Gregory Hood, American Renaissance, February 8, 2020
It could not have gone better for Bernie Sanders. Days ago, leftists were accusing the DNC of “stealing” Iowa, and Vox worried that voters think our electoral system is rigged. Now, Sen. Sanders can claim victory over a system his supports think is designed to stop him.
Most Republicans are rejoicing. They assume the Democrats are weak and divided. The GOP appears strong. The Senate acquitted Donald Trump (despite Mitt Romney) and the President is enjoying the highest approval ratings he’s ever had. President Trump also gave an impressive State of the Union speech. The economy is doing well. Americans are optimistic about their paychecks. “For three years, Democrats threw everything they had at Trump,” wrote the Washington Post’s Marc Thiessen, but the President has emerged “strengthened and emboldened.”
However, I’m filled with foreboding. I see a warning from Iowa. I feel like it’s 2016 again. This time, the storm is coming from the Left.
Bernie Sanders is the frontrunner, even though he’s technically not a Democrat. He will probably win New Hampshire. Black voters are supposed to be Joe Biden’s firewall, but Mr. Sanders is within five points of first place in South Carolina. If Mr. Sanders wins there, it’s hard to see Joe Biden coming back, or Barack Obama tainting his image by endorsing the former vice president. What is the point of Mr. Biden’s campaign other than his supposed “electability?”
Center-left technocrats such as Pete Buttigieg and Michael Bloomberg will throw everything they have at Bernie Sanders, but they are competing for the same voters. The Vermont senator’s fans are firmly committed. The key difference between Sen. Sanders and every other candidate is that the senator is leading a movement.
In 2015–2016, Donald Trump ran for president. Journalists, pundits, and politicians laughed. He beat them all. Republican strategists confidently bragged to me that they would stop Donald Trump, if necessary, at the Republican National Convention. Now, they toady to him.
Today, the man who led the attempt to free RNC delegates to vote against Donald Trump — Ken Cuccinelli — is handling President Trump’s immigration policy. In 2016, Donald Trump pulled out of CPAC at the last minute because he knew he’d be booed by movement conservatives. Today, it’s Mitt Romney who is not welcome because he voted against the President. Ninety-four percent of Republicans support Donald Trump.
Those who have spent their careers in the Beltway (which, until recently, included me) overestimate their ability to control campaigns. In 2008, Republicans assumed that the ruthless Hillary Clinton machine would crush the naive Barack Obama. In 2016, Republican “strategists” were bragging they would stop Donald Trump. Remember when conservative pundits told us to vote for Evan McMullin?
Those who think the DNC can somehow thwart Bernie Sanders are underestimating the senator. He has the same kind of energy Donald Trump did in 2015–16. Reports that John Kerry thinks he can stop Mr. Sanders remind me of conservatives arguing that Marco Rubio or Jeb Bush would stop Donald Trump in South Carolina.
Bernie Sanders has advantages over Donald Trump in a general election. Big Tech has purged some of the President’s most dedicated supporters. Even on the relatively free internet of 2015–2016, dissident Donald Trump supporters mostly worked anonymously. In contrast, the Democratic Socialists of America are free to spread their message and memes online without interference, and under their real names. Amazon won’t let American Renaissance sell books, but if a socialist writes a book explaining why we need to confiscate Jeff Bezos’ money, he won’t have a problem.
In the offline world, the DSA is growing rapidly and enjoys media support, especially because many journalists are members. Socialists and anarchists will not be doxxed by reporters or fired by employers. James O’Keefe’s organization secretly videoed Bernie Sanders staffers. They have suffered no consequences despite some shocking conversations:
- One staffer muses about “directing violence towards property” and abolishing landlords so tenants don’t have to kill them.
- Another brags about a “violent response” to those working against “your f***ing revolution.”
- Another fantasizes about “getting armed” and murdering “the rich,” which in these situations tends to be defined very broadly.
- Another talks about “gulags” and “re-educating” people so they aren’t “Nazis,” which, these days, is defined even more broadly.
