Ben Marquis


Sen. Bernie Sanders has undeniably been surging of late in the Democratic presidential primary process. He has also sparked concerns among the Democratic establishment that his openly socialist message (which likely wouldn’t fare well against President Donald Trump’s staunchly capitalistic message) will win over the increasingly progressive left-wing base of voters and win the party’s nomination.

Indeed, the RealClearPolitics average of polls shows Sanders trailing frontrunner establishment candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden by less than four points. That’s a substantial improvement over the 10-point lead Biden held in early January and the roughly 15-point difference between the two in early December.

Concurrent with Sanders’ rise in the polls over the past few weeks is an increase in attacks launched against him by his Democratic opponents via liberal media outlets.

The latest such assault on his character and reputation is a rehash of questionable comparisons to slavery and apartheid that Sanders made on numerous occasions in the 1970s and ’80s.

Unearthed interviews with local newspapers in Vermont in those days revealed that Sanders had a habit of comparing poor whites in the state to black South Africans living under apartheid, while also routinely comparing working-class white laborers to black slaves in pre-Civil War America.

The Daily Beast was the first to report in late January on the decades-old comments from Sanders, which came while he was a leading figure in a small political party known as the Liberty Union Party, a “radical” offshoot of the openly socialist People’s Party in Vermont.

One example cited was a 1976 interview in which Sanders had compared the sale of a Vermont mining company to a foreign company as being similar to “the days of slavery, when black people were sold to different owners without their consent.”

Another example was his criticism of the growing service economy in Vermont in 1977, which he also compared to slavery, and said, “Basically, today, Vermont workers remain slaves in many, many ways,” and added for emphasis, “The problem comes when we end up with an entire state of people trained to wait on other people.”

Politico has now joined in on the effort to fully reveal the extent of Sanders’ questionable commentary more than 40 years ago. That will almost certainly will hurt him with black Democratic voters, a demographic the elderly socialist senator has long struggled to gain sufficient traction with — though he is admittedly doing better with black voters this go-round as compared to his 2016 campaign.

That outlet noted that in a speech Sanders delivered in a 1986 public forum, he stated that poor white people from Vermont “are the equivalent of blacks in South Africa. They don’t vote, they aren’t involved, they don’t care about the issues.”

When Sanders was reportedly confronted by a fellow member of the forum over his “pretty fiery oratory,” the then-candidate for governor seemingly doubled down and actually insinuated that poor white Vermonters were worse off and more oppressed overall, as he said, “Obviously the analogy is not true … because in South Africa the blacks are not invisible — they are beginning to stand up.”

Politico also shared Sanders’ remarks about slavery in comparison to capitalism from a 1978 interview, in which he said, “I believe that the vast majority of the people of the world and of this country are living in a slave-like condition not terribly different from what existed in this country before the Civil War.”

The Sanders campaign has fired back against the reports documenting his old comments. The campaign’s national press secretary Briahna Joy Gray said in a statement, “We expect to see these desperate last-minute attacks continue as long as this movement thrives, but Americans trust Bernie Sanders, and they can identify a cynical, politically motivated ploy when they see one.”

Gray added that Sanders had been experiencing a rise in support from black voters, had a diverse array of supporters and surrogates, outlined policies aimed at helping minorities, and had a “long record of commitment to racial equality.”

How these decades-old statements about slavery play with black voters in the current era remains to be seen — obvious “cynical, politically motivated ploy” as it may be — but a pollster for former President Barack Obama, Cornell Belcher, who has remained neutral in the primary thus far, suggested the comments nevertheless “raise legitimate questions about how he approaches race,” according to Politico.

“A lot of minorities and sensible voters are going to look at these statements and say it’s incredibly insensitive and nonsensical to compare black South Africans in this way to workers in Vermont,” Belcher said. “It’s just an insensitivity about him on racial issues that are problematic. To compare slavery to workers not having a say in a company that pays them in Vermont is enormously insensitive.”

