Is Bernie = Goldwater

MONTPELIER, VT – MAY 25: Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders speaks during a rally in the capital of his home state of Vermont on May 25, 2019 in Montpelier, Vermont. This was the first Vermont rally of Sanders’ 2020 campaign. (Photo by Scott Eisen/Getty Images)

Ed Mazlish writing in American Thinker makes a lot of sense, I think, when he writes.

[… ]I predicted on my Ayn Rand: Taking Liberty podcast with Scott Schiff that Bernie Sanders would win the Democratic nomination for president in 2020. The basis for my prediction was that in a flawed field, the Democrats would “test drive” each of their candidates as the frontrunner, disqualify each candidate for his obvious flaws, and settle on Bernie for several reasons.

That does appear to be what is happening on the other side of the hill.

Bernie is the guy with whom Democratic voters are most comfortable deep in their hearts. He says all the things the others believe and that Democratic voters feel, but he says it all without dilution and without intellectual compromise. His intellectual consistency makes him the most comfortable candidate to the Democratic base — they know that when it comes to policy, Bernie will not embarrass and will not disappoint. When he speaks, Democrats nod their heads in agreement — even the ones who oppose him. That is a huge asset when running in a hotly contested primary.

The DNC hates Bernie because he does not derive his power or money from that organization. His independence from the DNC — not his political positions — is what makes Bernie unacceptable to the DNC. They cannot control him — in much the same way that the RNC cannot control Trump and could not control Reagan 40 years ago.

This is all obvious to those who care to look, which is not most of us. So, now what?

But I think there is a better historical analogue for the upcoming election: the 1964 election between Goldwater and LBJ, where the RNC tried to use LBJ to destroy the conservative movement. I expect the DNC to try to similarly use Trump to try to destroy the Bernie movement.

The comparison of Goldwater to Bernie is easy. During his acceptance speech for the nomination, Goldwater said extremism in defense of liberty is no vice. That level of intellectual consistency is similar to Bernie’s embrace of socialism. Both Goldwater and Bernie offer the kind of intellectual consistency that the moderate power brokers in their respective parties do not share.

What an interesting conceit this is, and it holds up pretty well.

I find his Trump – LBJ analogy just a bit forced, although in the sense he means it: a candidate running on a very strong economy and with the strong support of a large segment of the people is true enough. Essentially, anybody the Democrats nominate this year is a designated sacrifice, no less than the maiden thrown into the volcano. So who better than an old fellow traveler whom the party can’t control.

Beneath the surface and surfeit of good news that Trump will ride to victory in November, there are some ominous signs — just as there were in 1965. LBJ did not anticipate the explosion of opposition to the Vietnam War, or the beginning of the collapse of the Bretton Woods economic system, or the Arab embargoes of oil beginning in the 1970s, all of which were less than a decade away. Today, we have out-of-control federal spending and debt, we have interest rates that are so artificially low that they are destroying savings and capital, we have the continued importation of cultural aliens from the Third World who have no knowledge of our system of individual rights or the inclination to learn it, we have military threats from China — and almost certainly other threats that we will not notice before they hit us. The calm we are experiencing now is likely the calm before the storm. Are we getting ourselves ready for that storm, or will we rest on our laurels in the mistaken belief that Trump’s coming landslide will be the end of the battle?

If the Right’s response to the coming landslide victory is to treat it as a permanent victory, it is likely that reality will have the final say — perhaps with a little help from the defeated but ever resilient Bernie generation that many will think has been annihilated in November. The Left’s history of coming back over the course of the past century should be the only reminder needed by the Right that no victory is ever permanent, no matter how large its margin.

And that is undoubtedly true, as well.

About NEO
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14 Responses to Is Bernie = Goldwater

  1. audremyers says:

    Just because I’m tired of Bernie (already!), if you were to put on your Karnak turbin (a la Johnny Carson), who do you think might be a viable candidate for 2024? In the Republican Party, of course.

