Supporters of Bernie Sanders understandably relish recent polls that show him beating Donald Trump in a hypothetical matchup, while Hillary Clinton languishes in a dead heat with the GOP nominee.
Sanders and his followers cite those polls as evidence that he is the more electable progressive candidate. They urge party delegates to ignore the will of primary voters, forsake Clinton and throw their support to him. They invoke the polls as justification for the Senator’s decision to prolong the contest and damage the party by sowing division and stoking bitterness among his minions — despite having no viable mathematical path to the nomination.
In fact, those polls vastly overstate the Senator’s popularity. Neither Clinton nor the Republicans have bothered to attack Sanders.
That would certainly change if the Senator somehow became the nominee. The GOP would move swiftly to burst the fragile bubble of his popularity and demolish the Democrats. They could instantly turn most of the electorate against him by running footage of Sanders outing himself as a godless socialist. And by tallying up the ruinous tax hikes it would take to deliver on his promises.
But they would not stop there.
Republicans have a strong instinct for the jugular and a special flair for negative campaigning.
In 1972, Nixon’s team cynically cast George McGovern — a decent liberal and World War II hero — as the candidate of the counterculture, an apostle of “acid, amnesty and abortion.”
After the overt racism of Reagan’s welfare queen spiel and the Willie Horton ads of Bush the Elder, the GOP returned to wrecking war heroes. In the 2000 primaries, Bush the Younger’s operatives depicted John McCain as a gay Manchurian candidate who sired a black child out of wedlock after he “abandoned the veterans.” Four years later, they Swift Boated John Kerry.
If Republican hit men successfully crucified bona fide patriots like McGovern, McCain and Kerry, then imagine what they would do to an unreconstructed leftist like Bernie Sanders.
Or, just read on.
Sanders as Pol Pot
Republicans would equate the Senator’s call for a socialist revolution with the orgies of violence that spawned and sustained totalitarian Communism, the most murderous ideology in world history — killer of 94 million people in the 20th century.
It might seem like a stretch to link a nice old man like Sanders to genocidal maniacs like Stalin and Mao, but the Senator’s past ties make it easy enough for political assassins to connect the dots: In 1980, Sanders served as an elector for the Socialist Workers’ Party, founded by Trotskyite splitters from the Moscow-controlled Communist Party of the USA. Before the split, Trotsky worked with Lenin and Stalin to foment the Bolshevik Revolution and became complicit in the murder of millions. Spooky music plays under chilling narration as gruesome photos of the Terror Famine alternate with grainy mug shots of Lenin, Trotsky, Stalin, Sanders….
Sanders, Treason, & the Cold War
Sanders and the Socialist Workers’ Party advocated unilateral disarmament in 1980 — zeroing out the budgets of the Pentagon and the CIA, and disbanding both the armed forces and our international spy network. In other words, Sanders and his Trotskyite comrades urged the United States to abandon our allies around the world and forfeit the Cold War to the Communists. Detente, by the way, had ended with the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in December 1979, so Sanders was advocating unconditional American surrender in the face of renewed Communist aggression.
Sanders, Treason, & Castro
Backed by Sanders, the Socialist Workers’ Party also called for “solidarity” with Communist Cuba in 1980 — during the Mariel Boatlift, when Castro emptied his prisons and mental institutions to swamp our shores with more than 125,000 criminals, lunatics, homosexuals and others. Sanders did not care that Castro’s Revolution had butchered more than 100,000 Cubans since 1959. Nor did Sanders care that Castro at that time had troops in Central America, Africa and the Middle East backing Communist forces in wars against American allies — the same friends that Sanders was urging the US to abandon by scrapping the Pentagon and the CIA.
Sanders, Treason, & the Ayatollah
Finally, Sanders supported the Socialist Workers’ Party in calling for solidarity with the revolutionary regime of the Ayatollah Khomeini in 1980 — during the Iran hostage crisis. How could Sanders endorse a despotism that had flouted international law by kidnapping 52 American diplomats and was at that time torturing those captives — our countrymen? Why would Sanders — a secular Jew — support a fundamentalist Muslim theocracy that vows to destroy Israel and denounces America as the Great Satan? How could we possibly trust him as commander in chief to keep us and our children safe from terrorists?
Of course, there is more — much more — in the Senator’s record that Republicans could exploit, but the above examples should suffice to show how thoroughly the GOP would devour Bernie Sanders in a general election.
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