Jefferson Morley | April 2, 2019
Bernie Sanders, Radical Reformer
On the Campaign Trail:
The gruff socialist from Vermont is the quintessential Washington outsider a radical reformer. Along with his foreign policy adviser Matt Duss, he says the 2020 election is an opportunity to “reconceptualize” the global order.
In his 2016 bid for the Democratic presidential nomination, Sanders avoided issues of war and peace. Now he embraces them.
Last October, Sanders laid out a vision for U.S. foreign policy that he says he will bring to the White House. In a speech at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, Sanders depicted “global struggle” between the “movement for democracy, equalitarianism, economic, social, racial and environmental justice” and a “growing worldwide movement towards authoritarianism, oligarchy and kleptocracy.”
This perspective shaped his views on the hottest issues of the day.
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We need to counter oligarchic authoritarianism with a strong global progressive movement that speaks to the needs of working people, that recognizes that many of the problems we are faced with are the product of a failed status quo. We need a movement that unites people all over the world who don’t just seek to return to a romanticized past, a past that did not work for so many, but who strive for something better.
On the Need for Change:
While the authoritarian axis is committed to tearing down a post-World War II global order that they see as limiting their access to power and wealth, it is not enough for us to simply defend that order as it exists. We must look honestly at how that order has failed to deliver on many of its promises, and how authoritarians have adeptly exploited those failures in order to build support for their agenda. We must take the opportunity to reconceptualize a global order based on human solidarity.
On Defense Spending:
Sanders would cut it to fund anti-poverty campaign.
Columbia University’s Jeffrey Sachs, one of the world’s leading experts on economic development and the fight against poverty, has estimated that the cost to end world poverty is $175 billion per year for 20 years, about ten percent of what the world spends on weapons.
Donald Trump thinks we should spend more on these weapons. I think we should spend less.
Migrants and refugees should be treated with compassion and respect when they reach Europe or the United States. Yes, we need better international cooperation to address the flow of migrants across borders, but the solution is not to build walls and amplify the cruelty toward those fleeing impossible conditions as a deterrence strategy.
We face an unprecedented situation of an American president who for whatever reason refuses to acknowledge this attack on American democracy. Why is that? I am not sure what the answer is. Either he really doesn’t understand what has happened, or he is under Russian influence because of compromising information they may have on him, or because he is ultimately more sympathetic to Russia’s strongman form of government than he is to American democracy.
Sanders does not support the Maduro government but rejects the Trump policy of regime.
The Vermont Senator also signed onto the Senate Joint Resolution 11: Prohibiting Unauthorized Military Action in Venezuela Resolution of 2019 as a co-sponsor on March 25th.
In the Eyes of ‘the Blob’ and the Secret Intelligence Agencies:
The election of Bernie Sanders in 2020 would represent a fundamental challenge to policymaking elites, intelligence chiefs, and military leaders, on par with Trump. With his unyielding criticism of the system of American-led capitalism and military intervention which they have defended for decades, President Sanders would be viewed with suspicion, if not hostility in many power centers in Washington.