More videos are coming, but they don’t matter. While the conservative movement remains in a permanent defensive crouch about “racism,” the Sanders campaign can preach revolution and count on the mainstream media to smooth away the harsh edges. Naive, well-off whites may believe the journalists who repeat in soothing tones that Sen. Sanders is a nice man while bemoaning that the awful President Trump said something vulgar again.
Of course, it’s precisely the well-off, comfortable, suburban whites who have the most to lose. The truly wealthy can move overseas.
Bernie Sanders is a communist. He refused to reject the label in 1972, and it would be interesting to see if he rejects it today. He spent his honeymoon in the Soviet Union, blasting American foreign policy against Third World communist regimes. This wasn’t just anti-interventionism; he openly praised the way Fidel Castro “totally transformed” Cuba. Sen. Sanders supported the Sandinistas as well. From serving in the youth wing of the Socialist Party USA to participating in communist front organizations, Sen. Sanders has practically spent his entire life working with, defending, and advancing the hard left. When he was mayor of Burlington, he named the city softball team the “People’s Republic of Burlington” and the town’s minor league baseball team the “Vermont Reds.” He championed desegregating white neighborhoods north and south, forcing millions of whites to become refugees in their own country.
In the past, Bernie Sanders has said sensible things. He called open borders a Koch Brothers proposal. He defended the Second Amendment. The Washington Examiner recently tried to tie Sen. Sanders to George Wallace because he once said Wallace was at least “sensitive to what people feel and need.” Some leftists also attacked Sen. Sanders for accepting Joe Rogan’s endorsement because Mr. Rogan has made politically incorrect jokes.
Unfortunately, Bernie Sanders has reversed himself on almost everything nationalists could support. He’d immediately halt deportations, reinstitute DACA, and reorganize ICE and the CBP. When challenged by a voter who accused him of reversing his position on immigration, Mr. Sanders sounded like a Koch brother. He claimed that removing illegals would increase the price of food. “Who do you think is picking the crops and planting all over the country?” he asked. This is the same argument the Chamber of Commerce makes, and it’s not true anyway. If illegals were removed, technology and better paid American workers would replace resentful foreigners.
Bernie Sanders would bring back the “assault weapons” ban and “essentially [make] them impossible to own.” He’d also abolish any Voter ID laws and reduce criminal penalties in the name of “racial justice.” However, law-abiding whites might be casualties in his promised “war” on white nationalism and racism. Sen. Sanders promises socialized medicine, and his refusal to enforce immigration laws would make “Medicare for All” a budgetary black hole. He would abolish private insurance so you would have no escape, except, presumably, overseas.
Bernie Sanders would excite the radical left, giving it even more state protection than President Trump’s limp Department of Justice. A President Sanders would spy on white advocates, presumably using RICO statutes. While he wouldn’t be so embarrassingly servile towards Israel, Sen. Sanders is no different from other Democrats in spreading paranoia about “Russia’s plans to once again meddle in our elections and in our democracy.” Clearly, Sen. Sanders doesn’t have the same warm feelings for Russia that he did during the Soviet period; it’s not Communist anymore. I suspect Sen. Sanders would just as willing to use military force abroad as President Trump. He supported the despicable American bombing campaign against Serbia in 1999.
Some may agree that Bernie Sanders would be a bad president, but think he would prove useful for our movement. I disagree for three reasons.
First, I don’t believe that Bernie Sanders would inspire white Americans to “wake up” and suddenly become white advocates. In Virginia, gun owners peacefully protested after a liberal takeover of the statehouse, but they spent their time telling reporters they weren’t racist. Unless conservative Virginia counties get serious about joining West Virginia, gun owners will lose their rights. Conservatives, by their nature, will sooner give up and retreat into isolation than rise up. Indeed, a Sanders Administration might make conservatives identify solely with the defense of “capitalism” and “free markets,” completely jettisoning whatever national populism has seeped into the GOP during the Trump Administration.
