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Just three days to go before the Iowa caucuses and with the results far from certain, Democrats find themselves at a crossroads.
Most of their hearts are with the socialist Bernie Sanders. But their brains are screaming at them not to nominate an unelectable, radical septuagenarian — even though the other choice may be electable, but is also a befuddled septuagenarian.
Despite their claims to the contrary, they don’t like girls very much — at least, girls running for president. And the less we say about their embrace of black candidates, the better. They apparently still think that Mexicans should be trimming the hedge and not getting involved in presidential politics. And as much as they claim to like gay people and transgender people, when it comes down to brass tacks, they still prefer old straight, white men.
Would Democrats still love Bernie Sanders if they discovered his praise for radical segregationist George Wallace?
In an interview with the Brattleboro Reformer in 1972, Sanders, then 31, said Wallace “advocates some outrageous approaches to our problems, but at least he is sensitive to what people feel they need.”
Sanders, now a Vermont senator and 2020 Democrat, said, “What we need are more active politicians working for the people.”
The 1972 remarks surprised the interviewer at the time, who wrote that “even though [Sanders] has been labeled a ‘leftist radical’ by some persons, Sanders had some praise for [Wallace].”
On other occasions, Sanders was more critical of Wallace and warned about the allure of white identity politics.
Biden has his own racist history. He told the Philadelphia Enquirer in 1975 that “the Democratic Party could stand a liberal George Wallace.” But Sanders and Biden have their hearts in the “right place,” usually, so they get a stern look by the outrage mob and are sent on their way.
The current Democratic Party is torn between doing what’s “right” and what’s smart. Biden has the stature — the “gravitas” — to challenge Trump. Sanders has the enthusiasm of the party faithful — the far left who have been in the shadows so long until Sanders brought them into the light.
It’s not a racial divide. It’s not a generational divide. The division isn’t by sex or race. The existential crisis being experienced by the party and its faithful is a divide between those who believe in the old-time religion of America, the land of opportunity, and those who have lost that faith.
The Bernie Sanders wing of the party does not believe in the people. They don’t believe in the system. They think our history is a lie, our morals are a farce, our traditions are racist, and the majority of us are ignorant hicks who don’t “vote our own interests.” They believe this nation must be cleansed in blood and fire and if they win, they very well may get their wish.
What makes Joe Biden an equally scary choice is that no one believes he can handle the true believers who will rush to Washington on January 20, 2021. He will be trapped by the radicals and eventually, be forced to cave to the Ocasio-Cortez wing of the party on everything from Medicare for all to the Green New Deal.
And all that stands between America and the abyss is a corrupt, ignorant charlatan of a politician — a sociopathic narcissist whose own electoral negatives may yet sink his re-election bid.