In his defense, the odds that an avowed socialist writing in the early 1970s might have been high when formulating his opinions have to be north of 90 percent.
According to various psychological surveys conducted over the past 40 years, somewhere between 31 and 57 percent of women confess to having rape fantasies, with the true number doubtless higher given the reluctance of some to admit that they’ve had thoughts like that. A survey published last year claimed that 29 percent of women had fantasized about being forced to have sex while 60 percent of men had fantasized about “dominating” someone sexually. Should any of that stop us from wringing every drop of political pain for Democrats from this?
No. No, it should not.
“A man goes home and masturbates his typical fantasy,” wrote Sanders. “A woman on her knees. A woman tied up. A woman abused.”
Sanders didn’t specify as to how he had gained such a deep understanding of the male psyche.
In terms of his understanding of female sexual fantasies, Sanders provided similar insight.
“A woman enjoys intercourse with her man–as she fantasizes about being raped by 3 men simultaneously.”
Charles Cooke acknowledges that if any Republican in the race had written something like that, however long ago, not only would he be hounded by the media over it but so would every other Republican in the race and even prominent Republicans not in the race, purely for the war-on-women squirm factor involved. It would be a days-long lefty “rape culture” media jamboree. And yet, says Cooke, we should take the high road:
Bernie Sanders wrote these words in 1972. Maybe he was young and foolish. Maybe he was a different man back then? Maybe society was unrecognizable and he had bought into all sorts of faddish psychology. Who knows? And frankly, who cares? Sure, the Democratic party would crucify a Republican for the same offense. But they shouldn’t. A society in which people are drummed out of politics for words they wrote 43 years ago is an ugly society indeed. Sometimes the best way to address hypocrisy is to take the high road. This is America: land of second chances. This is a place of redemption and of reinvention and of continual learning. Nobody honestly believes that Bernie Sanders is a sexual pervert or that he is a misogynist or that he intends to do women any harm. Nobody suspects that he harbors a secret desire to pass intrusive legislation or to cut gang rapists a break. Really, there is only one reason that anyone would make hay of this story, and that is to damage the man politically. Perhaps I’m old-fashioned. Perhaps I’m hopelessly idealistic. But until I see any sign of actual wrongdoing I’d much prefer to slam Sanders for his dangerous and ridiculous politics than to delve back into his past and embarrass him with a long-forgotten opinion. I certainly hope that my fellow conservatives will feel the same way, even if they do not enjoy the same courtesy from their adversaries.
But it won’t damage him politically. That’s the Democratic advantage. This is a fart in the wind, something he might be asked about once in a check-the-box way by a reporter who’ll be only too happy to treat it as some sort of curio of youthful dunderheadedness. He’s positioned himself as the most ostentatiously left-wing member of the Senate; he’s running, kinda sorta, as a left-wing alternative to Hillary Clinton. Short of child porn turning up on his computer, there’s virtually nothing he could say or do sexually that the left won’t dismiss as irrelevant. In fact, follow the first link up top and you’ll see that his deep thoughts on rape were part of a piece about women being conditioned to crave subservience and degradation because of their traditional dependence on men. Why, Bernie’s a gender warrior! Even so, why not make him and Hillary squirm by forcing them to comment? The only way you’ll convince liberals to take Cooke’s sober approach to decades-old thoughtcrimes is to make them taste the injustice of it, even for a day instead of the two-week fiesta that would greet some analogous Republican comment. It’s the same impulse as demanding that Hillary be asked when she thinks life begins or how many genders she believes there are. It’s not that the election will turn on her answers, it’s that forcing the left and their friends in the media to experience the discomfort of a gotcha may lead them to be more circumspect in using that strategy against the right.
Anyway. Via Reason, here’s Remy paying tribute to another, even deeper deep thought from Senator Socialist.