Bernie Sanders Fails An Integrity Test…and Worse

Sanders protest

At the conclusion of yesterday’s post in reaction to the violent protests in Chicago that shut down a planned Donald Trump rally, I wrote, as my final observation…

8. Ethics test: Let’s see if Bernie Sanders, without prompting,  has the integrity to condemn the conduct of his fervent fans.

My guess?

No.

Well.

Bernie Sanders has escaped much scrutiny of his character thus far, in a crowd of frighteningly flawed competitors. He’s not as corrupt or dishonest as Clinton, nor as ruthless as Cruz, nor as weak as Rubio, nor lacking any redeeming qualities of character at all,  like Donald Trump. Here, however, Berrnie betrays the moral rot of the leftist revolutionary, willing to excuse violence to overturn the established order for “the greater good.” We saw this during the last Democratic debate, in which he refused to condemn the Castro regime in Cuba nor repudiate his past praise of Fidel’s accomplishments.  Hillary Clinton, given an under-hand soft-ball pitch to hit out of the park, swung from then heels and launched it into the stands:

“You know, if the values are that you oppress people, you disappear, you imprison people, even kill people, for expressing their opinions … that is not the kind of revolution of values that I ever want to see anywhere.”

Bingo. But Bernie Sanders, like the Communist totalitarians he admires for their health care and distribution of wealth, is willing to put up with some violence to achieve his revolution, and he proved it here. Abetted in some respects by the biased news media that were thrilled to blame an example of violence squelching political speech on the victim rather than the true offenders—because they don’t like the victim, you see, and if journalists and pundits don’t like someone, they discard the basic standards of decency and fairness that they will rush to demand for their political favorites—Sanders released a telling defense of the actions of his supporters, even though his supporters had admitted their deliberate mounting of a near riot to silence Trump:

Sanders statement

In a word, outrageous.

In two: signature significance.

  • First paragraph: A lie

From NBC:

But what made Chicago different were its scale and the organization behind the effort. Hundreds of young people, mostly minorities, poured in from across the city, taking over whole sections of the arena and bracing for trouble.

And as the repeated chants of “Ber-nie” demonstrated, it was largely organized by supporters of Sanders, the Democratic presidential candidate who has struggled to win over black voters but whose revolutionary streak has excited radicals of all racial demographics.

“Remember the #TrumpRally wasn’t just luck. It took organizers from dozens of organizations and thousands of people to pull off. Great work,” tweeted People for Bernie, a large unofficial pro-Sanders organization founded by veterans of the Occupy movement and other leftist activists.

Do you think Bernie doesn’t know this? If he doesn’t, which I doubt, then he has no business asserting that Donald Trump is lying when it is he who is unaware of the facts.

  • Second paragraph: The mark of a free speech enemy and anti-democratic hypocrite.

Speech you disagree with doesn’t “cause” anyone to disrupt it. Neither Bernie Sanders nor anyone else has a right to disrupt a rally or a speech because of a citizen’s actions, opinions or rhetoric, past, present or future. Hate speech is speech someone else hates. Bernie thinks speech he doesn’t like justifies silencing the speaker. Of course, he admires Fidel Castro and honeymooned in the Soviet Union. That’s Bernie.

  • Third paragraph: Blaming the victim, and Rationalization #2 A. Sicilian Ethics and #36. Victim Blindness, or “They/He/She/ You should have  seen it coming.”

This is most ironic, because it is how Donald Trump thinks, and these are two of his favorite unethical rationalizations. Bernie really thinks Trump deserved to have his event wrecked and his supporters didn’t have a right to listen to their candidate because “The victim of the unethical conduct no longer deserves ethical treatment because of the victim’s own misconduct.” (Rationalization 2A.) and because they “should have known that their actions would inspire the conduct that caused them harm, and thus they should have either avoided doing what sparked the unethical response, or by not doing so waived their right to object to it.” (Rationalization #36). This is how vigilantes think; also ideological autocrats, fascists and totalitarians.

  • Fourth paragraph: Hypocrisy

People have a right to attend a rally without fear of physical harm, unless it is a Trump rally, in which case Bernie supporters have the right to spark a riot to shut it down.

Got it.

That’s Bernie.

