National Review’s 4 Zaniest Claims For Why Bernie Sanders Is Like A Nazi

In a National Review Online piece published on Monday, conservative writer Kevin D. Williamson tried to make the point that Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), who is currently running to be the Democratic presidential nominee, is actually a national socialist.

Throughout the piece, Williamson suggests that Sanders’ ideologies are similar to those of the Nazis and that the senator holds racist and xenophobic beliefs. He also claims that Sanders is a ruthless politician hell-bent on destroying his competition and Americans’ freedoms.

The piece is reminiscent of the National Review senior editor Jonah Goldberg’s book “Liberal Fascism,” which Goldberg described as a piece “about how contemporary progressivism is a political religion with its roots in German state theory, sharing a close family resemblance to fascism.”

Here are some of the lowlights from Williamson’s piece titled “Bernie’s Strange Brew of Nationalism and Socialism”:

Bernie is a national socialist, like the Nazis

At the start of his piece, Williams references the Nazi party while introducing his thesis that Sanders is a national socialist:

In the Bernieverse, there’s a whole lot of nationalism mixed up in the socialism. He is, in fact, leading a national-socialist movement, which is a queasy and uncomfortable thing to write about a man who is the son of Jewish immigrants from Poland and whose family was murdered in the Holocaust. But there is no other way to characterize his views and his politics.

Sanders is similar to Hugo Chavez

Further along in the piece, Williamson compares Sanders to deceased Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez:

There are many kinds of Us-and-Them politics, and Bernie Sanders, to be sure, is not a national socialist in the mode of Alfred Rosenberg or Julius Streicher. He is a national socialist in the mode of Hugo Chávez. He isn’t driven by racial hatred; he’s driven by political hatred. And that’s bad enough.

Sanders is a xenophobe and a racist

Williamson paints Sanders as xenophobic based on the senator’s views on trade policy and China:

The incessant reliance on xenophobic (and largely untrue) tropes holding that the current economic woes of the United States are the result of scheming foreigners, especially the wicked Chinese, “stealing our jobs” and victimizing his class allies is nothing more than an updated version of Kaiser Wilhelm II’s “yellow peril” rhetoric, and though the kaiser had a more poetical imagination — he said he had a vision of the Buddha riding a dragon across Europe, laying waste to all — Bernie’s take is substantially similar. He describes the normalization of trade relations with China as “catastrophic” — Sanders and Jesse Helms both voted against the Clinton-backed China-trade legislation — and heaps scorn on every other trade-liberalization pact. That economic interactions with foreigners are inherently hurtful and exploitative is central to his view of how the world works.

The conservative writer continued to rail against Sanders’ views on trade, accusing the presidential candidate of being racist:

Like most of these advocates of “economic patriotism” (Barack Obama’s once-favored phrase) Bernie worries a great deal about trade with brown people — Asians, Latin Americans — but has never, so far as public records show, made so much as a peep about our very large trade deficit with Sweden, which as a share of bilateral trade volume is not much different from our trade deficit with China, or about the size of our trade deficit with Canada, our largest trading partner. Sanders doesn’t rail about the Canadians and Germans stealing our jobs — his ire is reserved almost exclusively for the Chinese and the Latin Americans …

Bernie wants to criminalize political dissent

After establishing that Sanders harbors racist beliefs, Williamson moved on to paint the senator as a ruthless leader ready to “stifle his enemies’ ability to participate in the political process”:

And criminalizing things is very much on Bernie’s agenda, beginning with the criminalization of political dissent. At every event he swears to introduce a constitutional amendment reversing Supreme Court decisions that affirmed the free-speech protections of people and organizations filming documentaries, organizing Web campaigns, and airing television commercials in the hopes of influencing elections or public attitudes toward public issues. That this would amount to a repeal of the First Amendment does not trouble Bernie at all. If the First Amendment enables Them, then the First Amendment has got to go.

Following criticism that Williamson compared Sanders to Nazis in his Monday piece, the National Review writer defended the article and claimed that he did not intentionally paint Sanders as a Nazi.

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