Harsh Reality

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Selfishness, Thy Name Is Bernie.

This is a transcript of the Harsh Reality podcast "Selfishness, Thy Name Is Bernie". You can find it on iTunes, or listen free here.

I've not written or talked too much about Bernie Sanders because I've never believed there was any way he was going to win the Democrat nomination. Hillary has been setting the table in the apparatus of the Democrat nominating process since 2008 when she expected to easily slide into the presidency and Barack Obama surprised her with a good primary run. She will not let that happen again. Not only have she and her supporters packed the Democrat National Committee with her cronies who've made certain to rig every rule and important event in the primary to fall her way, but they've also cemented their "super delegate" scheme as a firewall where they can just have their own loyal delegates effectively cancel out the primary results by piling on to Hillary's column in case someone might beat her in regular delegates as chosen by the voters. So Democrat voters, in reality, have no choice in who their nominee will be. Hillary has rigged that game.

But her problem was how to give Democrat voters the feeling that they have a say about what candidate will represent them while simultaneously keeping them from having any actual effect on her nomination. The crazy-haired old guy from an electorally insignificant state who's not even a member of the Democrat party seemed a perfect answer. Independent Bernie Sanders was supposed to be the Washington Generals to Hillary's Harlem Globetrotters. She'd go through the motions and he'd be on the ballot, but there was no chance he could ever beat her. She'd look like a savvy pro to his bumbling idiocy. She'd crush him at the polls, do a victory lap and contrast herself as a moderate by comparison to Bernie's naked socialism and maybe even grab some of the more liberal Republican voters.

It's not quite worked out that way. One possible reason is that Bernie is an amazing politician with an amazing message of socialism that people love to hear. Otherwise, how did he come from nowhere to beat Hillary in actual voting contests? Could he be winning for the same reason that Barack Obama came out of nowhere in 2008 to beat Hillary? She's not well liked. People don't trust her. She's not a good candidate. Where there's an option, people will take that other option rather than vote for her for President. So, either she's the unluckiest presidential candidate of this century or Democrat voters aren't real wild about her.

At first, I speculated that Bernie Sanders was in on her schtick. At the first Democrat debate when he railed against people bothering Hillary about her email scandal I asked in this very blog if Bernie wasn't a willing patsy helping Hillary give the appearance of winning an election? Bernie can read the same articles I can read and knows that the deck is hopelessly stacked against him. But, at this point, he's spent tens of millions of (other people's) dollars on his campaign. He's won several states now, including Michigan.

Even if Bernie were to overcome Hillary's rigged Democrat nominating process, I don't believe enough Americans are on board with his message of "free" everything for everyone for him to win the Presidency. So, I haven't talked about him much. But I've been thinking about the people who are Bernie Sanders fans and the kind of people that get excited about the things he says. They like the promise of free stuff. What we all know to be collectivism. A utopian idea where everyone has everything they want or need and it's all paid for by taking money from everyone else.

As I've had the chance to discuss Bernie's proposals with his supporters, I've found that they all fit neatly into one of only two camps. The first group of Bernie supporters are people who just hate America. They think it's unfair, it's racist, it needs to be taken down a notch and we need to pay our penance to its victims and the rest of the world who we've stolen all the wealth and greatness from. These people tend to be older. Hippies from the '60s are the prototype for this group They'd all be voting for the always-in-a-rage Elizabeth Warren, if she were running.

The second group is the largest. These are the supporters who are broke young people working on degrees in philosophy and gender studies who think all the stuff they want is too expensive. They are utopians who try to explain how they can get all the stuff they want for free if only the people who don't need that stuff are forced to pay for it. In exchange, they promise to pay for other people's wants and needs once they are in a position to do so. These are the people who constantly bring up one of the Scandinavian countries or Germany as an example of how socialism is working great, so we should do it in America, too. They never want to talk about Venezuela or any other Marxist hellhole. Nor do they want to compare apples to apples on Scandinavian countries versus the United States. Because it's a fantasy. It's their utopian dream. It's a dream that - in the words of World Chess Champion Garry Kasparov - "is best left in discussions on Facebook and not practiced in reality". Because, in real life, "it crushes economies and the human spirit."