65 thoughts on “Bernie Sanders Fails An Integrity Test…and Worse

    • You reveal that you are not qualified to grade anything regarding ethics by your ethics-free, asinine opening comment. Trump’s an ass; that conduct was wrong, obviously. It still doesn’t forfeit his rights to speak at his own event, not does it empower you or any Bernie Brown Shirts to make that call.

      You get an Ethics F, and don’t presume to grade me. My analysis is informed and based on fact. “It’s just opinion” is a fatuous non-argument. Do better next time, or you don’t get another comment here.

  1. There are no candidates currently campaigning that I think are worth voting for; what a sad, sad state of affairs.

    Now what do I do; write in Jack’s name?

    Of course I could write in “NONE OF THE ABOVE” which is a vote against all of them too.

  2. The stupidity of the protesters is what amazes me. You never bring in anything to ID yourself. You attempt to frame it as a “spontaneous” uprising that has no visible connection to any other candidate. What this accomplishes is upping the ante and gathering in more votes for Trump and solidifying his base even further.

  3. First paragraph: maybe he’s just taking a lesson from Hillary. He specified his campaign, not his supporters. I’d rate that explanation at .5 Clintons.

  4. Obviously, a lot of the protesters were Bernie-ites. And just as obviously, they took great glee in shutting down the event.

    That behavior is reprehensible per se, regardless of what Trump thinks or says. You don’t blame other people for making you behave “out of control.” If a bunch of Trump-ites shut down a Sanders event, it would present precisely the same ethical issue.

    It is not OK to prevent the exercise of free speech; and it’s particularly reprehensible in the context of a national political campaign.

    • Bingo. And as clear and right is that is, that is not the way the “narrative” is being pushed, as I watch the Sunday show. Now that everyone agrees that its essential to stop Trump, they have embraced cheating: when the going gets tough, the tough get unethical.

    • “If a bunch of Trump-ites shut down a Sanders event, it would present precisely the same ethical issue. ”

      I would venture to predict that, Trump being arguably the most ethics-less (I just made up a word) candidate running, he is liable to send HIS supporters to a Bernie Rally to do just that…with the instructions to “bust it up”.

        • Of course, I would like to know why the protesters oppose Donald Trump. You have explained your reasons, and many of the columnists at Reason.com did the same. I wonder what their reasons are, and what those reasons reveal about them.

        • It seems to me that we’re turning into Weimar Germany, with the Communists and Brownshirts slugging it out in the streets. And Bernie along with Trump aren’t helping much with their comments.

      • None of the candidates is ethically fit to be president. Mob attacks designed to shut down political rallies are outrageous, and if tolerated will destroy a democracy. What the situation required was for Cruz, Kasich, Rubio, Sanders and Clinton to immediately issue statements condemning the attack on Trump’s rally. Then they would have been free to carry on as usual with their campaigns, including their denunciations of Trump. None of them did that. In fact, Sanders and Clinton did exactly the opposite — they both made speeches that smirkingly approved of the attacks and made barely-veiled calls for more violence in the future.

        As usual, Obama’s response was the most unethical of all. As the person in the country most responsible for defending the constitution and ensuring that the laws are upheld, he was required to make it clear that not only was the situation intolerable, but that he would not tolerate it and that he would take whatever lawful action was required to prevent future mob attacks. Instead, he spoke at a private fund-raising event (of course), where according to news reports, he “mockingly rebuked Trump’s incendiary language.”

        What does this mean if Trump is actually nominated, as still seems possible? Will Obama and the Democratic candidate encourage mobs to shut down Republican rallies, and even, as yesterday, to try to physically assault the Republican candidate? Everything that Obama and Clinton have revealed about their characters during their many years of public prominence says, that yes, they will do whatever it takes to advance their personal interests and their narrow causes of the moment, the future of democracy be damned.

        • What does this mean if Trump is actually nominated, as still seems possible? Will Obama and the Democratic candidate encourage mobs to shut down Republican rallies, and even, as yesterday, to try to physically assault the Republican candidate? Everything that Obama and Clinton have revealed about their characters during their many years of public prominence says, that yes, they will do whatever it takes to advance their personal interests and their narrow causes of the moment, the future of democracy be damned.

          If Obama himself were to do this, it would be a free for all for both sides.

      • So we’ll have fascists brawling with communists in the streets following a weak, divisive, anti-values administration?

