The more things change, the more they stay the same. Bernie Sanders publicized himself as a novel, revolutionary public servant; while other politicians collude with special interest groups behind closed doors and dabble in the arts of charlatanism, demagoguery, and favoritism, Bernie was a glowing symbol of benevolence, devoid of corruption, who had the best interest of the masses in mind. However, not surprisingly, many of the same timeworn faults still manifested themselves throughout Bernie’s campaign and political platform, both of which form the subject matter of his book Our Revolution. Like all politicians, Bernie lambasts his competitors instead of focusing on his own legislation and employs unscrupulous, partisan arguments to manipulate the masses.
Although, if Bernie must rail at other political contenders, it is to his credit that he chooses Crooked Hillary. Indeed, Bernie underlines the festering corruption behind Clinton Inc. quite eloquently: “The Clintons over the years received huge amounts of money in campaign contributions and speaking fees from powerful financial interests in Corporate America…to me a very basic political principle is that you cannot take on the establishment when you take their money.” Sanders’ point is more than fair. The founding fathers established a democratic, not plutocratic, system of government in the United States of America, so Bernie speaks with conviction when he insinuates that electing Clinton would simply be a harbinger of corruption. Bernie endeavors to ascertain that none of Clinton’s mishaps escape his spotlight. He reminds his readers that, “[Clinton] had started several super PACs…had voted for the war in Iraq… had supported in one capacity or another virtually every one of the disastrous trade agreements that cost our country millions of decent-paying jobs.” Although Bernie devotes too large a portion of Our Revolution to discussing the shortcomings of other politicians, Hillary must be put in her rightful, deplorable place. Any reader who wasn’t “with her” will enjoy Bernie’s digressions.
But when Bernie isn’t using Our Revolution to criticize Crooked Hillary, he uses it to shove his political platform down the reader’s throat, often with flawed argumentation. For example, Bernie asserts that tax cuts on the highest economic echelons of society don’t create more jobs, and he cites the following statistic as evidence: “under the eight years of President Bush, the private sector lost nearly half a million jobs and the deficit exploded. On the other hand, in 1993, when President Bill Clinton increased taxes on the top 2%…more than 22 million jobs were created.” There are myriad other factors, such as international trade and technological evolution, that contribute to the creation or destruction of jobs. And, for the record, thousands of economists have agreed that trickle-down policies do in fact drive growth in the business sector and enhance the economy. Bernie, however, being such a staunch opponent of tax cuts on the wealthy, erroneously narrows his argument and ignores the other factors so he can better manipulate his readers and transform them into privilege-wary socialists like himself.
Probably the most prominent flaw of Our Revolution is the amount of Bernie-bragging it contains. Indeed, Bernie repeatedly states that he “had [his] doubts as to how many people would show up” to his rallies, but, afterwards, he never fails to smugly mention that XXX number of people actually attended or that the venue his staff booked was too small to accommodate the crowds. Yeesh. Even worse was his recount of the traffic he experienced while travelling to a rally in Austin, Texas: “I was becoming more and more annoyed…we were moving at a crawl and I was worried that we would be late. Not to worry. Our meeting was the cause of the traffic jam and everybody was going to be late.” Wow. Good for you Bernie. You must be real special. You’re the only major contender against Crooked Hillary for the democratic presidential nomination? And you’re popular? This is unprecedented. How can it be?
In essence, while Our Revolution does contain some incisive analysis on the flaws of America’s political status quo, Bernie’s digressions and his spurious arguments detract markedly from the book’s merit as a whole. Sit down, start reading, have your laughs at Bernie’s jibes against Hillary, but pick up Crippled America before you’re brainwashed with his ultra-liberal propaganda.