Opinion

And Then They Came for Bernie

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Posted: Jan 16, 2020 12:10 AM
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And Then They Came for Bernie

Source: AP Photo/Patrick Semansky

A poetic version of the confession of German pastor Martin Niemöller reads, “First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out, because I was not a socialist. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out, because I was not a trade unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out, because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me, and there was no one left to speak for me.” A chilling reminder of the effects tacit complicity in propaganda and acquiescence to identity politics can have on both the person and the nation as a whole. The mainstream media and the political left have turned victimhood into a political asset, accusation into conviction, and identity politics into a weapon. They have created a beast devoid of reason, and that beast has now turned to devour one of their own, an icon of the modern left, Sen. Bernie Sanders.

When Anthony Kennedy stepped down from the Supreme Court, liberals in America were in absolute panic. They could not fathom living in a country with another conservative Justice. They could not abide by the natural results of the political process. They could not accept jurisprudence from a court that subscribed to anything other than a doctrine of liberal judicial activism. And most importantly, they could not stop the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh.

Rather than debate the qualifications or judicial philosophy of then Judge Kavanaugh, Senate Democrats chose to launch an unprecedented, unrelenting, and wholly unfounded smear campaign against the judge’s character. They took inconsistent stories and treated them as gospel truth. They armed themselves with identity politics and then gleefully sat back while the media trashed the judge on a twenty-four-hour news cycle and spiked stories that cast doubt on his accusers. When they came for Kavanaugh, neither Senator Sanders nor anyone on the left spoke up as the propaganda machine churned on.

One year ago, when Nick Sandmann, a teenager from Kentucky visited his nation’s capital, he was accosted by multiple groups and vilified by the media. He was attacked for being smug, for having, as CNN’s Reza Aslan put it, “a punchable face." He was attacked because of his race, because of his religion, because of his gender. CNN, MSNBC, and the rest of the media altered video footage to persuade their followers to attack an innocent teenager. Without reason, or consequence, the left unleashed their hatred, their bigotry, and all of their collective venom on a kid for doing absolutely nothing more than standing in front of the Lincoln Memorial. And Senator Sanders said nothing as the outrage mob consumed another.

Now, Senator Sanders is in a tight primary race with Elizabeth Warren. The same Elizabeth Warren who repeatedly lied about her heritage to claim victimhood and gain an employment advantage. The same Elizabeth Warren who lied about being fired for a pregnancy in order to claim victimhood and gain a political advantage. The very same Elizabeth Warren who, just recently, lied about being the daughter of a janitor in order to claim some sort of victimhood and gain a political advantage. And now Elizabeth Warren claims that Bernie Sanders himself told her a woman could never be president.

Is it any wonder that Warren would make such a charge against Sanders? Victimhood, perceived or otherwise, is an asset in leftist politics. Senator Warren has a demonstrated and inescapable history of fabricating claims of victimhood whenever it suits her immediate or long-term needs. Sanders and Warren are running second and third respectively in the Democrat primary, but, competing among themselves for the totality of the left-most wing of the party. Taking out Sanders would consolidate her support on the left and propel her to the overall lead for the nomination. 

All Elizabeth Warren would have to do, in her mind, is assert victimhood, blame Sanders, and let the media run with it, as they already have. During Tuesday night’s debate, Abby Phillip, a CNN reporter questioned Sanders about Warren’s baseless claim, yet Phillip, true to CNN form, did not present the question as “did you say that," but rather, “why did you say that.” Following Sanders emphatic denial of any such remark, Phillip pivoted to Warren with a not so subtle, "what did you think when Senator Sanders told you." In the mind of the mainstream media, the accusation was made, therefore Sanders must be guilty. 

One can say what they will about Bernie Sanders’ politics, but he is no liar and has never demonstrated any sort of sexism. Sanders has always been upfront, straightforward, and honest. Warren, on the other hand, has fabricated tale after tale of victimhood at every turn and for every advantage, and has only been encouraged, or rather, incentivized, to do so by a media that has been habitually complicit in her actions. Now, Sanders stands in Warren’s path to the nomination. Of course she was going to turn her victimhood at him, and, of course the media was going to go along. The beast has been created, fed, and now it is turning on Bernie.

Bernie Sanders is an upstanding, if far left, Senator. But where was he when they came for Kavanaugh and where was he when they came for the Covington Catholic boys? Where was he when Elizabeth Warren lied time after time to seize victimhood and where was he when the left-wing media sought to destroy without consequence anyone they opposed? Bernie never said anything, and now they’ve come for him.