Bernie Sanders

Riots Reveal True Face of Sanders Movement

Of disruptions and death threats.

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Donald Trump's supporters can be a rough bunch, but it turns out they're nothing compared to a cadre of angry Bernie Bros.

When the Democratic Party convention in Nevada gave a majority of delegates to Hillary Clinton, Sanders supporters went berserk. They threw chairs, screamed obscenities, and pitched such a fit that the event had to be shut down over security concerns. Then they went digital, sending thousands of obscenity-laced death threats to state party chairwoman Roberta Lang: "Praying to God someone shoots you in the FACE"; "Hey, b, we know where you live, where you work, where you eat, where your kids go to school… Prepare for hell." Nice.

In response, Bernie the Magnificent hemmed and hawed and, eventually, denounced the violence. "Our campaign of course believes in nonviolent change and it goes without saying that I condemn any and all forms of violence, including the personal harassment of individuals."

Which, to be blunt about it, is a crock. Sanders' entire campaign is premised on the idea of violent change—lots of it. His supporters just want someone else to do the dirty work.

Sanders proposes hiking the minimum wage to $15 an hour, which is another way of saying he wants to make it illegal for employers to pay workers less than $15 an hour—even when there are workers who are willing to take less. He also proposes to make employers provide 12 weeks paid family and medical leave, two weeks of paid vacation, and seven paid sick days.

How is he going to achieve all that? By changing the law and then enforcing it. Note the root of the word "enforce." If a company chooses not to comply the consequences will, eventually, entail the use of armed officers of the law.

Sanders wants to take a blue pencil to the First Amendment to overturn Citizens United. In that case, the government tried to stop a nonprofit corporation from advertising and distributing a movie about Hillary Clinton. This is censorship—and Sanders thinks it is the right thing to do. How does Sanders propose to enforce such restrictions? He's not going to do it by saying "pretty please with sugar on top."

Sanders wants to increase spending on U.S. infrastructure by hundreds of billions of dollars a year. Where will the money come from? You, of course. And if you decline to pay? You could end up like actor Wesley Snipes, who went to prison for tax evasion.

Sanders is a fierce opponent of free trade—which is the radical notion that if two parties freely agree to exchange goods or services, nobody else has a right to stop them. Bernie thinks somebody—namely the federal government—should. "The federal government" is a nicer way to say "armed federal agents."

Sanders wants to "bring climate deniers to justice" and has called for the Justice Department to investigate "climate change skepticism." (Another ugly attack on the First Amendment.)

Even if the effort goes no further than that, it would entail the threat of force, since the government would have to obtain documents, conduct interviews, and otherwise collect information from people who would prefer not to provide it.

Sanders also wants to "stop dirty pipeline projects," "stop exports of liquefied natural gas and crude oil" and "increase fuel economy standards to 65 miles per gallon by 2025." How is he going to do that? By imposing those policies through force.

There are many more examples, but you get the point.

Progressives like to say government is just a word for things we all do together, but that misses a crucial point. Left to their own devices, a lot of people would choose not to do certain things at all—or would choose to do them less, or differently, or with somebody else. Government actually is the way some people get other people to do things without their consent and even in the face of their strenuous objection. If the non-consenting people object too obstinately, the government will bring physical violence to bear. Government is not in the habit of taking no for an answer.

That doesn't mean all government is evil. It doesn't even mean Sanders' policy proposals are wrong on the merits. A sharp advocate could make a good case for some of them.

But it does mean that Sanders wants to bring about a huge amount of social change—not only without many people's consent, but despite many people's vigorous resistance. In a sense, that's the whole point of running for president: If he could achieve his policy aims through persuasion alone, what would he need the government for?

Sanders supporters in Nevada threatened people with violence when they didn't get their way. That's not an aberration. It's the essence of his whole campaign.

This column originally appeared at the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

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  1. How is he going to achieve all that? By changing the law and then enforcing it. Note the root of the word “enforce.” If a company chooses not to comply the consequences will, eventually, entail the use of armed officers of the law.

    And yet people laugh at you if you tell them that in the end, every law is punishable by death if you violate it.

    Fuck Bernie and fuck all his followers. Biggest bunch of hypocrites I’ve ever encountered.