    Liked by 1 person

    • NEO says:

      Right now, I’d say Pence, Cruz, Haley, maybe a few others, but surprisingly few.

      Thing about bernie, Yep, me as well. I was last election cycle. But if the linked author is right, to carry the analogy one step further, after the election we’ll never hear of him again. Remember how Goldwater disappeared? One hopes, anyway! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • audremyers says:

        I think Cruz more so than Pence; Pence is too nice and we’ve become addicted to people who cast a big shadow, I think.

        Liked by 1 person

        • NEO says:

          He tends that way, but watch him lately at the rallies. I think he’s getting on board more and more. He does tend to prefer to persuade rather than fight. But Cruz was my guy in 2016, so I’m hardly unprejudiced.

          Liked by 1 person

      • I love Cruz, and he’s the natural successor to Trumpism. But I like Nikki Haley a lot. She was an excellent governor during a very difficult time for South Carolina; now, we have one of the lowest unemployment rates in the nation thanks to her active courting of out-of-state businesses, getting them to relocate to SC. She kicked a** as our UN Ambassador, which I think was a way to get her some foreign policy bonafides in the event of a presidential run. I could also seeing her running to take Ms. Lindsay’s seat in 2026.

        Also, I relish the thought of the first woman president being a Republican, just so we can rob Democrats of that victory forever. She’d also be the first child of two Sikh immigrants to become POTUS. I don’t care about those meaningless milestones, but, again, the progs do, and I like to see them robbed of talking points and joy.

        Goldberg disappeared, but Reagan did not. Remember, he campaigned actively for Goldwater. My fear is that, if there is a true parallel between the two, we’ll see a tidal wave of “democratic socialism” coming out of Sanders’s campaign. Of course, AOC makes a poor Reagan to Sanders’s poor Goldwater, but who knows? Do you really think Hispanic voters are going to think rationally when a chica tops the ballot?

        Of course, the likelier outcome is that the Democrats undergo a realignment a la Clinton in 1992, moderating slightly and returning to the post-Cold War neoliberalism that served them well.

        Liked by 1 person

        • NEO says:

          Just as we did with Nixon, in fact. I suspect in states where only legal immigrants can vote, the Hispanics are going to be an ugly surprise to the Dims. They’re actually a pretty conservative, Christian bunch. Trump won’t get near a majority – the Repubs have treated them too badly, but I’d say 25 pc is possible, if someone tries, maybe the same with blacks. But not if we ignore them as we have done for decades.

          I fully expect the first woman president will be a Repub. Maybe Ninni, maybe someone else, but we d tend to treat them as people, not mere mouthpieces. Whoever it is, I expect she’ll be a good one, likely in the Thatcher mode, and head will explode all over the world.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. audremyers says:

    (I still haven’t figured out how this system works so excuse me for putting in sign posts)
    I started with Rick Perry and then Mike Huckabee, and then, and then, and then, lol, Cruz. Much like watching the Ds now, collapsing like dominoes. This comment is in response to Neo regarding his choice of Cruz.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. the unit says:

    I’m not going to spend much time in trying to figure out the Bernie=Goldwater equalization thing.
    As to whom will follow who or is it who will follow whom? In deciding who is the leadership to support now and in days to come.
    Guess there are rules about which is which. Is which which?
    No one you can read about or try to learn about doesn’t have bad stuff written about them somewhere. And I got to remember my own…er…shortcomings. 🙂
    “He did not care for the lying at first. He hated it. Then later he had come to like it. It was part of being an insider but it was a very corrupting business.”
    ― Ernest Hemingway, For Whom the Bell Tolls
    Honestly, wouldn’t have recalled the quote but read it last night in “Churchill and Orwell’.
    Seems it fits most, if not all, leader/insiders nowadays.
    Who doesn’t have something that NSA knows that couldn’t be used against them. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: Phone it in Friday VI: Valentine’s Day – The Portly Politico

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