Author: Jack Staples-Butler

The Falsity of the Sanders Venezuela Meme

Bernie Sanders, the senior Senator for Vermont and presidential primary candidate for the Democratic Party in 2016, exists in the popular and intellectual right-wing imagination as an American avatar of Venezuela’s Bolivarian socialist regime. Multiple conservative and libertarian writers at various publications and websites have promoted a relationship – be it one of policy inspiration or ideological brotherhood – between Senator Sanders and the late Hugo Chavez. Mainstream print media has followed and a representative Forbes Magazine online op-ed in 2016 ran under the headline “Venezuelan People Feel The ‘Bern’ as Real Socialism Destroys Their Country.” Its author, Doug Bandow, ended his column by flatly stating: “Bernie Sanders, call your office. America can’t afford to import a system that continues to fail around the world.” In December 2017, the libertarian comedian Owen Benjamin tweeted this: Bernie Sanders "loved" Venezuela's move toward socialism 3 years ago. They are now eating their family pets https://t.co/w2pnN2n2CU — Owen Benjamin ? (@OwenBenjamin) December 4, 2017 Bernie Sanders identifies as a democratic socialist and has a longstanding commitment to the policies and movements …