The latest Bernie Sanders smear
I personally like the heavy sarcasm of this Splinter article.
In a move that is sure to be received in good faith and with nuance by everyone, Bernie Sanders has told the New York Times that he will release 10 years worth of his tax returns by Monday—and confirmed that he is now a millionaire, something we already knew from his 2017 Senate financial disclosure.
Indeed, I suspect it is highly unlikely that Sanders’ critics will leap on his millionaire status, as the Times pointed out and was definitely not super weird about:
Bernie is now worth $2.5 million, which still leaves him as one of the poorer members of Congress. $1.7 million came from his recent books. So how is this a bad thing?
What does Sanders, the scourge of the wealthy, have to say about his own wealth? He is uncharacteristically silent: A Sanders spokesman didn’t respond to repeated requests for comment.
In fact Sanders did respond. Forbes just didn't wait for it.
The next step might be for Sanders, who routinely vilifies “millionaires and billionaires” on the campaign trail, to say something constructive about work and wealth, and how to use public policy to promote them.
When asked about his happy financial status, Sanders offered this bit of wisdom: “I wrote a best-selling book. If you write a best-selling book, you can be a millionaire, too.”
But what if you’re the owner of a small business, or an entrepreneur, or a dentist? Are those equally acceptable routes to becoming a millionaire? What if you’re a farmer, or an engineer, or an investor? Do those count?
This is weak even by MSM standards.
It's almost like they haven't listened to what Bernie has said at all. He's been denouncing it what the 1% has been DOING, not being.
They've created a strawman argument.
Bernie wants us to be more like Denmark and Sweden, and no one in Scandinavia gets modestly wealth there. Not.
But the big smear of Bernie is hypocrisy.
Socialism is not about giving away wealth. Socialism is about the acquisition of wealth. It is never about sharing wealth. Sharing wealth is called charity. People who want to share their wealth give money away to charity. They give it a bum on the street, they give it to their church, they give it to nonprofit organizations and charities. Socialism is about accumulation. It’s about the accumulation of wealth and the accumulation of power. It’s about saying too many people have too many things out there, we’re going to not give anything away, but we’re going to take that wealth away from them and concentrate it in the hands of a small number of people, also known as the government. That’s socialism.
No. That is NOT socialism. That isn't close to the definition of socialism.
Almost no one on the right even knows what socialism actually is.
And this is something Bernie should point out over and over again.
Conservatives think that there’s some contradiction with millionaire socialists. No, of course, a socialist is going to be a millionaire. All a socialist is concerned with is taking money, bringing in money, and accumulating money. You’ll notice most of the people who are pushing socialism are extremely wealthy. Bernie Sanders is a millionaire.
No. Most wealthy people hate and fear socialism. Most socialists aren't wealthy.
Are you noticing a pattern of strawman arguments here?
Don't think that this smear only gets repeated on the right.
“Bernie is lucky to live in a capitalist society,” CNN’s Erin Burnett remarked on a Tuesday episode of her show. “It’s all very off-brand and embarrassing, but Senator Bernie Sanders is a millionaire,” announced one ThinkProgress piece.
If Sanders is a hypocrite, it’s for delaying the release of his tax returns. The size of his bank account has nothing to do with it. A person can criticize capitalism, or even categorically oppose capitalism, despite being wealthy. Left-wing movements always have their class traitors, as any college freshman who is passingly familiar with Friedrich Engels could remind us. In a similar vein, socialism’s antagonists haven’t updated their arguments much over the last century or so. Leftists have frequently been accused of either lusting for other people’s money, or betraying their own cause because they do not live in cardboard boxes. Sanders has been subjected to similar attacks for years. “Bernie Sanders slams billionaires, gets reminded he owns 3 houses,” the Washington Examiner trumpeted in 2017. “Socialist Bernie Sanders Wears a $700 Jacket While Complaining About Rich People,” Newsweek jabbed a year later. (The jacket happened to be a gift.)
I'm hoping that this smear makes it into the debates because Bernie could both hit it out of the park, and use it to educate the public about what socialism actually is.