When Magic Grandpa shakes the money tree, it’s not just that other people’s money falls out. A tangle of poisonous roots is also exposed. A coalition of coalitions has mobilized for Sanders: acrimonious acronyms like the DSA (Democratic Socialists of America) and CAIR (Council on American-Islamic Relations), Jew-baiting proxies like Ilhan Omar and Linda Sarsour, woke warriors like IfNotNow and the Justice Dems, and bongwater conspiracists like the Chapo Trap House chaps and the campus wing of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.
In November, Sarsour represented Sanders’s campaign as a speaker at the American Muslims for Palestine (AMP) conference, whose official program called Zionism a ‘disease’ that will ‘destroy the purity of Al-Quds [Jerusalem]’. It’s impossible, Sarsour said, to oppose ‘white supremacy in America and the idea of being in a state based on race and class’ without also opposing the existence of a Jewish state. Israel, Sarsour said, is ‘built on the idea that Jews are supreme to everyone else’ — a libel more likely to emerge from the mouths of white nationalists.
Sanders, the man of principle, has lately contrived to remind us that he is Jewish, while pretending not to notice that, like the Labour party under Corbyn, his campaign is carrying anti-Semitism and other forms of conspiratorial delusion out of the sewer and into the political mainstream. His alliance with Sarsour isn’t just Magic Grandpa having a Lebowski-style flashback to his radical youth. It’s a calculated attempt to catch votes, upend the party managers and commandeer the party: Corbynization in America.