    1. How many of them have you encountered?

      1. I don’t know about Juvenile B, but here in the Bay Area they are everywhere. And not just milllenials; every bald-except-for-a-grey-ponytail guy and streaked-hair, tie-dyed-gauze-wearing gal leftover hippies of Berkeley, etc wear “Feel the Bern” t-shirts constantly.

  2. I quit my office job and now I am getting paid 92 Dollars hourly. How? I work-over internet! My old work was making me miserable, so I was to try-something different. 2 years after…I can say my life is changed completely for the better! .1N.Check it out what i do…

    ——– http://www.careers-report.com

  3. Oh Bernie, his response on May 17th was appalling….blamed the corporations and the fossil fuel industry for destroying the planet which had nothing to do with the events.

    How is the fossil fuel industry destroying the planet? is this guy for real?

    1. Well, it’s converting a thing into other things that some people think are bad for some things and good for other things.

      But specifically it’s because they want that cold hard cash from the Fossil Fuel industry and, in the longer term, the power that comes from control over all modern life that necessarily flows from the energy sector.

    2. Oh Bernie, his response on May 17th was appalling….blamed the corporations and the fossil fuel industry for destroying the planet which had nothing to do with the events.

      So, appalling and stale.

    3. How is the fossil fuel industry destroying the planet?

      Well it DOES enable the military.

      1. Last I checked, the military destroys people not planets.

        1. Aren’t planets and people one? oooooooommmmmmmmmmmmm

        2. That’s why we need to increase military spending: The Death Star ain’t gonna build itself, people.

    4. isn’t wanting the planet to stay exactly the same as it is right now forever like the literal definition of “conservative”?

  4. What a shit article. Of course laws are backed up by armed officers. Every single law on the books right now is. It’s the whole point of the executive you moron. If you hadn’t noticed, laws would have to be passed by the legislative (you know, your representatives) before they can be enforced.

    And is all of Trump’s support just backed by violence too? Are we just going to ignore the real reasons that people are so pissed off? Are we going to paint a picture of millions of people based on the actions of a few?

    I swear, it’s garbage like this that makes me rethink ever reading anything here again.

    1. You mad, Berniebro?

    2. Smells like Tulpa spirit

      1. If Tulpa is feeling the Bern, i’m gonna have to rethink some things.

        1. It’s just driven by hate now.

          Rejection and hate.

          It is motivated by anything else anymore.

          Just loneliness, envy, rejection, and hate.

          1. Mea Tulpa

            We get the comments we deserve. And judging by the readings on this PKE meter we’re going to get it good and hard.

        2. It’s the same old authority worship. Tulpa always valued order above all.

          VE MUST HAVE RULES

          1. Bah. It’s never “We must have rules”. It is always, always and forever “They must have rules”.
            As Heinlein noted in Moon is a Harsh Mistress, nobody ever stands up and says “please, please pass a law that forbids me from smoking” [or whatever example he picked].
            It’s always, ALWAYS, about “we should pass a law so they can’t ____”.

      2. I stepped in some Tulpa while I was out jogging today.

        Had to scrape the Tulpa out of my shoe.

        1. Dropped a massive Tulpa in the bathroom at work this morning. Had to flush three times just to make the damn thing go away.

    3. The butthurt is strong with this one

      1. And he/she/ze will never read here again? Given we’ve never seen this poster name before, it’s likely also the first time they’ve been on the site, no doubt tipped off by another Bernie Bro elsewhere to come and register disgust. I’m guessing the site will survive losing this one piece of traffic.

        1. They’ve been here before, barfing boilerplate liberal nonsense since 2014

          1. *2004

    4. If you hadn’t noticed, laws would have to be passed by the legislative (you know, your representatives) before they can be enforced.

      If you hadn’t noticed, federal regulations which have the force of law are not passed by the legislature.

      If you hadn’t noticed, presidents are employing their pens and phones with increasing regularity. (And I’m not just talking about the current president either.)

      1. Well, I guess I should have refreshed, huh?

    5. “Are we just going to ignore the real reasons that people are so pissed off?”.

      Lemme guess: Not enough free shit, right?

    6. …laws would have to be passed by the legislative (you know, your representatives) before they can be enforced.

      I guess you’re not familiar with the regulatory state. The Obama administration has created over 20,000 new regulations so far with no approval or consent of the legislative branch. And many, if not most, of these regulatory departments have their own SWAT teams.

