When Bernie Sanders pulled in a record haul of campaign donations, I made a gentle wisecrack on Facebook that he should have to share this money with all the other contenders – in the name of socialism.
My friends’ responses were anything but gentle.
Unusual ardor spilled out, with a week’s worth of notifications angrier than if I’d made a swipe against Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, or Robert Francis O’Rourke for their racist identity politics. After all, the three have all already been rebuked respectively by Harris’s own father, the entire Cherokee nation, and basically everyone on Earth. So why, despite the obvious hypocrisy, does Bernie enjoy his protected status?
After all, none of even his most passionate boosters have ever suggested Bernie Sanders has the administrative skills to implement any of his – and I’m being fair to him – crazy ideas. He has no track record as a manager or even as a reformer. Indeed, representing our 2nd tiniest state and drafting behind Sen. Patrick Leahy, he’s enjoyed the easiest $174,000 job in Washington for years.
Pretty good for a man once kicked off a socialist commune for being too lazy.
Slowly, I realized why Bernie’s followers are so passionate about him. To them, Bernie’s not a politician. He’s a preacher. They believe in him, even as he’s refused to renounce the reality Venezuelan socialism over the objections of its victims and the few remaining grown-ups in the Democratic Party. Bernie’s supporters don’t need evidence when they have faith.
The Cult of the Social Justice Warrior. Psychologically, everyone wants religion. For the modern left’s bigotry against organized faith (well, Christianity and Judaism), they still want people to preach to them, as evidenced our transformation into a two-faith nation. So-called progressivism is superlatively religious:
- Confession: Admitting “privilege.”
- Caste system: Intersectionalism
- Born again: Becoming “woke.”
- Condemning heretics: Deplatforming.
- Fatwas: Twitter harassment campaigns.
- Burning pagan idols: Tearing down monuments.
- Blasphemy: Free speech.
- Mass: Protests.
- Church: Safe spaces.
- Universalist crusade: Globalism.
- Keeping kosher: Trivial environmental observances.
- Original sin: Any human environmental damage.
- Paying indulgences: Anything organic/free trade.
- The Apocalypse: Climate change.
- The Devil: Hitler; the Anti-Christ: Donald Trump (of course).
- And, darkest of all, human sacrifice: Abortion after birth.
But the one thing missing from this cult is a figurehead. That might have been Obama, but the left has gotten as much out of him as they could, and he has of course been found wanting. No one with an actual track record could deliver every progressive demand, especially since many of those demands are mysteries of faith (ie “we need gender diversity”/ “gender is just a social construct”).
Bernie excels at making promises that are impossible to keep. He vows to reshape America into a happy place of flowery meadows and rainbow skies, and rivers made of chocolate, where the children dance and laugh and play with gumdrop smiles – all while requiring nothing from his followers. (“Ask what you can do for your country,” would be nationalism, which is racism.)
The promise of faith without works is the hallmark of the left’s disturbing shift from liberalism to progressivism. Liberalism has values that require sacrifice and hard work. Progressivism has objectives and promises everything for free. One is Amy Poehler’s Leslie Knope on “Parks and Recreation,” the other is Amy Poehler’s cool mom on “Mean Girls.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yEQV2OJVBx4
The government will be upon her shoulders. But for all of this, Bernie isn’t progressives’ messiah. No, he’s their John the Baptist. Their god is Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, whose $625 Monolo Blahnik shoes Bernie is not fit to tie.
AOC is so inarticulate, willfully ignorant, and downright stupid that she makes Sarah Palin sound like William F. Buckley (peace be upon his name), but – because she is so high in the intersectionalist caste system – any criticism can be dismissed as mere sexism or racism. She has testified that she’d rather be morally right than factually correct – a clear vow of a religious extremism – and has openly threatened an inquisition against fellow Democrats who do not kiss her ring. She could not afford her Green New Deal’s insane $93 trillion price tag, even if she had all the vibranium in Wakanda, but that doesn’t matter.
After all, nobody ever asked Jesus how he multiplied the loaves and the fishes.
Alas, no one on the left can really work miracles. “Democratic socialism” (also known as Marxism) would collapse the American economy, spur a global depression, and – inevitably – presage a third world war. The last one ended because one nation became a nuclear power; the next one will start with nine, half of whom hate the other half. This kind of real Old Testament, end of the world, wrath of God stuff seems like a slightly greater threat than, say,plastic straws.
If Trump wins in 2020, a Democrat probably will in 2024. AOC will turn 35 two weeks before Election Day, which will be seen as no mere coincidence to a wicked generation that seeks signs.
Better start praying.
Jared Whitley is a DC-based freelance writer who has worked in the Senate, White House, and defense industry. He is principal of Whitley Political Media, LLC.