The Democratic Primary debate hosted in Miami by Univision last night turned out to be partly discourse-dumbing, but also partly rather illuminating.
But first, bragging rights. Hillary Clinton finally confronted Bernie Sanders with his support of the vigilante racist border militia The Minutemen, to which Sanders essentially had no response. I ran an expose on TPV on this very issue last July, and I feel vindicated.
Now, onto the other stuff.
Clinton, faced with a question about what went "wrong" in Michigan came out pretty well, reminding moderators that there actually was another race on Tuesday night, the primary in Mississippi, and that she got about 100,000 more votes than Sanders total Tuesday night, and quite a few more delegates.
Let's dispense with the discourse dumbing stuff first. There's no other way to say this, so I'll just say it: Jorge Ramos seemed to have believed that he was at a Republican debate and was a shitty host at first. He threw out opening questions about Clinton's emails and even Benghazi, beating the deadest of dead horses. He also wanted to stoke fears about Clinton being indicted, which there is no possibility of, and she dismissed out of hand, while reminding the public that she testified on Benghazi for 11 hours and even the most zealous Republicans got nothing.
But I guess he needed to look tough on Hillary for "balance" against what was about to happen to Sanders. And for his expose of Bernie Sanders, Ramos deserves a lot of kudos. Being situated in Miami, Florida, a city and state home to a great deal of Cuban Americans, Ramos dropped what can only be described as a bombshell on Bernie Sanders' past adoration for Soviet-backed repressive Communist regimes like Fidel Castro's in Cuba and Daniel Ortega and the Sandanistas in Nicaragua.
And he had Bernie's Fidel Castro love affair on tape.
Sanders' response was more telling than even the videotape. Given an opportunity to take back his glowing review of the Fidel Castro regime, Sanders refused.
Instead he tried to explain it all away by saying it was nothing more than his opposition to an interventionist foreign policy of the United States, but the tape clearly showed him doing much more than that. Bernie Sanders suggested that the reason Cubans didn't overthrow Castro in the 1960s was because this benevolent dictator "educated their kids, gave them health care, totally transformed their society."
The implication here is pretty chilling, if you consider that Sanders' campaign promises tack pretty closely. It is not at all a far fetch to make the connection that Sanders believes that so long as a government "educates people's kids and gives them health care", that government is justified in suppressing key freedoms and depriving its citizens of due process.
There are two possible interpretations of this attitude. First, and the more benign interpretation that this is the exact Marxist tunnel vision of economic determinism that Trevor wrote about yesterday. In his view, human suffering begins and ends with economic troubles, and as long as a government provides for basic economic needs, everything else is inconsequential. Under this view, Sanders is simply ignoring, not actively advocating for the suppression of, civil and human rights.
The second interpretation is far too terrifying for a candidate for President of the United States.
No matter what the interpretation though, Sanders' open refusal to reverse his words drew audible gasps in the room, and it confirms that Bernie Sanders is no 'democratic socialist.' His vision (or at least his defense) of socialism - either by neglect or by intent - extends to Soviet-style Fidel Castro brand communism.
Bernie Sanders patently demonstrated that at the very least, he still has a kinship and affinity for the Soviet brand of socialism, as his economic determinism originates from the same place even if he doesn't want to jail dissidents in America. At the very least, Sanders has shown that in his warped view of 'democratic socialism', it's the socialism that is operative, not the democracy.
This expose is necessary. Bernie Sanders' support and praise for repressive communist regimes focusing on their economic distributions while at best ignoring human and civil rights has to come to light. It is important that those who have been duped to believe he's 'honest and trustworthy' and those who have been attracted by his promise of free college and health care understand his true thought process.