        I’ve seen this movie before. It ends with me looking like this guy:

  5. This was all Trump’s doing. He deliberatly brought in “protestors” to disrupt the action. Paid them to wave Bernie signs and cause a problem. I’m just waiting for that logic to appear on Daily Kos.

  6. Boy, I’ve got to be more discriminating in my surfing. A discussion board linked to this post, and one commenter wrote, “What could this guy know about ethics or integrity when he has Donald Trump wallpaper?”

    Mu tolerance with morons, never high, is diminishing rapidly.

    • I’m guessing you have been to the Discussionist, from the creators of Democratic Underground. The place is a learning experience.

  7. You know, if all the Castro haters would take a minute to investigate what was going on in Cuba before he took power, and what the U.S. did AND tried to do since…well, they sure wouldn’t sound so privileged and clueless.

    • You know, if people like you would learn the difference between real ethics and half-brained rationalization, they wouldn’t write clueless comments like this.

      Was Battista horrible, arguiably more than Castro? Yes. It doesn’t make Castro less horrible to know that, though, or say it. Rationalization: #2 Ethics Estoppel, #22 Comparative virtue.

      Did the United States botch relations with Castro and push him to the Soviets? Yes. That doesn’t change or mitigate his human rights violations, political prisoners, or crushing rule. Rationalizations:#7 Tit for Tat;

      Were the US’s efforts to overthrow Castro ill-considered and unethical themselves? Sure. Unethical efforts to get rid of evil do not make the evil less so. Rationalization: 2. Ethics Estoppel, or “They’re Just as Bad”

      See, what others do don’t change or justify unethical conduct. Castro was a brutal dictator who used “the ends justify the means” to commit political and human atrocities, and keep his island in poverty . Nice health care, though.

      The clueless one is you.

      • Oh, so you think life in Haiti wold have been preferable to life in Cuba? Or any of those other third world countries in the area?

        What’s laughable is that with the history of coups (both CIA organized and otherwise) in Central and South America, you genuinely seem to believe Castro should have just chilled out and lowered his guard. And then get punked like Allende.

        Your privilege and, dare I say, Pollyannaish views on political power speaks volumes, Jack. Sure would be nice not to get involved in any violent activities as we go through this life. Revolutionaries, both in this country and around the world, often don’t have that luxury. You’re fortunate that no one is looking to take you out for doing what you do. If Castro believed in providing a better life for his citizens – and had a target on his back for life because of it – then I don’t see why he shouldn’t have done everything he could to maintain what he considered a more just society. The response of the U.S. probably worsened this, but what would you have done?

        I have read testimonials of some Cubans on life pre- and post-Castro, and interestingly enough, a lot of people who support(ed) Castro come from the traditionally oppressed classes (poor and darker skin).

        Every U.S. president since Castro has been responsible for many more deaths around the world than ol’Fidel. But I doubt you harbor the same degree of enmity towards them.

        • This is just irrational blather. Castro was a brutal despot, and people fled his island if they could, to come here. I didn’t say Castro should lower his guard—I don’t think All Capone or Hitler should have lowered their guards either. But I don’t have sympathy for any of them.

          • You can take issue with my ethics, but I highly doubt there is anything irrational in my posts, especially taken from the point of view of Castro and those that benefited from his rise to power (they exist!).

            For all you know, the people who left Cuba were frustrated aristocrats who didn’t care for this new arrangement and wanted to make lots of money in a new country where the hoi polloi knew their place.

            Oh well, from other posts you’ve made I get the picture that despite your laudable ethics* you’re reflexively anti-communist. I just hope you’ll never see yourself in a position where you will be subjugated for the personal enrichment of those who consider you their lesser.

            *With all due respect, your post on Ben Franklin’s 2 questions and 13 virtues is valuable and deserves to be printed in my (and every person’s) wall. And I agree with the points of other ones you’ve listed.

                • Big Picture Pathologist ignorantly said, “Wow, a Caucasian on a computer (correct me if any of that is wrong) lecturing me on fishbowl living.”

                  Race baiting; WTF?

                  I’m going to state this very plainly so maybe even you will understand it.

                  It is completely irrelevant whether you or I are Caucasian, Black, Yellow, Tan, Mutt, or pure-bred; irrational blather is irrational blather. Own it, learn from it, and move the F on!

