Friday, February 26, 2016

The sudden Conservative love affair with Bernie Sanders

I know we've pointed out that Mark Shea and other Catholic liberals support Bernie Sanders.  Oh, they might not vote for him.  The Internet gave a platform to a disproportion number of people who are proud of their former status of high school outcasts rolling their percentage dice in the hopes of nabbing that +5 Holy Avenger.  They just follow through as an adult: happy to heap opinions and condemnations on the team with no feeling of obligation to actually join the team.  A generation of arm chair quarterbacks to be sure.  And the perfect way to support something while at the same time proudly washing your hands of any responsibility for having supported it.

But over and over, I see a growing number of self-proclaimed conservatives not in that camp throwing their hat into the Bernie Sanders ring.  It's true, the GOP hasn't given them much.  Kasich has potential, but his nice-guy John persona, and his willingness to throw up his hands and say 'oh well, the Left won again, that's good enough for me!' doesn't bode well for those who think moral issues are actually important.  And after nine months of Mr. "Don't attack others", he let's fly on - who else? - Marco Rubio!

Rubio seems to be the hopeful, but there is still that feeling he's a lightweight.  In the end, a sharp, fast thinking and resolute lightweight, but a lightweight nonetheless.  Carson is out.  Cruz?  The guy just grates on everyone's nerves, and seems to mistake the fact that his manner and style are the reason some are off put by him.  Instead, he imagines it's because he's the only politician standing on principles.  No, it's because he comes off as a giant fingernail on the debate chalkboard. 

And then there is Trump.  The discount Mussolini of the election cycle.  He cares not what he says.  He lies.  He contradicts himself.  He will insist he didn't say something he said five minutes earlier. He's petty.  He's childish.  He's a five year old brat in a $5000.00 business suit.  He embodies almost everything conservatives and Christians have ever opposed.  And there is nothing in the universe to suggest he won't throw all his promises out the window if elected and jump into bed with the side he has consistently supported over the decades and up until recently. 

So I get that, for Conservatives, there isn't much hope.  But here's the thing.  Bernie represents everything Conservatives and orthodox Christians have stood against every bit as much as Trump.  His constant promise of everything free sounds nice, but when has that ever worked?  His moral stances are straight out of the pits of hell.  Not only does he give full carte blanche to the sex and drugs culture in the era of 30 million dead from AIDS, but he supports abortion as fully as you can support abortion.  From conception until you squeak out the birth canal, by Bernie's votes you are a marked person.  And that doesn't count his support for assisted suicide.  For the record, I have found nothing about his support for euthanasia as practiced in some European countries.  But apart from that, there is nothing about Sanders that isn't the living, breathing embodiment of the Culture of Death that Conservatives once decried.

In addition, there is the fact that he says he's a Socialist.  I know, I know.  Suddenly nobody seems to know what Socialism really is.  Nobody knows if it's ever been tried.  Nobody quite knows if there are any countries in Europe that are really Socialist.  And yet, strangely, we seem to have no end of examples people want to point to prove how awesome Socialism is.  Select examples to be sure, but examples nonetheless. 

But like I said the other day, when did Socialism become all hunky-dory anyway?  Sure, I don't see European examples rallying behind dictators and arming the next panzer divisions.  But was WWII such an overwhelming force of the last century that we've come to believe the only threat to goodness and life and the future is a European dictator building concentration camps and lining up panzer divisions?  Couldn't there be other dangers?  Other evils?  Other sins, many of which seem almost to walk hand in hand with the various Socialist ideals of Europe that Americans love to point to?  I'm not arguing cause and effect.  I merely point out that most Socialist countries trotted out at proof of Socialism's awesomeness seem to have an internal rot that isn't difficult to notice.  It's bad enough to point to a tree that looks outwardly healthy but is rotten inside.  It's worse when I can see the rot inside and we insist it's no big deal.

Despite it all, the rush to Sanders is increasing.  Some of it appears to be that libertarian branch of Conservatism that has always flirted with isolationism as the only proper course of action.  I realize that there isn't a libertarian out there who seems to admit to isolationism.  But when you look at what they're saying - deal with people economically until things get blown halfway to hell, then pull back and wait for the storm to pass - that's isolationism.  Not only was that approach once condemned by both liberal and conservative Christians, we have to admit that if it didn't work in the era of Orphan Annie and Glenn Miller, it probably won't work in the era of Lady Gaga and Modern Family.

Apart from that, I don't know. What is going on here?  Why are so many "Conservatives" either implicitly supporting Bernie in all but votes, or actually diving head first and supporting him?  The question is not rhetorical.  I don't have an answer.  Without diving into the world of judgmentalism, I can't really account for it.  I know that our country is in dire straights, despite what the Propaganda Ministry says.  I understand that the world is changing, and much of it doesn't appear to be for the better.  I know that we're watching a worldview we once assumed to be true crumble before our eyes.  I got it.  But to suddenly take all of those things that were the non-negotiables, the difference between Heaven and Hell, the very essence of Life and Death, and throw them out the window?  Act as if it no longer matters?  If so, then what have we to say to all of those in the past who, when faced with difficult times, followed the worst solutions based on the most evil premises simply because, in the end, at least they got the trains to run on time?

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