“There is absolutely nothing that is wrong with the United States that socialism will not correct or set right.”
That sounds like something Bernie Sanders might have said during Sunday night’s “debate” with Joe Biden on CNN. The speaker was actually Communist Party presidential candidate Gus Hall addressing followers at City College in New York on October 21, 1984.
In Hall’s mind there is little if any difference between communism and socialism, a term Sanders did not use during Sunday’s event. As the television-only audience might have noted, the candidate seemed to have a problem with other terms.
Univision’s Ilia Calderón wanted to know why Cuban Americans should support Sanders, who has been praising the “dictator” Fidel Castro. Sanders claimed he had opposed “authoritarianism” in Cuba, but Cubans were not fooled.
Cuba remains a one-party Communist dictatorship that controls all aspects of Cubans’ lives. That system is known as “totalitarianism,” which also exists in China, North Korea and prevailed in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics when Sanders visited the USSR in 1988.
“Authoritarian” would apply to Argentina’s Perón regime, and the military junta that overthrew it in 1976. Argentina is now a democracy, but Sanders’ beloved Cuba remains a totalitarian dictatorship. If the Cuban regime had ever done anything with which Sanders disagreed, it did not emerge in Sunday’s event.
Joe Biden recalled Sanders’ support for Cuba, the Marxist Sandinistas of Nicaragua, and even the USSR. Bernie Sanders was unmoved.
When referring to totalitarian regimes such as Cuba and China, Sanders said “those administrations” helped lift people out of poverty, and to say they did nothing of value is “a mistake.” Sanders is deliberately deceptive and free countries with free markets do a better job lifting people from poverty.
Sanders reserved his wrath for the United States, dominated by Wall Street predators, pharmaceutical company “crooks,” and energy companies that should be held “criminally accountable.”
The Vermont socialist did not explain why millions of people from around the world seek to live in the USA. He has evidently failed to notice that thousands of Cubans fled the Communist regime of Sado-Stalinist dictator Fidel Castro.
The Communist Party USA was a wholly owned subsidiary of the USSR, which controlled the national parties through the Communist International, also known as the Comintern. The Communist Party ran candidates in American elections from the 1920s to 1984.
That year, the Communist Party Platform called for a public takeover of the steel, auto, machine tool and rubber industries, as well as the entire U.S. energy industry. That sounds like what Sanders wants for the USA. His plans for health care as a “right,” and for “free” college, are right out of the 1936 Stalin Constitution.
To paraphrase Gus Hall, socialism would not correct anything that is wrong with the United States. As in 1980, Hall’s running mate was Lenin Peace Prize winner Angela Davis. Both times the Communists lost to Republicans Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush.
The socialist Sanders, meanwhile, is on something of a losing streak, but on Sunday rival Joe Biden announced a plan. “Look,” Biden said. “If Bernie is the nominee I will support him and campaign for him.” So maybe the presidential contenders aren’t as far apart as they seemed on stage.
Lloyd Billingsley is a Policy Fellow at the Independent Institute.