Special to WorldTribune.com
By Bill Juneau
Back in the 1950s, the United States engaged in a cold war with Russia and was often castigated by Russian President Nikita Khrushchev for its capitalism. In the end, Khrushchev promised, "we will bury you."
In more of the same rhetoric, Khrushchev predicted that "your children's children will live under communism. You Americans are so gullible. No, you won't accept communism outright; but, we will keep feeding you small doses of socialism until you will finally wake up and find you already have Communism."
He was explosive and on occasion would pound a table with his shoe as he derided America. There were the so-called "kitchen debates" in which he would outline the remarkable accomplishments of Communism, and criticize U.S. policies. But then on one occasion, he turned a different shade of "red," when Vice President Nixon told him that a time will come when Russian children will live in freedom.
As the years and decades passed, America grew and prospered and cemented its place as the greatest nation on the planet. Limping along, Russia has continued with its disapprobation of the USA, but saw the end of its iron curtain domination, while maintaining its gulags and authoritarian rule. Currently, it is attacking its neighbor, Ukraine, but, with massive help to Ukraine from the USA and other NATO members, its ultimate victory may never happen.
When Nikki Haley was serving as U. S. Ambassador to the United Nations under President Trump, she expressed concerns about encroaching socialism inside the USA, and on occasion, referenced the nasty comments of Khrushchev. Perhaps, she was reminded of the threat of socialism because of the bellowing of Sen. Bernie Sanders and his drumbeat for socialism and communism, which he admired in Scandinavia and Russia.
Sanders probably never knew Khrushchev who died in 1971, but there is no question that he is an admirer of Marxism, Socialism and Communism as his hope for the future for the United States. Always a critic of Ronald Reagan, Bernie Sanders campaigned for the Socialist Workers Party in the 1980 and 1984 presidential campaigns and was investigated by the FBI for his ties to the Marxist group.
In 1988, Sanders, then mayor of Burlington, Vermont, and his new wife, Jane, honeymooned in the Soviet Union and upon return had only laudatory comments about the Communist country. So exuberant was Sanders about his visit to Russia, that critics charged that his behavior was on the edge of full-fledged collusion. Other Americans questioned his patriotism and his negative stance toward capitalism, and referred to him as "Bolshevik Bernie."
Several days ago, there was news that the bombastic Vermont Senator and critic of capitalism had told friends that he is considering making another run for President in 2024. Sanders will turn 81 in September of this year and will be 83 in 2024. He's pushing for a "democratic revolution." He just will not go away.
When he ran for President in 2016 and again in 2020, America got a full taste of his oratory and plans to create a no-borders socialist country with free medical care and schooling for everyone — citizens and non-citizens, legals and illegals. Under President Biden, they are today receiving a preview of what the full package would be under Sanders.
He has a distinctive style as he pushes his anti-American rhetoric. He flaps both arms up and down as he speaks, with his white hair plastered down on his balding head. He looks and acts much like a a maestro conducting a symphony orchestra. Bring on the music, says Sanders, as he now is preparing to begin squeezing new donations from the hoi polloi who buy into his liberal nonsense about the United States, where he earns a big salary as a member of Congress, with perks, and has a net worth in the millions.
Hillary Clinton called him a "doofus" when he ran against her for President, but he got even by accusing her in a debate of being a money-hungry phony in the pocket of Wall Street. Hillary got the nomination as Democratic standard bearer in 2016, and went down in flames, and Bernie returned to his seat as an Independent U.S. Senator from Vermont.
Born of Jewish parents, and bar mitzvahed, Sanders was graduated with a political science degree from the University of Chicago in 1964. At the university, one of the most liberal colleges in the country, Sanders was an organizer of the Congress of Racial Equality and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and the Student Peace Union. He was a screaming regular at protests against the Vietnam war and was arrested on at least one occasion
When Uncle Sam sent him a draft notice, he said he was a conscientious objector and refused to wear a military uniform. He did not seek an exemption for religious reasons since his belief in God is questionable. Instead, he pleaded that he was a pacifist who opposed all wars, regardless of who started it. He argues in his maestro style that he is fit to serve as Commander in Chief of the nation's military forces, but it is doubtful that ex-GIs and other "America First" citizens want that type in the White House.
Sanders wants to transform the USA into an Eden-like-paradise which will provide virtually unlimited freebies for everyone, legal and illegal. Also, in Sanders' America, all jailed felons will be permitted to vote in elections, even those convicted of major crimes such as the Marathon bomber of Massachusetts.
The wealthy one percent — millionaires and billionaires — will be made to start paying their fair share of the taxes, explains Sanders, who dodges all concern that socialism could eventually bankrupt and bring down America as it did to the once strong and prosperous Venezuela.
Climate change, asserts Sanders, is the nation's greatest threat. With President Biden following the Sanders script, the push today is for a so-called "Green New Deal" which calls for the retrofitting of every home and building in the USA with energy drawn from windmills. No more airplanes, only electric cars with 500,000 charging stations dotting the highways.
Sanders' top lieutenant for the transformation into a socialist paradise is Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, 32, a former New York bartender who speaks of bridges everywhere, even to Hawaii. The whole project will probably cost some $20 trillion as start up money, but then who's counting, not Sanders, not with all those millionaires and billionaires coughing up their fair share.
Sanders was in the House of Representatives for 16 years until 2007 when he was elected to the Senate. As a congressman, he was the lead sponsor of only one bill that became law — that being the renaming of a Fair Haven, Vermont post office.
Maybe it is time for "Bolshevik Bernie" to retire from Congress, take his enormous pensions, and move his fancy residences to Russia and Denmark. This would allow the United States to continue as the greatest nation in the world, sans Sanders and his anti-American rhetoric.
Bill Juneau worked for 25 years as a reporter and night city editor at the Chicago Tribune. Subsequently he became a partner in a law firm and also served as a village prosecutor and as a consultant to the Cook County Circuit Court and to the Cook County Medical Examiner. He is currently writing columns and the 'Florida Bill' blog.