We all know that Bernie spent his honeymoon in the Soviet Union...but a lot of people tend to downplay the significance of that.
We also all know that Bernie claims to be a "Democratic Socialist", who supposedly wants no more than the United States to become another
Sweden...lots of welfare, but allowing for free enterprise (except for all of those that would be squashed or regulated out of business under the
Green New Deal that he supports, of course).
Also, Bernie runs for President as a Democrat...but actually sits as an Independent in the Senate. Clearly he does not suscribe to the idea of
center-left politics...although he may be warming to the Democrat Party now that it is veering hard to the Left in so many ways.
But, how many people know that beloved old Bernie was (still is?) a card carrying Communist activist not so many years ago...
Bernie Sanders campaigned for the Socialist Workers Party in the 1980 and 1984 presidential campaigns and was investigated by the FBI for his
ties to the Marxist group.
Sanders has always played down the extent of his involvement with the party, which included radicals who praised the Soviet Union and Cuban
communists, and has denied ever being a member. Asked in 1988 about his role as an SWP elector in 1980, he said: "I was asked to put my name on the
ballot and I did, that’s true." In fact, his ties to the party are deep and enduring.
So, what kind of policies did the Socialist Workers Party (that Bernie campaigned for) support?
Andrew Pulley, the party's 1980 presidential candidate, said that American soldiers should "take up their guns and shoot their officers" (Sanders
was one of three electors for Pulley on the Vermont ballot).
Mel Mason was their candidate in 1984 and praised the Russian and Chinese revolutions and said: "The greatest example of a socialist government is
Cuba, and Nicaragua is right behind, but it's still developing."
This party called for the abolition of the U.S. military and the nationalization of "virtually all private industry," as well as the establishment
of "official ... 'solidarity' with the revolutionary regimes in Iran, Nicaragua, Grenada and Cuba."
Sanders stated in a press release during these times that: "I fully support the SWP's continued defense of the Cuban revolution."
Bernie was the featured speaker at the party's 1982 campaign kick-off rally.
Let's Just Say it Out Loud.
Bernie's a Communist
"At a time when the Democratic and Republican parties are intellectually and spiritually bankrupt, it is imperative for radical voices to
be heard which offer fundamental alternatives to capitalist ideology. I wish Mel Mason good luck on his campaign," Sanders wrote in a letter to
the Militant in January 1984.