EPSHTEYN: Biden Embraces ‘Democratic Socialism’ Without Actually Understanding It

Boris Epshteyn Contributor
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Only in today’s upside-down world could the presumptive nominee of a major American political party characterize adopting the ideas of the most left-wing U.S. senator in living memory as “a unity platform.”

The reality of Joe Biden’s ploy to appease the extreme left in our country, however, is even more troubling than it might seem on the surface.

Despite his decades-long existence on the fringes of American politics, Senator Bernie Sanders has undoubtedly struck a chord with a certain section of the American public.

The “democratic socialism” that Sanders has peddled for decades is completely anathema to the free-market system that has sustained American greatness for centuries and proven to be the strongest engine of prosperity in world history.

Having said that, Sanders’ agenda has been largely nuanced, authentic, and internally consistent.

It includes appealing to the masses — albeit totally unrealistic — promises of cradle-to-grave assistance from the state, especially in terms of health care, education, and taxpayer-funded jobs.

Before being subsumed into a mere subsidiary of the Biden Campaign — the “democratic socialism” that Sanders preached was never truly in sync with the internationalist orthodoxy demanded by today’s left-wing radicals. In his decades as a congressman and then a senator from Vermont, Sanders has tended to temper his ideology with certain distinctively and undeniably American caveats.

As a Vermonter, for example, Sanders was prepared to reach an accommodation with America’s Second Amendment right to individual gun ownership. While not a reliable pro-Second Amendment legislator, he voted to protect lawful firearms businesses from frivolous lawsuits from the likes of gun-grabbing New York billionaire Michael Bloomberg.

In his days as a truly independent voice — the voice that rallied millions of loyal followers to his cause and nearly prevented Hillary Clinton’s coronation as the Democratic nominee in 2016 — Sanders maintained that his social safety net was for Americans, not the entire world. He described “open borders” and increased immigration in general as entirely incompatible with his program.

Finally, and vitally, Sanders’ “socialism” was rooted in the fundamental American principles of race-neutrality and equality before the law, as articulated in the Declaration of Independence and in the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Never did his call for government programs and social justice dip into the grievance mongering of identity politics.

Unfortunately, now that Sanders has allowed his name and influence to be co-opted by the fundamentally unprincipled Joe Biden, none of these pro-American characteristics have been carried over into the so-called “unity platform.”

In place of Sanders’ understanding with gun owners, for instance, is the most wildly anti-gun platform in the history of presidential politics.

In place of the social programs that Sanders envisioned for Americans is the deeply unpopular magnet of guaranteed taxpayer-funded health care for foreigners who illegally cross our border. In place of Sanders’ insistence on protecting American workers with a lawful, measured and orderly system of immigration is a veritable open-borders bonanza that would essentially bring an end to deportations, detentions and limits on asylum — in the process inviting in millions more foreign workers who Sanders himself has repeatedly acknowledged would depress American wages.

Most troubling, however, the “Unity Platform” represents a complete abandonment of the quest for genuine racial equality, containing the seeds of race-based reparations and an utterly un-American condition in which the color of one’s skin determines how one is viewed and treated by society.

However it is branded, the Biden campaign’s scheme to co-opt the energy of the Bernie Sanders movement is as far from an exercise in national “unity” as is imaginable. If put into practice, the dangerous “Unity Platform” would shatter our country.

Boris Epshteyn is the Strategic Advisor for Coalitions on the Trump 2020 Campaign and served in the White House as Special Assistant to The President and Assistant Communications Director for Surrogate Operations.