I don't want to hear any more about it. No more talk about his compassion, no more talk about his efforts on behalf of the working or forgotten man. No more appeals to support him on the basis of morality and human decency. His cover now blown, the herculean efforts at maintaining this charade can cease.
In the last 48 hours, the would-be Democrat nominee for President of the United States, Bernie Sanders, has defended – on humanitarian grounds, no less – two of the most butcherous regimes in the history of humanity. Behold the madness:
"When Fidel Castro first came to power ... you know what he did? He initiated a major literacy program ... he went out, and he helped people learn to read and write. You know what? I think teaching people to read and write is a good thing ...
China is another example. China is an authoritarian country ... but can anyone deny — I mean, the facts are clear, that they have taken more people out of extreme poverty than any country in history. Do I get criticized because I say that? That's the truth."
If murdering people is deemed a way of taking them out of extreme poverty, then yes, that is the truth. If that approach is still frowned upon, however, then Bernie's statement is as offensive intellectually as it is morally.
It's silly to attempt to put numbers on it. Few of us can even conceptualize 100 deaths, and death tolls numbering in the millions don't register in our minds as anything but statistics. So to say that the communists in China killed anywhere between 40 and 100 million people becomes more about graphs and charts in our discourse, and less about empathizing with real human suffering.
That's how Bernie gets away with this trash while still maintaining a public facade that he's a man of compassion. After all, he is praising a civilization that during its communist heyday between 1949 and 1976 maintained an aggressive liquidation process not just for political dissidents, but for people who merely owned money and land.
Those who avoided execution were privileged to enjoy the blessings of Mao's "Great Leap Forward," a central-planning catastrophe that resulted in the most devastating famine in the history of our world. In just two years after implementation, the birth rate in China cratered while the death rate skyrocketed to an unimaginable 68%. When starving villagers desperately sought relief in the cities, they were shot at the gates. Is this what Bernie Sanders sees as taking people out of extreme poverty?
Stomaching the Democrat frontrunner's despicable claim becomes impossible when reading the testimony of someone who lived the nightmare Bernie applauds – Wei Jingsheng, a former member of China's Red Guard, who visited the village of Anhui in 1968:
"We walked along beside the village … Before my eyes, among the weeds, rose up one of the scenes I had been told about, one of the banquets at which the families had swapped children in order to eat them. I could see the worried faces of the families as they chewed the flesh of other people's children. The children who were chasing butterflies in a nearby field seemed to be the reincarnation of the children devoured by their parents. I felt sorry for the children but not as sorry as I felt for their parents. What had made them swallow that human flesh, amidst the tears and grief of others — flesh that they would never have imagined tasting, even in their worst nightmares?"
This is why people of moral conscience must not take Bernie's candidacy as a joke. It's why we cannot allow ourselves to just point and laugh at the ignorance. Because ignorance of history is categorically a guarantee of re-committing its mistakes. Even the horrific ones.
And if Bernie isn't ignorant of history, that's actually much worse. Humane people, freedom-loving people, compassionate people don't willfully spread the propaganda of communist thugs. No, Bernie isn't defending the genocide and murder itself. He's merely running interference for it. He's offering undeserved justification to barbarians on the pathetic basis of their literacy programs. "Sorry we starved your grandparents to death and lined your parents up against the wall and shot them in the head, but here, check out these cool ABC workbooks!" Pathetic, Bernie.
This is nothing more than the disgraceful misdirection offered by history revisionists down through the ages. The old, "Well, at least Mussolini had the trains running on time" routine. Except in this case, Bernie isn't a wayward historian. He's a man seeking the presidency of the United States.
God help us if he gets anywhere close.