Bernie Sanders has thrown his hat into the ring seeking the presidency of the United States in 2020. Already he has shown electoral promise by managing to raise six million dollars in a single day from across the country. Most interesting is the fact that the average campaign donation is only $27 dollars. This certainly shows that, thus far, his campaign is not being funded by the elite of the capitalist class. While this may seem positive, we must keep in mind that he still seeks to serve the capitalist Democratic Party. This, in the end, tells you all that you need to know.
A new bright side to the 77-year-old Vermont senator is his recent seeming opposition to the US intervention in Venezuela. Specifically, he has refused to recognize Juan Guaido, the alleged president of Venezuela hand picked by the US government. His choice to do so has the Democratic establishment rattled, as well as the mainstream US political scene.
While appearing for an interview on Univision, he flatly refused to recognize Guaido as president when asked if he did. (source)
“No. I think what has to happen right now – I think there are serious questions about the recent election. There are many people who feel it was a fraudulent election, and I think the United States has got to work with the international community to make sure that there is a free and fair election in Venezuela.”
We should applaud Sanders for refusing to recognize the US puppet Guaido. We should simultaneously denounce him for overtly lying about the legitimacy of the Venezuelan election. There is zero evidence of any election fraud. Every single neutral organization which oversaw the elections certifies that they were free and fair. Only the political establishments of the imperialist countries have insisted otherwise. Sanders is lying, he has no evidence of any wrongdoing.
While Sanders has been celebrated in the US left for refusing to recognize Guaido, they have not criticized him for casting disparages upon the Venezuelan election without evidence.
It’s clear what Sanders is trying to do here: he’s refusing US intervention on populist grounds, but he’s also justifying the intervention by supporting the malicious lies which justify it. Sanders is playing a political game. He says what he needs to in order to appeal to his base of support. At the same time, he espouses the mainstream political lies in order to try and stay in favour with the Democratic Party elite. In Marxist terms, this would be called careerism. However, it is not applicable here because Sanders job is to serve the capitalist class by parroting their false claims.
This view is also very common among other so-called “democratic socialists”. Why shouldn’t it? This “democratic socialism” is wholly reflective of this position. It feigns a socialist veneer by offering social democratic reforms, but in substance is fully capitalism and all its mechanisms. He can pretend to be progressive on Venezuela, but it is all a show. At heart, he is US imperialism, just as social democracy and “democratic socialism” is.
We find the exact same thing with Tulsi Gabbard. She once refused the lie of the Syrian government using chemical weapons on its own citizens. Now she has changed her mind in a recent appearance on The View. (source) She now opposes the strategy of intervention in Syria but defends the lie that is used to justify it. This is the face of progressivism, the false promise of change.
Sanders is just the progressive gloss over the capitalist institution.