One overarching potential problem highlighted by those that Politico spoke with was Sanders’ tendency to co-mingle the issues of class and race, a “false equivalency” that some view as an effort to minimize the horrors of slavery while playing up the class-warfare angle.

As noted, Sanders has already struggled with attracting and keeping minority voters, and these outrageous comments will not help matters in that regard at all.

That said, whether the remarks make a substantial splash or are largely dismissed as unfortunate comments from a distant and different era is a question for Democratic voters to resolve.

It must be pointed out, though, that had President Donald Trump similarly compared poor West Virginian coal miners to slaves or historically oppressed peoples, the response from the media and the left would be several orders of magnitude greater than what Sanders is currently facing.

Author: Ben Marquis

Source: Western Journal: Sanders’ Past Comments on Slavery Could Lead to Trouble with Black Voters

Democrats in Virginia won control of the state Assembly and Senate in the 2019 elections and, in conjunction with the Democrats who control the state’s executive offices, immediately made it abundantly clear that they intended to legislatively impose an assortment of strict gun control measures upon lawful gun-owners in the state.

It didn’t take long before those Virginia Democrats began to make good on their vows to infringe upon the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding Virginians.

On Monday, tens of thousands of gun owners and Second Amendment supporters converged on the capital of Richmond to register their staunch opposition to the gun-control proposals.

President Donald Trump spoke briefly about the attempted gun-grab during a wide-ranging interview with Fox Business anchor Maria Bartiromo while in Davos, Switzerland, for the World Economic Forum, and he made it clear that he was standing alongside gun owners in support of the Second Amendment.

Trump’s remarks about Virginia came after a question about efforts by Democrats in New York to release a substantial number of convicted criminals from prison in addition to a controversial bail reform measure. Trump simply dismissed what the New York Democrats were doing as “crazy” before shifting his focus to Virginia.

“I think it’s crazy, and I think Virginia is crazy,” the president said. “They want to take away the guns in Virginia. You have a governor that’s — I just can’t believe it — but Virginia’s very much in play. I think we’re going to win the state of Virginia.”

“They want to take everyone’s gun away in Virginia. You can’t do it. You can’t do it,” he said. “People need that for safety. They need it for hunting and other — but many people need it for safety. They need it for security.”

“They’re playing with our Second Amendment,” Trump continued. “Frankly, they’d get rid of it. I watched [Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam] on an interview. He would get rid of the Second Amendment if it was up to him, and you have many Democrats saying the same thing.”

“They’re saying it quietly, but if they win these elections, they’re going to try and get rid of the Second Amendment. It will never happen as long as I’m here,” he added.

This actually wasn’t the first time that Trump had addressed the situation in Virginia and the growing threat posed by anti-gun Democrats to the sacred constitutional rights of law-abiding citizens in the state.

On Monday, tens of thousands of gun owners rallied peacefully in Richmond in spite of overblown fear-mongering from the media about the potential for violent conflict.

Northam had enacted a ban on firearms on the Capitol Square in the days leading up to the rally.

As the rally was taking place, Trump criticized Virginia Democrats on Twitter.

“The Democrat Party in the Great Commonwealth of Virginia are working hard to take away your 2nd Amendment rights. This is just the beginning. Don’t let it happen, VOTE REPUBLICAN in 2020!” he tweeted.

A few hours later, following the conclusion of the rally (which featured no violence of any kind), the president also tweeted, “I will NEVER allow our great Second Amendment to go unprotected, not even a little bit!”

Trump understands that the Second Amendment is sacrosanct. He has made it crystal clear yet again that he won’t stand idly by while a fundamental right of the people is trampled on and infringed by authoritarian tyrants in the Democratic Party.

Author: Ben Marquis

Source: Western Journal: Trump on Virginia Gun Grab: ‘It Will Never Happen as Long as I’m Here’

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