Although they wrap themselves in self-congratulatory accolades of how generous and how collectivist they all are, in reality they are the most selfish segment of any readily identifiable voting segment in this election. They are also the most dishonest.

They eagerly jump into a discussion about how the things they want are expensive because "the rich" charge whatever they want and the Bernie supporters have to pay it. No amount of discussion can get them to even consider that things cost what they do for a reason that doesn't include the mysterious "rich" just being greedy. And their assignment of greedy intentions only applies to selective things. For instance, college costs have skyrocketed over the past several decades far beyond any rational relationship to actual cost of delivery. But it never seems to cross the minds of Bernie supporters to ask why college is so expensive and what might be done to lower the cost. Many of them are in college. It's their safe space. They can't, and won't. ask the leaders of their institutions where all the money is going as tuition explodes, students incur ever more ridiculous debt and teaching assistants still pretty much make what they were paid 10-15-20 years ago when college costs were a fraction of the current price. So, "where's all that money going?" They won't ask. Because that's their world. And accountability isn't their strong suit. So their solution isn't to look at university presidents and administrators and the labyrinth of bureaucracy enforcing compliance with myriad regulations and the fact that an open checkbook by the government for student loans has driven up the price. Their solution is to go all-in and have the government forcibly take money from other people to pay for college to be free for them.

They refuse to even consider that when the cost of something is disconnected from consumer, then the price skyrockets. Ah, ha! But that's where utopia comes in. You see, they don't care how much will cost then, because the government will be paying for it. Not them. "Someone else". Nevermind the fact that we have actual results in front of us in this very discussion that as the government has made student loans easier to get and given a blank check to schools that the prices have gone nuclear. Their answer is to double down.

And there are other protected industries that they simply refuse to consider greedy. The fact that Planned Parenthood gets $900 million dollars a year in government funding despite the fact that all women's health services are supposed to be taken care of in Obamacare doesn't matter. They don't care because they like Planned Parenthood. The fact that Planned Parenthood, in spite of its non-profit status and its massive government funding still charges women $250-$1,000 to kill their babies for them is of no consequence. Planned Parenthood can't be "greedy" in the minds of these Bernie supporters because they like abortion as a political issue. So the rules don't apply.

The same with Apple. No matter what Apple changes for their latest tech gadget, Bernie supporters will never be found calling Apple a greedy company, boycotting their products or demanding they be taken over by the government. Intellectual dishonesty. Picking and choosing based on the emotion they feel about a given thing.

But, most of all, these Bernie supporters are the most dishonest of all because of something I mentioned earlier. The basis of their utopia is a promise that we all know they will not keep. Specifically, "Give me free education and all the stuff I want now while I'm young and broke, in exchange for my promise to pay for the next generation's education, housing, medical, clothing, etc. once I'm established and have the ability to pay for them." How many reading this believe that will happen? This already may be the whiniest generation in American history. They already claim to be victims of everything and everyone, even though they're the most protected and sheltered generation ever. Even assuming they value the freebies they're demanding and use those resources wisely to succeed and thrive, what makes anyone think they'll be willing to fork over the fruits of their success with younger generations once it's their turn to pay up? They already cry about being cheated just for being expected to pay their own way. Can you imagine the rage from these spoiled brats when they're expected to give away something they worked for?

And that's precisely where every experiment in collectivism fails.

Everyone is excited about what they will receive in the deal, with no consideration that someone has to give up something they've worked for.

Bernie Sanders' youthful utopians want us to believe that if we pay for everything for them, then they'll pay for everything for the next generation. Sort of a reverse Social Security scheme. That one didn't work out, either. Neither will this one. The fact that Bernie's utopians refuse to even acknowledge common sense or the hundreds of historical examples of the failure their ideas have been means this is a dangerous group for the future. Either too unintelligent to be trusted or too dishonest.

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