want to the magical machines that let them trumpet their self-important bullsh!+ to the whole world. They don’t understand how *any* of it works. Why should we expect them to understand politics and economics?

    • Yeah, I think the “Magic Man” thing is one way of seeing the dichotomy between Left vs Right.

      Thomas Sowell’s “A Conflict of Visions” talks about “constrained” and “unconstrained” views of human nature.

      Another view might be considered the difference between those who seek “The Perfect Person” and those who want “The Proper Process”.

      Lefties believe that when the Right Person is in power, he (via charisma, brilliance, or force – whatever is necessary) can lead the untermenschen in the right direction and bring about Utopia. (And that’s why the double-standards thing is Not-A-Problem for the Left – their Perfect Person has to be free to act in the right way at the right time, consistency be damned.)

      Those on the Right believe that nobody is perfect, nobody’s incorruptible, and nobody knows it all; therefore they want their leaders’ actions to be limited by requiring them to adhere to a predetermined methodology – ie, a Process which allows some options and forbids others. (The checks-and-balances which the Constitution places upon the three branches of government would be a good example.) There’s no expectation of Utopia in such a view, but since the Process is a broad-based agreement of How Things Should Be Run, it can be tweaked or amended as new circumstances present themselves. And it’s FAR less likely than the Leftist/ Proper Person viewpoint to lead to boxcars and gulags and genocide.

      • “Those on the Right believe that nobody is perfect, nobody’s incorruptible, and nobody knows it all; therefore they want their leaders’ actions to be limited by requiring them to adhere to a predetermined methodology ”

        Except when those actions involve invading countries populated by brown folks, right?

        • You prove yourself really too stupid to live.

          The Congress in a bipartisan vote, authorized the invasion of Irag on 23 (or 21…I can never remember) predicates. ONE of those was WMD.

        • Which is why there were votes on those invasions, that the Democrats voted for (back when they voted for it before they said they were against it)

          But don’t let reality intrude on our magical world view, that’s precisely the point Billy made.

          As for us, yes, we’re all just orcs that love nothing more than a good old invasion.

        • Its going so great right now?

          • Yes now we don’t invade the brown people countries, now we just blow up their stuff from the air so we avoid suffering casualties that might embarrass the current administration.
            Clearly that’s much better.

  • “Among older Americans, who actually lived through the era of socialism and watched its pernicious effects, only 15% view it favorably while 59% view it negatively. So we have a whole generation growing up who have no experience seeing the reality of socialism played out in front of them. Instead they’re pointed to a couple of socialist Potemkin villages and told that’s how it can be.”

    If we are going to tar Sanders with the history of authoritarian socialists, why not also tar today’s capitalism with the cronyism of the robber baron era?

    Also, the use of the concept of a “Potemkin Village” is inapt here. In the case of the actual Potemkin Village, it was one model community in a country that generally did not reflect that model. However, in the case of the Nordic countries, the entire country reflects the “model” you accuse them of putting forth. Whether or not that model is sound economically, it is not an actual case of a “Potemkin Village”.

    • If we are going to tar Sanders with the history of authoritarian socialists, why not also tar today’s capitalism with the cronyism of the robber baron era?

      Erm…because the robber barons are a myth created by Collectivists, that’s why.

      Socialism is inherently authoritarian and coercive. And Collectivism generally has a known body count that numbers in the 100 million + scale. Finally, crony capitalism is better termed fascist economics, which you and Bernie really support. Real socialism contemplates state ownership of productive assets. Fascist economic theory leaves nominal ownership in the hands of private entities, but imposes government control on it, and takes what part of the fruits of production government wants. It rewards “business” (always BIG business) by removing it from the rigors of the market.

      • Not to mention the fall of the authoritarian socialists being referenced came about a hundred years after the robber barons you conjured up.

        Which, to strengthen the point McQ made – was within the actual lifetime of “older Americans”.
        So few of us remember the robber barons because so few of us are 120+ years old you see.
        See the words “Among older Americans”, that would be living people, not part of a magical spell to resurrect older adults from the 1930’s.

        But the fields, they ARE full of straw men aren’t they? See if you can get a few more assembled for the next go round.

    • There is no other socialism than authoritarian socialism. Eventually someone abuses the system and a heavy hand is required to curb the exploitation. Or the exploitation is between the government and/or their associates and a heavy hand is needed to curb the public.

    • Who needs to point to authoritarian Socialists? Regular Socialists screw things up just as badly. Great Britain is an excellent example.

  • Kids don’t learn history, unfiltered, anymore. They are dowsed in propaganda in school and media. They couldn’t possible know better.

    • I recall helping son #1 with math during High School.

      There was a break out section in his text book on whatever they were studying at the time that contained a color photo segment on what I labeled “the evils of columbus”.

      I was, to say the least, a little pissed that a math book had anything about Columbus unless they were using him to discuss calculations for spheres, certainly not using him to discuss how great the Aztecs, Mayans and Inca’s were at math and how they no doubt would have had us all flying to Alpha Centauri by now if they hadn’t been overrun by colonizing looters, rapists and murders.

      He graduated 11 years ago.

      Imagine how much the texts have ‘improved’ since then.

      • A few years ago I came into possession of a college textbook for education majors. It was just chock full of all that evil Western Civilization, evil Capitalism, wonderful multiculturalism crap. That’s what they teach the teachers.

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