                  You are showing all the characteristics of an unethical and irrational internet troll; this is not the place for you, the place for you is madison.com, you’ll fit in with the wing-nut irrational Progressive trolls that “occupy” that site. If you tell’em I sent you, you might become popular really fast.

                  Cya.

                  • >Race baiting; WTF?

                    Ha, this was just a little experiment of mine. I was either engaging in race-baiting or taking advantage of decades of experience in Internet user profiling.

                    You see, I once read a Marxist who pointed out that anti-communism didn’t fly in certain Latino communities in Florida. He pointed out that many of these people had escaped violence inflicted on their communities because they were considered “lower order” by the elites and any attempts on their part to strive for justice/equality were to be brutally smacked down..

                    Having been on-line since the mid-90s when BBSes were the rage, I’ve seen quite a bit of anti-communist sentiment. And to a T, most of the people who were the strongest anti-communists were:
                    – Caucasian
                    – Well-off (in the global sense) — someone afford a computing device and network access qualifies
                    – Thoroughly incapable of putting themselves in the shoes of someone receiving injustice on a regular basis, and to whom communism would have some appeal

                    I just crunched the numbers, and lo and behold I appear to have struck a nerve (i.e., guessed correctly as to the person you are). The best part is, you COULD have been one of those other ethnic groups, right? But you just happen not to be!

                    I guess when I’m as familiar as I am with murder of union organizers, the squashing of populist movements, and other crimes against humanity in the name of capitalism, the whole “fishbowl” complaint doesn’t particularly fly well with me.

                    The worst part is, you can’t even back up your criticism. I made a debatable point about what a political leader should do when he is being undermined domestically and internationally for trying to sustain a society he deems better than the one that preceded him. And of course, you avoid addressing my points altogether and liked to pretend I am oblivious to the reality of what was going down in Cuba.

                    Like I said, TRY to put yourself in Castro’s shoes, or someone who would support his revolution, and see what you would do. If you can’t, well, you’ve got your privilege blinders on, and free of charge, I’ve hopefully provided some insight into your background as to why that might be. It’s definitely a privileged one, not one you might not necessarily deem as such, but one that you have the luxury of enjoying.

                    • This the last of your ignorant comments about Communism here, and I also don’t tolerate trolls. This isn’t a laboratory for “experiments” by Marxists who never read Marx or those who rationalize totalitarianism. “Put yourself in the murderous dictator’s shoes” is a fatuous statement, and shows a profound misunderstanding of ethics. An ethical person 1) doesn’t behave like a murderous dictator and 2) would never be in those shoes.

                      And this: your use of “privilege” is just an ad hominem attack to relieve you of making an effective argument. Use it again here and I ban you. Last warning. So to summarize: no more trolling, no more uninformed blather about the virtues of Communism, and no more racist “privilege” attacks. My rules.

                    • Internet Troll: is a person who sows discord on the Internet by starting arguments or upsetting people, by posting inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community (such as a newsgroup, forum, chat room, or blog) with the deliberate intent of provoking readers into an emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion, often for their own amusement.

            • Communism is secondary to the issues of human rights violations and totalitarian rule. Marx held that autocracy was only necessary to establish the communist paradise, but strangely, in Cuba and everywhere else, the government never quite withers away. Go figure.

              • Be honest, Jack: have you even read the Manifesto yourself (NOTE: I have not), or just other people’s takes on it?

                Even if you have, are you more in favor of a “violate people’s rights for profits” kinda guy like, say, King Leopold? Or countless others throughout history?

                • Also, why do you feel government is supposed to ‘wither away’ anywhere? Do you wish to see that happen here as well?

                • Why yes, you dolt, since I am an honors graduate in Government from Harvard College, and was required to read and pass both an oral and written exam on all major classic works on government theory, as well as take and pass the definitive course on the Soviet Union from renowned Prof. Adam Ulam.

                  I also toured Russia shortly after Communism’s collapse, and saw first hand the devastation wrought by Karl’s theories on the Russian people.

                  Silly me, I assumed you actually knew what the hell you were talking about. Like me.

                  • Update: I just banned the troll who called himself “Big Picture Pathologist.”

