Monday, April 23, 2018

Questioning Support For Slave States

... was something that never happened to Bernie Sanders.

It's difficult to do, but it helps to step back from a controversy and see what generic question is being asked. "Do you support slavery?" is the theme of much of our fascination with racial discrimination.

Something I was pondering this weekend was Bernie's "honeymoon" in the Soviet Union. The USSR was a slave state where all citizens, save for the powerful members of the Party, were slaves. One way you can tell is that the barbed wire and guard towers faced inwards. That is, they were all meant to keep people from escaping.

Another way to tell was that citizen/prisoners were only able to keep trivial amounts of the wealth they produced. The rest was appropriated for the use of the wealthy Party members. That sounds like a plantation to me.

It would have taken no effort at all to have found thousands of examples of slavery in the USSR with which to confront Bernie in interviews. Bernie's support for slavery was way worse than anyone's support for statues of Robert E. Lee. Lee's service to the Confederacy came to an end more than 150 years ago. Appreciation for Lee the man can genuinely be separated from a long-defunct nation.  Bernie, a socialist, visited and supported a slave state while slavery was in full swing.

Here's a sample question they might have asked. "Bernie, how can you say you support civil rights when you directly supported slavery?" He would then sputter and squawk in indignation and demand an explanation of the question to which you would reply with example after example. Game, set, match.

I know this was never going to happen and never will. Still, it's a nice dream.

Bernie and his wife ought to record reminiscences from their honeymoon which would provide a soundtrack to this.

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