‘Independent’ Senator Bernie Sanders is sort of endorsing the idea of border restrictions and nation-building. The democratic socialist affirmed his belief in some sort of protection during last night’s Democratic presidential debate on CNN.
BASH: Senator Sanders, you want to provide undocumented immigrants free health care and free college. Why won’t this drive even more people to come to the U.S. illegally?
SANDERS: Because we’ll have strong border protections. But the main point I want to make is that what Trump is doing through his racism and his xenophobia, is demonizing a group of people. And as president, I will end that demonization.
Sanders is quite vague in his definition of “border protections” and did not bother expounding on it a minutes later when asked for a clarification. He did recommend the all-encompassing “comprehensive immigration reform” then pirouetted to healthcare and Medicaid-for-All.
It is an unsurprising position for Sanders, who previously signaled his belief in limited immigration during the 2016 presidential race. He actually called open borders a “Koch brothers proposal” to Vox.com.
It would make everybody in America poorer —you’re doing away with the concept of a nation state, and I don’t think there’s any country in the world that believes in that. If you believe in a nation state or in a country called the United States or UK or Denmark or any other country, you have an obligation in my view to do everything we can to help poor people. What right-wing people in this country would love is an open-border policy. Bring in all kinds of people, work for $2 or $3 an hour, that would be great for them. I don’t believe in that. I think we have to raise wages in this country, I think we have to do everything we can to create millions of jobs.
It would be curious to see what New York Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez believes of this after she accused libertarians – which the Kochs happen to be – of being in favor of zero immigration during an interview on Tuesday. It’s not really the libertarians – who, granted, fight each other on everything – who are pushing an idea of stronger border security. Ocasio-Cortez might need to have a talk with Sanders.
As for Sanders, he also brought up another ‘solution’ last night on how he’ll prevent people from going into the country: he’ll re-build their own!
[W]e’ve got to ask ourselves, “Why are people walking 2,000 miles to a strange country where they don’t know the language?”
So what we will do, the first week we are in the White House, is bring the entire hemisphere together to talk about how we rebuild Honduras…
SANDERS: … Guatemala and El Salvador so people do not have to flee their own countries.
This is quite Trumanesque (not a compliment) in the idea it would be gathering consensus from others before doing something (see the Korean War). One does have to wonder exactly how the talks with the Western Hemisphere would commence and how many countries would ask for their own version of this rebuilding program. Would Sanders be willing to expand the United States to take in any countries who wish to get cash from the White House? Would it not be considered a form of the American Empire he so utterly protests?
Sanders’ ideas are hogwash and not ones which should be considered by voters. The exact opposite should be enacted – granted over a long period of time so people can start getting used to not being on the government dole. The reality is free markets are the best way to ensure others live their best lives. This brings about freedom for everyone because it gives them the opportunity to control their own destiny, plus they see the benefits of lowered costs.
One final thing regarding Sanders’ complaints about the current president. Sanders went on a diatribe regarding President Donald Trump’s propensity for xenophobic commentary under the guise of nationalism. He (rightly) suggested Trump was demonizing a group of people. Yet, Sanders does his own version of demonization by complaining about the rich and wanting to soak as much money as possible from them. Sanders wants war, too. This war would be between the proletariat and the bourgeois with the government serving as the hammer and sickle while ignoring the inherent corruption of government.
It’s something to remember while watching the debates. Perhaps it’s time to consider candidates who are neither xenophobic or class war endorsers and go with someone who prefers a smaller, more limited government.