The Progressive Case Against Bernie Sanders

Heather Fink
9 min readFeb 19, 2020

It bewilders me when someone asks “Why don’t you like Bernie Sanders?” because we are now on our 2nd election cycle with this guy and some of you don’t know. The rest of us know what criticisms people have of our candidates. Especially if they are women. It’s shouted at us every day. The 2016 election was a nightmare of epic proportions, and for a lot of people, myself included, going through another Bernie POTUS run feels like reliving a trauma, and I’m not being dramatic. This feeling of re-living a trauma is discussed widely amongst Hillary supporters privately. Once again, the current political climate makes several marginalized voices hide for fear of a traumatic verbal lashing. Here’s why I don’t like it, and perhaps you can glean why I make what might seem to you a ludicrous claim that Bernie Sanders’ campaign is traumatic.

I take no joy in writing this. It’s exhausting, and I am so sick of misleading garbage in articles and modern media. I’d like to give you, dear reader, nothing but facts and straightforward analysis. Do with it what you will.

PLEASE FACT CHECK ME. I would love everyone to always take everything we read with skepticism & we should absolutely be fact checking as much as possible. I’d love you to see which of these claims can be backed up and which ones have less weight behind them. PLEASE DO ADD CORRECTIONS. Please do it respectfully. As you can see below, I’m not a fan of the hostility.

HERE WE GO:

He’s a Con- Artist when it comes to campaign funding & in how he uses campaign funds and donations. The tax exempt organizations Sanders Institute and Our Revolution are very bad. He’s used them to mask illegal campaign contributions, and to enrich his personal wealth as well as the wealth of his family. The Sanders-founded group Our Revolution violated election laws by accepting nearly $1 million from donors who contributed more than the legal limit over three years and whose identities were not disclosed. Some donors gave six-figure sums. He also received giant donations from unknown foreign contributors which the FEC order Bernie to repay. Our Revolution is run like a dark money super PAC. PLEASE google this one to see the supporting evidence!

Weak on Gun Control. Bernie voted against the Brady Bill five times. He also voted against CDC research on gun violence. When Bernie talks about guns, he talks about how important they are for hunters. And that it’s different in “urban” areas. This is code. He’s saying white people can be trusted with guns, but black people can’t. The NRA famously supports white gun owners but isn’t there when black gun owners are murdered by law enforcement officers. And it’s well known that Bernie voted to protect gun manufacturers from liability so that victim’s families can’t sue gun manufacturers.

Heart Attack. COME ON HE HAD A HEART ATTACK AND IS NEARLY 80. Bernie is not physically fit. This isn’t just “agism.” We currently have a President who is also unhealthy. His mind appears to be deteriorating and he lacks the wellness mentally and physically to carry out his job properly. AND since he’s already had a heart attack — one of the most serious health threats that can possibly happen to one’s body in their lifetime — he may not survive his time in office. That means whoever he picks as VP will become President — we will not have voted for that person. It might be someone like Tulsi. That’s not good. But truly, we will have zero input into who that person will be during primaries. And he refuses to release medical records and be honest and forthcoming about his health! How is that ok?!

His Tax Returns. Similarly to the withholding of medical information, just like something we’ve seen Trump do, why did Sanders withhold his tax returns for so long when other candidates were forthcoming? Why was that acceptable behavior at all? Why are the tax returns drafts that he and Jane created rather than certified tax returns? He truly could have put whatever he and Jane wanted on those documents.

His Supporters. Bernie Bro. You’ve heard of it. Some of you disagree that Bernie Bros exist and insist that it’s just as bad as other candidates. If you’d like to test this, I recommend that you create a fake account and disagree with different candidates to see what sort of response you get. Either way, if you do believe that Bernie Bros exist and that they are insufferable, you might not blame Bernie for it. Perhaps you love the man but not his supporters. I think that’s a very strange way to detaching responsibility from Bernie’s message and actions, and its affect on people. Just like I blame Trump for the tiki torch MAGA Nazis of today, I blame Bernie for the hostile harassment of his worst followers. His message ignites this kind of behavior, and he does nothing to discourage it. There is nothing progressive about that type of hostility. Progressive movements require listening rather than yelling.

Not A Democrat. Even outside of election cycles, we need a candidate who supports the only party in power that votes and fights for human rights. It’s urgent in both the Supreme Court and Senate that we have human rights issues fought for by Democrats. How else will we ever have better gun control in America if not with the Democrats? How else will we protect Roe vs Wade? How else will we ensure that our natural resources and beautiful natural parks aren’t sold off to some corporation for drilling? Independent or 3rd parties are not doing the work to gain power in government. I’ve never in my lifetime seen a 3rd party accomplish anything meaningful in America. They only rear their head during the presidential election cycle and typically they wreak havoc rather than create anything substantive. The Democratic party is being threatened on the left and the right — while a radicalized GOP is an out of control fire tornado with a wildly unified party behind it. Bernie attacks the Democrats and the DNC more often that he attacks Trump and the right wing. One simple way to fact check this is to take a look at his mailing list. You can search for the amount of times he’s gone after the DNC vs the amount of times he’s gone after Trump. The disparity should alarm you.

