Did coronavirus defeat Bernie Sanders?

By Lowell Ponte

Several decades ago, the comedy group Firesign Theater nominated its own fictional candidate with the campaign slogan: “Papoon for President. Not Insane.”

After the national election, they declared Papoon the winner, saying he had lost the human vote but overwhelmingly won the votes of trillions of germs and viruses.

“Bernie Sanders lost. But he won,” proclaimed John Nichols in left-liberal The Atlantic magazine a day after the self-described socialist independent U.S. senator from Vermont suspended his campaign to become the Democratic presidential standard bearer.

“Senator Sanders never bothered to calculate the astronomical cost of universal health care and other government programs he advocated,” says Cincinnati WLW radio star Gary Jeff Walker. “But Bernie could calculate that he was 300 delegates behind former Vice President Joe Biden, and that voter handshaking, baby-kissing, rallies, and politics as usual have been derailed by the coronavirus pandemic.”

Like a Major League Baseball game rained out in the sixth inning, the team that is ahead is declared the winner. Sanders said that he had won the “ideological” battle to shift American politics leftward, but that to get the Democratic nomination his “path toward victory is virtually impossible.”

So did Sanders lose, or did the coronavirus win?

The pandemic has killed several thousand Americans, and our leaders have dangerously sickened the American economy by house-arresting three-quarters of American consumers. Consumers create 70 percent of our nation’s Gross Domestic Product. Without them, companies become unprofitable and lay off workers.

In his long career as a legislator in Washington, D.C., Sen. Sanders has written and gotten passed only two bills – both to name post offices in Vermont. He seems to have little interest in real world politics.

Does Bernie Sanders even want to be president? He loves being the left’s spokesman, a moral nag, a hero to glazed-eyed unworldly youths still wet with “woke” utopian idealism. He loves being a millionaire author and owner of three homes who travels by private jet.

Trouble is, real politicians who accomplish things live in a rough-and-tumble world of give and take. They give half a loaf to get the other half. They are compromising and hence compromised. They are called “oily” because they lubricate the rubbing together of people who have hotly opposing views. Good politicians make practical agreements and social harmony, rather than civil war, possible. Good politicians help us to reach decisions with ballots, not bullets.

But Bernie Sanders is an ideologue who preaches that those who follow his ideas leftward are good, and those who disagree are evil. He is pure and hence cannot compromise, cannot dirty his hands putting together legislation. He craves the celebrity of being a praised and celebrated presidential candidate.

But does Bernie actually want to be president, to make tough decisions and deals that will offend half his supporters? Or be targeted by smug leftist journalists accusing him of betraying his ideals?

Or like many on the left, does Sanders prefer to be the pure candidate kept from the presidency again and again by dirty politicians like Hillary Clinton in 2016 or Elizabeth Warren, who by running against him on Super Tuesday split the progressive vote and cost Sanders victory in a crucial five or more states?

This spares Bernie from being crushed in November by incumbent President Donald Trump, a billionaire businessman adept at thriving in the highly compromised world of getting things done in big Democrat-run cities.

Bernie Sanders has moved Democratic politics to the left, and by doing so has made liberal Joe Biden look moderate by comparison. It almost makes us forget that Biden has been bought and sold, and hence can be blackmailed, by Communist China, those wonderful folks who brought us today’s Pearl Harbor pandemic of coronavirus.

No sane person can vote for corrupt, semi-senile Biden, or for incompetent New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo after his coronavirus failures. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is trying to alter laws so the November election can be stolen by “mandatory” mail voting or ballot harvesting.

Sanders and his protégé Democratic-socialist Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York have forced moderate Democrats to take extremely leftist positions.

But as Thomas Edsall of the New York Times reminds us, only 20% of Democrats think of themselves as “Progressive Left.” Sixty% are center-left “Establishment” voters, and the remaining 20% – including many African Americans – are “neoliberal” Democrats who like Wall Street and the pragmatism of West Virginia centrist Sen. Joe Manchin. They want a competent candidate to handle crises like coronavirus who is “not insane.”

Lowell Ponte is a former Reader’s Digest Roving Editor. His articles have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times and other major publications. His latest paper co-authored with Craig R. Smith, “The Secret War,” shows how to rethink several areas of investment to protect and grow your savings against little-known economic threats. For a free, postpaid copy, call toll-free 800-630-1492.

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