                    It’s simple, really: he was blathering about communism but couldn’t recognize rudimentary Marx quotes, had the gall to question my knowledge of the philosopher whom he hadn’t read, resorted to “privilege” attacks, which are cheap shots, and most of all, crossed MY red line: I said if he continued arguing about Communism on this thread, which isn’t about Communism, I would ban him. He did anyway. I banned him. I mean what I say.

                    He also accused me of an ad hominem attack, I’m really sick of every personal insult being so characterized: an AHA is when someone’s argument is falsely rebutted by only attacking the character of the individual making it. I never do that, not ever. I explained why his argument was junk, and fairly concluded he was a dolt because he made it. In an AHA, I would claim the his argument was bad because he was a dolt.

                    Now, having crossed the line after being warned, he’s complaining that he was banned, flooding the site with posts, etc. Typical. See, those who deserve banning always act like that. Those who just made a mistake apologize, and sometimes get another chance.

                    • Message to UPP: You’re nearing, but not past, the record for pathetic unread comment attempts after being banned. You had your chance; you wouldn’t follow moderation, that’s it. You can try from now til Hell breeds penguins: I’m not reading ’em, and they are going straight to spam. Resistance is futile.

                • Man, do you just love false dichotomies or something, because you’re basically just doing the equivalent of accusing Democrats of being Stalinists.

            • “For all you know, the people who left Cuba were frustrated aristocrats who didn’t care for this new arrangement and wanted to make lots of money in a new country where the hoi polloi knew their place.”

              Actually, while this applies to some of the first wave of exiles (though it’s worth noting the United States of that period had much higher taxes and a lot more income equality than it does now), subsequent waves have been noticeably poorer and less educated (and much more representative of the general Cuban population).

          • In May my wife – The Lovely Cynthia – and I went to Cuba as part of the sudden proliferation of cultural – education “exchanges” to get tourist dollars.

            The consensus (sans moi) was that those in our group wanted to see Cuba before “It changed.” The Cubans I talked to wanted it to change. So do I and not the politics. The regime is teetering since those that I talked with are fed up. Tired of controlled wages that force professionals sell out for tourist dollars. Example: In Havana a well-known architect gave tours to earn money to supplement his meager government salary. Not unusual.

            What I noted was the real positive of the Communist regime and that was education and health care. Exceptional and the medical school in Havana actually has a few hundred American students – probably Bernie voters.

            We had a talk (lecture) from a diplomat and I enjoyed the blank stare when I brought up reports of a recent roundup of dissidents as reported in the London Times. Several other comments were met with a similar stare. Afterwards, he confided in me his real opinion.

            What I did not expect is the reverence for Che. Far exceeds Castro. Even his memorial is a fantastic place to visit – very well done.

            Meanwhile, there are thousands of Cubans who fled Castro that are now in this country. Many are now second generation. And many were the upper middle class to the rich on the wealth spectrum. Many will return and it will be a return to the good old or bad old days.

  8. Things like this require long-term thinking: You have to make rules assuming one day they’ll be used against you. If you organize protests, and then blame the protests on the recipient of those protests, what keeps that guy from doing the same to you? And now that you’re on record that victim blaming is acceptable in this case, who are you going to blame?

    I never hope for something stupid to happen, but I think I’d experience an amount of schadenfreude if Trump arranged an anti-Bernie rally. And he’s just asshole enough to do it.

  9. Big Picture Pathologist said this:

    “So “dolt” is an acceptable debate term? Maybe you should have left my posts up and left people decide for themselves.”

    I have, unfortunately, gotten to see your comments before deletion, and I’d say you’re a low grade-B (probably C) troll (and a moron to boot).

    • My favorite was to read someone who writes, Oh well, from other posts you’ve made I get the picture that despite your laudable ethics* you’re reflexively anti-communist. and then dares me to show where he rationalized Communism.

      Anyone with laudable ethics who has read history is “reflexively anti-Communist.” Anyone who isn’t anti-Communist is anti-autonomy, anti-liberty, anti-democracy—which is to say, unethical.

      • “Anyone with laudable ethics who has read history is “reflexively anti-Communist.” Anyone who isn’t anti-Communist is anti-autonomy, anti-liberty, anti-democracy—which is to say, unethical.”

        I’d agree it’s a situation where there is no False Dichotomy. You kind of have to be anti-Communist if you are are pro-autonomy, pro-liberty, pro-democracy. No real middle ground.

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