Sen. Bernie Sanders is going to be sorry.
When the aging left-winger from Vermont, the avowed socialist who’s now leading the Democratic Party’s race for the 2020 presidential nomination, went on CBS’ “60 Minutes” for an interview broadcast Sunday, he probably didn’t intend to come off like an apologist for mass-murdering dictators.
But his take on the communist dictatorship of Cuba — 90 miles from American shores — gave the game away.
“We’re very opposed to the authoritarian nature of Cuba but you know, it’s unfair to simply say everything is bad. You know? When Fidel Castro came into office, you know what he did? He had a massive literacy program. Is that a bad thing? Even though Fidel Castro did it?” Sanders said in an interview with Anderson Cooper.
— 60 Minutes (@60Minutes) February 24, 2020
It’s sort of an altruistic version of the old line “Mussolini made the trains run on time” — an excuse for the essentially evil nature of dictatorships when they provide certain benefits to those lucky enough not to fall afoul of the authorities.
Texas Sen. Ted Cruz wasn’t buying it.
Cruz’s father was a supporter of Castro’s revolution who fled the island after the nature of Castro’s communism became clear, according to a Washington Times account from 2015. So he probably knows a little more about the real dangers of dictatorship than the Democrats’ dilettante revolutionaries and Bernie Bros taking time off from college to hit the barricades.
“It really makes a difference when those you murder at the firing squad can read & write,” the senator tweeted.
It really makes a difference when those you murder at the firing squad can read & write. https://t.co/4DKbSKpI6t
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) February 24, 2020
It was a solid point, backed up by not only the history of Cuba but also the history of virtually every country where socialism has been imposed on a society: the Soviet Union and its Eastern European and Asian satellites, China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Cuba, Nicaragua and current-day Venezuela.
The history of socialism is steeped in the blood of the citizens its revolutionaries won power pretending to be concerned about.
Naturally, Sanders had plenty of supporters among the left-wing illiterati of the social media world, but there were plenty who agreed with Cruz’s point.
As an Iranian, I can fully and completely understand the frustrations of those who escaped tyranny or still live under it. To hear a leftist #American protected by freedom of speech to say Castro wasn’t that bad. I invite @SenSanders to come and live in #Iran for a month to see.
— Sassan Yazdan Parast (@ParastSassan) February 24, 2020
I guess they appreciated being able to read their family’s obituaries.
— Lilly@muttrescue (@justme_lilly) February 24, 2020
I have many Cuban friends in Miami. Castro was a mass murderer from what I have been told. He took my friends family farm. Castro’s people told this same friend that the US would poke out his eyes, if he went to the US. Now the guy is voting for Trump again in nov. pic.twitter.com/R2k7gBDxi1
— Scooter Rauss. . (@U222Rauss) February 24, 2020
Line to buy food in Cuba but they can read and write pic.twitter.com/6L2VtlCFKT
— Laura nieta de españoles vascos (@LauraMallea2) February 24, 2020
But this one summed it up perfectly:
I am really dumbfounded that there are still people who consider socialism and communism to be a positive thing. How did it even survive to 2020 from the disasters of the 20th century. Literally MILLIONS of people all over the world have spent their lives running from it.
— Walkerwarren72@gmail.com (@walkerwarren72) February 24, 2020
Leftists love to make embarrassingly over-the-top comparisons between any Republican they disagree with and Adolf Hitler. (It didn’t start with Trump, and it isn’t going to end with him.)
But it’s worth remembering that the word “socialism” was literally part of the name of Hitler’s Nazi Party (“National Socialist German Workers Party” in English).
But leftists like Sanders keep trying to import it into the United States — and Sanders is inching ever closer to taking control of the once-proud Democratic Party to make that happen, thanks to the ignorant enthusiasm of millions of supporters.
After a lifetime spent in the service of the socialist cause, the Bernie Sanders who honeymooned in the Soviet Union in the 1980s and praises dictators like Fidel Castro in 2020 isn’t going to change his tune.
And he’s almost certain to go to his grave proclaiming that he’s been right all this time. For fanatics like Sanders, apology is never an option.
But he’s not going to be the president of the United States. Either the Democratic Party will wake up at some point before the insanity goes too far and deny him the nomination, or he will actually win the nomination and be trounced by President Donald Trump in the general election — because the United States as a whole is not crazy enough to accept Bernie.
Either way, his quote praising the Castro regime is going to hurt.
Too many sane Americans aren’t going to buy the argument that a nationwide literacy campaign is worth it when it comes at the cost of turning a Caribbean island into an open-air prison and slaughtering ground for dissidents.
And Bernie Sanders is going to be sorry — not because of what he said, but because it showed Americans who he really is.
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