Identity Politics. This is a big one for me. Identity Politics are another word for Human Rights. They are at the core of progressive policy. Women’s reproductive rights, gay rights, civil rights, immigrant’s rights — these are being threatened in a vital way, and our supreme court leans so conservative under 4 years of Trump, we need a fighter for human rights now more than ever. Bernie also claimed Donald Trump’s remarks on abortion and punishing women is a distraction from “real issues”. Bernie has not only coined the term “Identity Politics” as a way to devalue and denigrate the urgency of human rights issues, he has polarized his base against them. This is profoundly reckless and comes from a place of privilege. Bernie is a rich white man. He is. This is simply a fact.

Deadbeat dad. Please google the facts on how Bernie refused child support for his first child, Levi Sanders, and left the mother, Susan Campbell, to carry the weight of the childcare burden both in her time and financially — while he went on to advance his personal career and ambitions. He’s not a feminist in practice, not nearly.

Landfills. Per Snopes fact check “Sanders did support a proposal in which Maine and Vermont could dispose of low-level nuclear waste a proposed site in Sierra Blanca, Texas, which is a predominantly Latino and relatively poor community.” Much like his racist views of white rural gun owners being some how better than gun owners in urban communities, he also things toxic waste should be moved from white communities to the land of poor communities of color. Jane Sanders sits on and profits from the Compact Commission that oversees the transfer of nuclear waste from Vermont to other states.

Vermont is predominantly white. Bernie has represented a relatively homogenous population during his time in government. Vermont is not a diverse state and Bernie is ill suited to and not tested in meeting the needs of our diverse United States. The NRA helped finance Bernie’s re-election campaign in Vermont as well.

Populism and Anger. Trump and the MAGA camp’s anger with their tiki torches and all have made for an incredibly hostile and volatile climate in America. Bernie also leads with anger and yelling. If you were to imitate Bernie, he would be yelling. I do not think a President characterized by anger and yelling is healthy for this country. I want a leader who is cool, collected, competent and in control on the world stage. I can’t even imagine Bernie possessing the proper decorum when interacting with world leaders. After Trump, it will take a lot for America to regain composure and competence on the world stage — and most importantly — to encourage peace internationally.

A few hypocrisies:

- Crime Bill- Bernie voted for the same crime bill he attacked Hillary Clinton on, which she did not have a vote. (HR 3355 — Omnibus Crime Bill, Bernie Sanders voted- Yea)

- Gay marriage — Bernie voted against marriage equality until fully supporting in 2009. As Mayor of Burlington, he signed off on an evangelical-led ‘We Believe in Marriage Week’ in 1982 — defining marriage as between a husband and wife.

- War votes- Bernie voted for countless acts of war, including the bills that set up and financed the Iraq war (HR 1585) and continued financing (HR 4613, HR 563, HR 2863). Later approved increased troop deployments (HR 2647) that Hillary voted against. Approved of the summer-long assault against Gaza (S 498). Voted for regime change in Libya (S Res. 85). Bosnia troop deployment resolution (H Res 247). Voted for Iraqi Liberation Act (Saddam Hussein regime change) in 1998 (Hr 4655 and H J Res 114). Approves of air strikes against ISIS, etc. etc. etc.

Ineffective. Bernie claims to be anti-establishment, but has been a Senator for years. His so called revolution feels like all talk to me. He shouldn’t need the office of the Presidency to effect change if he’s more than talk. He IS part of the establishment. He IS rich. He DOES personally enrich his family financially. He does not have a strong record of supporting charities or down ballot candidates.

Bernie called Planned Parenthood “the establishment” just because they didn’t endorse him. This is an example of what he does and how he is if you’re not on his side. Everything else is rigged or the establishment. Attack attack attack everything that isn’t devoted to him. It’s always Bernie vs everyone else. That’s toxic, and that’s Trumpian.

I do blame him for being one of the reasons Trump was elected. In 2016 the Democratic party was more divided than any major political party had ever been in modern US history. This division is single handedly due to Bernie’s anti-Democrat propaganda.

And yeah sure, I’d vote for him over Trump (see below, I’m a Warren supporter). But it would be a sucker punch in the uterus to be subjected to another angry populist windbag after Trump.

There’s just so much easy to find information about Bernie that I don’t have time nor do I want to address each one. There’s links to more info below. Trump would have such an easy time attacking Bernie if not for their anti Socialist messaging alone. Or the heart attack thing.

Do you want a candidate with this WEALTH of WEAKNESSES and this history anti-progressive conservative actions?

MORE:

THIS Disturbing nightmare. The “rape essay” you’ve heard about.

Sanders Oppositional Research Document:

https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/3157291-151101-Sanders-Top-Hits-Thematics.html#document/p1

Sanders Reddit Oppositional Research Thread:

https://www.reddit.com/r/Enough_Sanders_Spam/comments/f3n8im/giant_opposition_research_thread_on_bernie_sanders/

Whether you agree with what’s contained here or not — it’s important for you to know a candidate’s weaknesses. This is what’s out there and the GOP will take advantage of all of this. And the fact that I’ve written such a document leaves me open to retribution. That’s not progressive, and I shouldn’t have to live in fear for writing this. But I won’t be intimidated into silence either.

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