There's a familiar pattern that looks primed to repeat itself once again. A politician shows up full of promise and progressive talking points only to have their worthlessness exposed once elected. We saw it eight years ago. And we're seeing it again today. But here's at least one registered voter that won't be duped this time around. Such is my thinking when I'm asked about Bernie Sanders.
For many proletarians – as disgruntled with the two-party system as they pretend to be – Bernie Sanders offers them yet another excuse to participate the charade that passes for electoral politics in these United States. And on the surface, the popular support for the independent senator from Vermont seems rational. Sanders' rhetoric regarding Wall Street hegemony and income inequality can hardly be disputed. Extending healthcare access to all, strengthening Social Security, making higher education affordable. Very noble, if not necessary, proposals from the self-described "democratic socialist."
But what kind of socialist ignores the elephant in the room, by failing to address the ownership and control of the means of production? The same kind that has no intention of disrupting the status quo. What brand of socialism leaves in place private ownership of the factories, warehouses, land, minerals, capital, machinery and other resources required for economic output? The same brand that seeks to reform capitalism into a kinder, gentler version of itself, rather than to destroy it. Does a socialist request that the workers be thrown a few more crumbs from the loaf we baked ourselves? Or does a socialist demand that complete control of the kitchen be turned over to said workers?
The bottom line is that Bernie Sanders is no socialist. He's not even an independent. He's running for the Democratic nomination and, if elected, will be a Democratic president. His policies, both domestic and foreign, shall reflect the neo-liberal bullshit commonly referred to as 'more of the same'.
And speaking of foreign policy, I think it very telling how Senator Sanders makes every attempt to avoid it, as if the president of the United States need not worry about global affairs. But I guess when the few positions you've taken are support for Israeli Apartheid, continuing Obama's drone assassinations and encouraging more Saudi extremism, it's probably prudent to steer clear, lest you be accurately revealed as a war criminal in the making.
In actuality, there's nothing Bernie Sanders can say, no policy position that he can take, no campaign promise that he can make that would justify even a single working-class vote. For if working people are to make our votes matter, then it'd behoove us to stop voting for people, regardless of how appealing their rhetoric might be. Elections can, however, be used for registering dissent by way of a protest vote. In that case, I think Gloria La Riva and Jill Stein are worth a look. But by all means, please, miss me with that Bernie Sanders shit.