    7. So he spoke facts which, you agree, are obviously true. And this makes you angry. Sounds like cognitive dissonance.

    8. “Of course laws are backed up by armed officers. Every single law on the books right now is. ”

      Yes. Precisely why we need to get rid of most of those laws. I’m thrilled you’re a fan of minimal government! Welcome!

    9. Of course laws are backed up by armed officers. Every single law on the books right now is.

      And this is why government should only write laws to prohibit people from initializing force upon other people. Government should not write laws that initiate force upon people, which is what all the examples in the article do.

      Are there exceptions to that rule? Probably. But the exception does not negate the rule.

    10. I swear, it’s garbage like this that makes me rethink ever reading anything here again.

      You won’t be missed.

      Retard.

  5. “Note the root of the word ‘enforce.'”

    The root of “enforce”?

    What’s the Latin meaning of “en”, again?

    1. “In” meaning “in” or “on”

      1. It was an attempt at humor.

        My Latin is actually pretty good.

        Rusty but still there.

        laudo
        laudas
        laudat

        laudamus
        laudatis
        laudant.

        1. Ok. Now conjugate the subjunctive present indicative of laudare.

          1. “Pedicabo et irrumabo, mofo”

              1. Vidi, vici, veni!!

  6. Brownshirts for Bernie.

    1. Weather Underground Wannabes for Bernie. These guys are the ideological descendants of Ayers/Dohrn and the rest of their comrades.

  7. It shouldn’t be much of a surprise that Bernie Sander’s supporters are getting violent considering that their whole philosophy relies on government force.

    1. But you’re forcing people to work for less than $15 an hour!

      1. You not recognizing that I DESERVE more free shit IS violence, sirrah!

  8. That doesn’t mean all government is evil

    I have to go against the author on that one. Which part of government is not enforced with viiolence, or at least funded by violent means?

    1. I think there can be a justification for what the government does if and when it does it to protect someone’s rights.

      I even think there are occasions when government force is used appropriately, for instance, in compelling witness testimony.

      I’m also not convinced that all sales taxes are necessarily paid involuntarily. To some extent, to some extent, to some extent, people acquiesce to paying them when they choose to pay the purchase price including the cost of the tax.

      1. But how do you pay for it? Also, what if someone wants another organization to protect their rights?

      2. If there are going to be taxes I dont know why any have be on something other than sales. I find that much, much, much less offensive than garnishing your income or the fact youll never own a piece of land outright. maybe there’s a reason Im missing that that wouldnt work, but I can’t think of one

        1. I understand the arguments against every single tax. I disagree. I also think sales is the least abrasive. Property and income make us serfs.

  9. THANK YOU someone for finally making this point.

  10. “They threw chairs”

    Really? No video, No pictures, No eye witness accounts.

    1. A guy picked up a chair as if to throw it, and was stopped. The obscenities, death threats, and the convention shutdown was all real.

      Not seeing the forest for the trees?

  11. I dunno if it is terribly fair to ding Bernie for the Nevada thing. Clinton’s folks did some shady maneuvering to snag a couple of extra delegates in a manner that would make the GOP proud. That Ron Paul’s team didn’t riot isn’t a testament to the virtue of the GOP.

    I get the attempt at underlining the “government is force” red meat argument for the libertarian choir. But it feels a little forced. Almost like a writing project for a class mid-term. Did an editor toss this into your lap during assignments? “Hey, the Bernie people say they are not into violence, but just look at all the things they are doing! Write something!”

    If that’s the way it went down, then great job stretching the metaphor out into something relevant.

    1. I suppose you could call it confirmation bias, framing a narrative, etc. But the bias on this site isn’t hidden.

      And rather than worrying about the literary devices used, think about the claim itself. Why are the supporters so frustrated? There’s a reason political arguments so notoriously involve such anger. The govt is a weapon people use against each other.

    2. Wasn’t the GOP allowed to make that kind of last minute changes that screwed Ron Paul?

  12. Just wait until the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia in late July.

    1. I know. All those Trump supporters are going to round up Democrats onto boxcars.

      1. No, I suspect that Bernie supporters will riot when their guy doesn’t get the nomination. Which creates an interesting situation. These (Bern victims) are the same group of people who would protest outside the Republican National Convention in Cleveland the week following the DNC. But if there is mass rioting at the DNC, that will suppress protests at the RNC since the people who riot at the DNC will still be in jail, or under pre-trial supervision for that second convention. So, they have an interesting choice.

