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- The Bern
If Bernie Sanders can somehow win the Democratic nomination, and Donald Trump is chosen as the GOP presidentialApprentice reality show contestant, it will be interesting to see an election between a socialist and a fascist.
Of course, most voters don't know the difference between a Social Democrat and a Marxist, but I give extra points to anyone who knows who Marx is, and I don't mean Groucho. Since the term "socialism" is often associated with the Soviet Union, or those evil European countries where they just give away their health care like that, any candidate running under that label already has two strikes against them right away. Sort of like being born with a name like Barack Hussein Obama. Socialism means major industries are owned by the government rather than by corporations or individuals. Social Democrat means someone really liberal who may soon be the front-runner of a major political party that is scared guano-less to use that term.
Discerning readers know that the United States began using socialism as soon as they set up the Pony Express. All governmental functions used for the public good are socialistic, except for all that free stuff the Democrats give away at election time like Obamaphones and abortions.
I guess nothing's ironic any longer, but on the Republican side, Marco Rubio is giving away calculators, and Jeb Bush is sending out to a "select universe of influencers, donors, and core supporters," digital video players with a 15-minute film called, The Jeb Story. Actually, the slickly produced videos were shipped out by Bush's Super-Pac, Right to Rise USA, which sounds more like a Cialis commercial than the name of a slush fund. But that's not socialistic. That's just tiny bribes to the billionaire seraphim of the GOP.
Every time I hear an update on the gangsta cowboy vigilantes up in Oregon, I'm reminded of socialism. These armed protectors of the Constitution and their nitwit anti-bird militia don't like government? Cut the power, the water, and WiFi, so they can't upload any more pleas for Mountain Dew, then block the access roads and wait for the next blizzard. They even have the gall to ask that snacks and underwear be sent through the U.S. mail. Let them sit there through February, and they'll be begging for a little socialism.
Fascism is defined as an authoritarian, right-wing system of government, led by a despot, an autocracy, or a "strong man," and characterized by racism, xenophobia, and ultra nationalism. Speaking of Donald Trump, he trotted out the Vampira of the tea party, Sarah Palin, to endorse his candidacy during a campaign rally. She gave a long, incoherent soliloquy that was so bizarre, it inspired Tina Fey to come back for an SNL encore.
After listening to 20 minutes of Palin's brain droppings, Trump's expression said, "Wrap that shit up, G," but his mouth said, "She's really a special person." After the Vaudeville show concluded, Trump said he would "love" to put Palin in his cabinet if elected. That should disqualify him on the spot, but nothing slows the Trump Blitzkrieg — not even the shrieking witch from Wasilla. The unemployed, half-term governor is like herpes. It's always there just under the surface, and just when you think it's gone, it comes back with a vengeance. In this case, her vengeance was directed at the GOP "establishment" who mocked her last time around.
Trump then announced to another rabid mob that his minions were so loyal, "I could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody, and I wouldn't lose voters." For a second, I thought this might be the equivalent of John Lennon's "We're more popular than Jesus" quote. It could have been worse. He might have said, "If Ivanka weren't my daughter, perhaps I'd be dating her."
I'm having a heart vs. head dilemma this election. I agree with most of Bernie Sanders' positions, but I know in advance that he'll be compared to Mao Zedong. I think Hillary is electable, but I've come down with a severe relapse of Clinton Fatigue. I knew it when she was slipping in the polls and brought out the Clinton attack machine. Even Chelsea was schlepped out of her new $10.4 million Manhattan apartment to tell lies about Sanders' proposals and explain how he would be horrible for the working man. Suddenly, I remembered Bob Dylan's lyrics, "What price do you have to pay to get out of going through all these things twice?"
I want my country back, too — the one promised by LBJ, Martin Luther King, and the Great Society. The country that once declared war on poverty instead of drugs. I want a country that passes legislation like the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act, where voting is encouraged rather than suppressed. We're just one election and two Supreme Court Justices away, and I'm beginning to "feel the Bern." Call him whatever you want, Sanders would be the most revolutionary president since FDR. If you really wanted to shake up our broken political system, who better than an elderly, Jewish Socialist? You could do worse.