Second, I don’t think white advocates are ready for the kind of repression a Sanders Administration would unleash. Since the catastrophic Unite The Right rally in 2017, we’ve been deplatformed and defamed, even though state and local officials failed to keep opposing parties apart and used the ensuing violence as an excuse to shut down a lawful assembly. Perhaps repression was inevitable. Under a President Sanders, the status quo may soon seem like nothing. It’s easy to imagine pressure on banks to stop doing business with us, revocation of non-profit status, loss of URLs and therefore websites, and even legal restrictions on free speech. Though we are far stronger than we were one year ago, white advocates do not have the infrastructure to face serious repression.
Finally, I believe white advocates win if we are positioned as the opposition to the system. This isn’t just framing; we are the Establishment’s target. In his entire life, Bernie Sanders has never dealt with the blistering attacks that white advocates or even traditional conservatives deal with every day. Sen. Sanders will never have to worry about his bank account being shut down or police ignoring death threats. Yet, he can attack billionaires like Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, or Mark Zuckerberg, all of whom are silencing and suppress us, not socialists like him.
Thus, Sen. Sanders has it both ways; the appeal of the revolutionary without any of the danger. I’d much rather oppose a smarmy plutocrat like Michael Bloomberg or even lose to him. It makes it easier to explain our nationalist, populist message to those being impoverished by policies that a Sanders Presidency will make worse.
There’s a concept that must be addressed — “accelerationism,” the idea that worse is better. My take is that there is no universal rule. Sometimes worse is better. Sometimes worse is just worse. The question is whether you have an infrastructure that can take advantage of a crisis. Logistically, we don’t have that yet, which is why it’s so important for us to organize and build while we still can.
I don’t think most ordinary Americans would revolt against tyranny, unless the federal government literally began confiscating firearms door-to-door. Conservative Americans would use their guns to defend their guns, but not much more. There’s even an argument to be made that guns are a crutch, a way for Americans to pretend we are free when we are not.
However, I am an accelerationist when it comes to the way I want and expect leftists to behave. President Trump winning a second term could literally drive some leftists insane, especially if the DNC does somehow prevent Bernie Sanders from winning the nomination. Antifa have already begun attacking immigration law enforcement, and such a campaign would probably intensify if Donald Trump wins. I also think conservatives will be willing to crack down on leftist attacks on the government.
Bernie Sanders is uniquely suited to lead an American movement. His supposed heirs — Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar — can’t speak to ordinary Americans the way he can. Despite his age, he’s formidable. He’d crush President Trump in debates. (Joe Biden, the “electable” candidate, would flounder.) If Sen. Sanders loses, it’s very possible the socialist insurgency will simply exhaust itself in pointless displays of militancy like SDS’s “Days of Rage” campaigns. Meanwhile, we could build on the progress of the last years, building our institutions, making ourselves anti-fragile, and waging nationalist campaigns and candidates that don’t rely on “dog whistles” and offer positive solutions for our people.
Theoretically, supporting Bernie Sanders now might serve a strategic purpose. The best possible outcome would be that Senator Sanders wins some primaries, someone like Michael Bloomberg swoops in and is nominated, and then President Trump is re-elected. If that happens, one could easily imagine the Democrat Party shattering. However, this is a dangerous gamble. If the last few years have shown us anything, it’s that politics is more unpredictable than we thought.
President Trump has disappointed us, but he’s scored some notable successes on trade, refugees, China, the travel ban, the public charge rule, and the economy, including increasing wages. Ultimately though, it’s not about Donald Trump, or any of the other candidates. Bernie Sanders is leading a movement that has a deep suspicion of white people. Have no illusions. He is uniquely dangerous among the Democrats.
The stakes are too high to flirt with supporting him. He won’t deliver on the good things he promises. He will co-opt our position as the only real opposition to the current System. Most importantly, Bernie Sanders is openly calling for “war” against white nationalism. Sometimes, the enemy of my enemy is my friend. I have a hard time believing someone who openly says he’s my enemy is secretly on my side.