        1. I really do expect the DNC to get its allies under control and get them pointed at the Repub convention for their rioting. The Protestor-American Community is a division of the Dem party apparat, after all.

        2. Bern victims seem predetermined to blame all their misfortune on Bush and Trump. They ain’t gonna get violent at their own convention.

          1. You weren’t around yet in 1968, were you?

      2. It’s all trump’s fault, and this proves it. I don’t know how this proves it but it does. I think calling to create more jobs is pissing them off, like bernie, they wan’t to have the badge of honor of getting kicked out of a commune for not working. If you have someone who promises jobs, what happens if that happens? We need bernie because bernie isn’t promising to put us to work.

    2. It’s the anti-Trump protesters who show up at the Republican convention that are really going to be a rioting mess

  13. Thank you for telling the truth, Mr. Hinkle.

    You’re one of the very few contributors left here at Reason who isn’t a dishonest sack of shit. I hope you stick around!

  14. Yes! Sanders’ ideas are violent, ugly, and evil. Everything about him is the opposite of freedom.

    1. Bernie says democracy can be ugly. I guess he’s talking about the women Ed Rendell was talking about.

  15. *standing ovation*

  16. You can’t spell Sanders without SS.

    1. Bernie Sanders = BS.

      1. I can’t believe I never thought of this, or even seen this, before. Bravo.

        Also, article’s pretty nice too.

  17. @Loise, you make $27h thats great going girl good for you! My story is that I quit working at shoprite to work online, seriously I couldn’t be happier I work when I want and where I want. And with a little effort I easily bring in $35h and sometimes even as much as $85h?heres a good example of what i’m doing,

    ============ http://usatoday.nypost55.com

  18. I always enjoy the sight of the Bernie mobs waving signs about stopping “hate” while they scream in people’s faces, throw rocks, set fires, etc.

    1. If he were to make it into the general election, particularly against Trump… lot of dead bodies.

      1. Think trump rallies are gun free zones?

  19. Which, to be blunt about it, is a crock. Sanders’ entire campaign is premised on the idea of violent change?lots of it. His supporters just want someone else to do the dirty work.

    ^THIS^ X 1,000,000,000

  20. Show me the group that started a riot, and I’ll show you the group most convinced they have the moral high-ground, but don’t. Whats the saying about religion being needed to make good actors commit bad acts? The Bernie-ites have go the most fervent kind of secular religion, and they will burn some shit before its all over.

  21. Donald Trump’s supporters can be a rough bunch, but it turns out they’re nothing compared to a cadre of angry Bernie Bros.

    Oh, please. If that were true we’d see it on the 10 pm News.

    Right?

    1. It is horrible when you smack someone down who is in your face, in front of your family yelling obscenities.

  22. “armed federal agents.” Which is a nicer way of saying jackbooted thugs.

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  25. Thank god starts to cover something other than Trump. The Sanders herd of thugs needs to be repeatedly outed for who they are and the thuggery that socialism really is (let’s be honest. Bernie’s a communist).

    1. Meant to say “Thank God Reason starts…”. Damn tablet.

  26. Sanders supporter: “Either I get my free pony or I’m going to beat the crap out of people!”

  27. There is no evidence of violence or chair throwing so reading beyond those lies didn’t happen here.

  28. “Riots”??? If raising ones voice when getting screwed is a riot—you must be pulling for living in a police state….just saying….

  29. I get the strange feeling that the majority of this article is meant to be satire–pretty much everything but the overall anti-violence attitude–but that it just falls flat on the humor bar.

    Why would somebody write a satirical article on a website called Reason anyway? Save it for Salon.

    The earlier bit about a presidential hopeful wanting to require businesses to pay their employees a reasonable living wage really stands out. There are already laws requiring minimums and other things; like family leave and overtime pay. Adjusting those laws over time to account for changes in circumstance is nothing less than appropriate; and no logical argument can be made against it. Our legal system, including out Constitution, was design to be adaptable and perfected over time–that means it will also occasionally be altered in error (Citizens United), and need to be readjusted later to compensate.

    Either the author has a severe lack of ability to understand reality, or they’re trying to be funny.

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