Indeed, I think the case could be made that Sanders has been getting steadily less weird since at least 2015 and that this is regrettable.
I for one miss the perspective Sanders once offered to readers of the Vermont Freeman and similar publications in the late ’60s and early ’70s. It goes without saying that these missives were full of nonsense. But between the lunatic speculation on erotic subjects and the conspiracies about fluoride there was a healthy skepticism about the nature of the modern world that has all but disappeared from Sanders’ political rhetoric today. In 1969 Sanders called American disillusionment with public education “one of the most heartening signs in recent years” and dismissed an educational establishment that existed largely to perpetuate “patterns of docility and conformity — patterns designed not to create independent and free adults, but adults who will obey orders, be ‘faithful’ uncomplaining employees, and ‘good’ citizens.” In 2020, Sanders is an uncritical proponent not only of public schooling but of universal pre-kindergarten. The notion that there might be something inherently cruel and dehumanizing about American public education has given way to the implication that children as young as two should be subjected to it so that both of their parents can contribute to GDP.