Bernie Sanders Floats Russian Conspiracy Theory for Attacks
The campaign of Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vermont for the presidency has been rocked by the misbehavior of some of the “democratic socialist’s” supporters on social media. The so-called “Bernie bros.” young, unsocialized males pumped up with revolutionary ideology, have tended to issue threats to enemies of Bernie, real and perceived.
However, according to the Washington Examiner, Bernie has a theory about the real source of the toxic messages that are popping up on social media, which he hinted at when some of his rival Democratic candidates called him on it at the Nevada debate.
“Let me say something else about this, not being too paranoid. All of us remember 2016 and what we remember is efforts by Russians and others to try to interfere in our election and divide us up. I’m not saying that’s happening.”
Well, actually, Mr. Sanders just did. While trying to disown the toxic tweets and suggesting that some of his supporters have been the recipients of online harassment, Bernie trotted out the old and discredited conspiracy theory that Russia has been masterful in steering the course of American elections. Moscow handed the 2016 election to Donald Trump, based on God knows what idea that it would have preferred him to Hillary Clinton. Now Sanders is trying to suggest, without actually suggesting it. That the Russian FSB is trying to derail his march to the White House.
Is there no end to Putin’s perfidy?
Sanders is harkening back to a conspiracy theory that has been floated by Democrats that the Russians used cyberwar tactics to in essence hand the 2016 election to Donald Trump. Indeed, some have gone further and have suggested that the Trump campaign actively cooperated with Russia in this scheme, in effect making the current president a “Manchurian Candidate” in thrall to Vladimir Putin.
To be sure, the Russians have been engaged in active measures to interfere with American politics since the Cold War. The KGB worked diligently to undermine President Ronald Reagan, the idea being that he constituted a threat to the old Soviet Union.
Russia did interfere with the 2016 election, but more with a view of sowing chaos and doubt than to elect one candidate or another, according to the Mueller Report. The overwhelming evidence is that Hillary Clinton lost the 2016 election because she was a bad candidate and a fundamentally evil person, particularly with her history of attacking the victims of her husband’s sexual misconduct.
Bernie’s half hint that Russia is at it again, this time spreading disinformation by pretending to be Bernie bros on social media is considered to be too cute by half by most analysts. It does not take an expert in geopolitics to wonder if the one man whose presidency would best suit Russian interests is none other than an elderly gentleman from Vermont with a tendency to shout on the stump and propose outlandish policy proposals such as the Green New Deal.
Sanders himself has admitted that some of his supporters have gone a little too far while defending him online. Moreover, Project Veritas has some Sanders’ paid staffers on video offering blood-curdling threats that include guillotines and bring the Gulag to America. According to a video on YouTube, some Bernie staffers suggest that cities would burn if Trump is reelected. The campaign seems to be filled with “anarchists” and “Marxist-Leninists.”
Thus far, while Bernie Sanders has “disowned” the people who are misbehaving in his name, he has not moved to fire paid staff whose statements have proven to be positively frightening.
Just as a farewell aside, during the Nevada debate, Michael Bloomberg, who endured a hammering for his prior misogynist statements, got in a good shot about Bernie Sanders and “communism,” according to the New York Post.
“I can’t think of a way to make it easier for Donald Trump to get reelected than listening to this conversation. This is ridiculous. We’re not going to throw out capitalism. We tried that. Other countries tried that. It was called communism and it just didn’t work.”
Bernie Sanders took umbrage and called the statement a “cheap shot.” He has been accused of being a communist before, most recently by President Trump. He insists that he is a “democratic socialist,” the statements by his supporters notwithstanding.
However, considering that chaos and finger-pointing in American politics suit Russia’s goals, Vladimir Putin may be smiling.