BBB lawyer Bernie Sanders touted the USSR in 1988, three years later the empire collapsed
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As Bernie Sanders built his political career as mayor of Vermont, he visited the Soviet Union in 1988 for a 10-day “honeymoon” and returned to America praising how impressive the Communist state was. Barely three years later, Mikhail Gorbachev resigned his post as president and the red Soviet flag was removed from the Kremlin.
Decades after Sanders’ “very strange honeymoon”, his journey has apparently continued to shape his domestic and foreign policy and shifted the dial of the Democratic Party to the left.
“The fact that we were ready to criticize the United States… I think that perhaps made them more appreciative of our criticisms that we made of their own society,” Sanders said in 88 when he returned home. him.
“We were like, ‘Yes, in our country we also have a housing crisis. Our housing in general is better than yours, but people are paying 40 percent of their income for housing. The quality of your housing is not. is not good, but we appreciate that people pay 5%. The quality of your health care is not good, but in the United States, believe me, we have huge problems in terms of the health care system. health.'”
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He praised the USSR for its public transportation system and “absolutely gorgeous” stations with chandeliers, cultural programs, youth programs, and photographed American foreign policy under President Ronald Reagan.
“Let’s take the strengths of both systems,” he added after the trip. “Let’s learn from each other.”
This year, negotiations over President Biden’s signing legislation called Build Back Better – which Sanders helped design – threaten Congress and feature policies similar to those Sanders applauded when implemented in d ‘other countries, such as an expansion of government health care and taxpayer-funded child care programs.
Recent interviews with those who attended the USSR trip with Sanders, however, indicate that the group was warned by locals that the USSR was on the verge of collapse.
“I think [Sanders] saw and we all saw the downsides of the Soviet system, “Howard Seaver, a businessman from Vermont who was on a trip, told the Washington Post in 2019.” Yes, maybe they had cheap apartments, but things were going very badly Whack – there were food shortages, no political freedom. “
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“I suspect that what Bernie saw in Russia probably affected his point of view which you see today, where he is not against free enterprise or capitalism but he wants to have a safety net and give it a blow. fair to all, but certainly not having a managed economy that we saw in the Soviet Union, ”Seaver said.
Warnings from locals turned out to be true and the USSR collapsed in 1991, when Gorbachev resigned on Christmas Day.
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Experts took issue with Sanders’ rosy portrayal of the USSR, saying it was a far cry from what residents actually experience on a daily basis.
“When I lived in the Soviet Union, everything collapsed”, Anna borchchevskaya, a senior researcher at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, told the Washington Examiner in 2019. “People don’t realize how many people Stalin killed while building the Moscow metro station. Of course, the trains were running, but that other factor is ruled out. I have no doubt that Bernie was sincere in what he said, but there was a complete disregard for life and safety in all aspects of Soviet life, including infrastructure. ”
But the trip to the USSR was so emotional for Sanders that he planned another trip abroad – this time to Communist Cuba the following year.
He returned from the trip also touting the Communist State as being “a not perfect society” but having “very high quality health care” and no homelessness he witnessed.
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“I didn’t see a hungry child. I didn’t see any homeless,” Sanders said of the trip. The country “not only has free health care but very high quality health care… The revolution there is much deeper and deeper than I had expected. It is truly a revolution in terms of values.
Just last year, Sanders once again praised Communist Cuba, telling “60 minutes”, “it is unfair to just say everything is wrong” about the late Fidel Castro’s regime. Adding that although he is “opposed to the authoritarian nature of Cuba”, Castro has implemented a “massive literacy program”.
Sanders’ history with communism, socialism and Marxism has its roots in his youth. In 1963, while a student, Sanders was a guest of a Marxist youth movement founded by communist Ya’akov Hazan. In the 1970s he helped found the socialist Liberty Union Party in Vermont. In 1972 he said he didn’t “bother people. calling me a communist. “And in 1985 he also made a trip to Nicaragua and called the Nicaraguan Marxist President Daniel Ortega”an awesome guy.“
The distinctions of such regimes have has earned Sanders severe criticism of those who suffered under communism and socialism, as well as of their fellow politicians. But Sanders continued to push for acceptance of mainstream socialism and helped shift the dial of the Democratic Party further to the left.
This year, the Democratic internal struggles against Sanders’ version of Build Back Better, which began as a social spending proposal of $ 6 trillion, has since been slashed to a $ 1.7 trillion social spending program.
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The Conservatives called the bill “Democrats’ down payment on socialism“and transfer a massive amount of power from state and local governments to the federal government. Senator Joe Manchin broke with Democrats last weekend, spelling the end of the bill by saying he would not vote for it.
Radical lawmakers seek to incorporate far-left and unpopular wishlist items into this proposal, including taxpayer-funded universal pre-K, expansion of government health care, and more, as they did with the special interest bailouts in the recent “COVID Stimulus Package,” recently said David Ditch, research associate at the Grover M. Hermann Center for the Federal Budget at Hertiage Foudation.
But Sanders has only spoken more in his advocacy for the legislation, and his comments point to his praise of the communist nations and his claims about their commitment to education, health care, and human rights. poor.
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“At this pivotal moment in US history, it is time for the Senate to pass a bill that will dramatically improve the lives of working families, the elderly, the sick and the poor, while also addressing to the unbridled greed of the rich and powerful, ” Sanders wrote in a recent editorial for Fox News.
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