One of the most annoying groups out there in politics now is the cult of Sanders. It’s largely consisting of millennials (people my age) who go about chanting slogans like “Tax the rich more”, “We are the 99%”, “WallStreet is corrupt” and such. What I find however to be very obnoxious is their blatant willful ignorance of the facts. For example, they are absolutely convinced without a doubt that Bernie Sanders is winning even if numbers are on Hillary Clinton’s side. Take this video for example. Please keep in mind their is some profanity.
Then there’s his credentials. Bernie has openly praised a radical Marxist terrorist whom he wishes to pardon if he becomes president. He praised communist dictator Fidel Castro. He thinks global warming causes terrorism, forget the fact there is little that supports the global warming theory, especially man-made global warming theory. He, like Hillary Clinton (no surprise there), believe the unborn do not have rights. Yet he has the gall to quote popes on labor unions and subsidiarity. I do hope he converts, but it’s inconsistent to choose what to agree on and what to disagree on regarding Church doctrine.
To add to it, his disciples openly will deny Sanders is a socialist in spite of calling himself a “democratic socialist“. I got into an argument with a Sanders disciple over this a few days ago and I haven’t heard from her since. A little history here: democratic socialism (or social democracy) was founded by Marxists who dissented from the radicalism of Marxism to use the democratic system to bring about social reform and the elimination of social classes rather than violent revolution. They fail to understand socialism has many branches with different approaches to economics: not all are Stalinists, or Leninists, or Maoists, or Fidelists, or Trotskyites. Yet they say we are the ones making straw men. Also, Sanders was a member of the Young People’s Socialist League, a branch of the Socialist Party of America, a member of Socialist International. The thing here is if it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, then it’s a duck, that is unless that duck is Bernie Sanders.
Sanders is part of an ideology, social democracy, which was rejected by the Church (by popes, bishops, and others) in the 19th century — not by gun-totting rednecks as liberals like to presume — and which was rivaled by Christian democracy. Leo XIII, who endorsed Christian democracy, stated, “Elsewhere, the movement is described as Christian Democracy and its partisans as Christian Democrats, in opposition to what the socialists call Social Democracy” (Graves in Communi Re, n. 4). Blessed John XXIII emphasized “that no Catholic could subscribe even to moderate Socialism” (Mater et Magistra, n. 34).
Moderate socialism, or social democracy, is still socialism; social democracy and radical socialism are essentially the same in that their goals are the same: e.g. eliminate social classes, increase taxes, secularize society. Leo XIII warned that these kind will believe the state has power of marriage, that children should not be taught religion and that it should be held off until they are adults to make the choice themselves (rf. Humanum Genus, n. 21).