Magazine August 24, 2015, Issue

Letters

Sanders: Not a Nazi, Just a National Socialist

In “Adventures in National Socialism” (July 6), Kevin D. Williamson conflates Senator Bernie Sanders’s “democratic socialism” with National Socialism, the system of Adolf Hitler. It is disgraceful to use one of history’s most heinous genocides to push a political viewpoint. NR readers should also know that Nazism involved elite monopoly over corporate power, an imperial state, and nationalist, jingoistic fervor. It was not democratic, but it was also not socialist. The kind of social system that Sanders talks about involves improving working conditions and social services so that the benefits of globalization can be available to all people.

Sanders’s opposition to the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership has nothing to do with particular countries or races, as Williamson claims, nor does it involve an outright rejection of trade and globalization. Sanders believes that it’s possible to broker agreements that are good for all workers, American and foreign alike.

Williamson attacks Sanders’s character by alleging that the senator’s opposition to the TPP involves anti-Asian bias. When I worked in Sanders’s office, we welcomed a delegation of Japanese leaders whose concerns about the TPP mirrored Sanders’s own. In his long history opposing trade liberalization, Sanders has never uttered one word about foreigners’ stealing American jobs. He has spoken out against corporations that use trade and immigration policy to manipulate labor markets just to increase their profit margins.

Finally, Williamson’s stone-throwing at people who attend Sanders’s rallies is adolescent. He goes so far as to call one elderly woman “Grandma Stalin,” likening her to one of the deadliest dictators in world history. This loathing of everyday citizens suggests a distaste for American democracy itself.

Heather Gautney

New York City

Kevin D. Williamson responds: I refer you to the text of the article: “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.” There isn’t an intellectually honest way to get from “Bernie Sanders isn’t a Nazi, but a Chavista” to “Bernie Sanders is a Nazi.” Peddle your cheap fabrications elsewhere.

As for Senator Sanders’s xenophobic trade rhetoric: I’ve attended several of his speeches, and watched and read several more, and his go-to trade bogeymen are without exception poor brown people, mainly Mexicans and Chinese, sometimes Indians. Our $66 billion trade deficit with Germany in 2014 far exceeded our $53 billion deficit with Mexico and our $24 billion deficit with India, but Sanders insists that what ails us is competition from dusky people in sweaty locales rather than capital-intensive enterprises in high-wage countries.

He “has never uttered one word” about foreigners’ stealing jobs? How about: “I frankly do not believe we should be bringing in significant numbers of unskilled workers to compete with those kids,” as he described his views on MSNBC?

And Grandma Stalin was wearing a hammer-and-sickle T-shirt, for Pete’s sake. I assume a fellow wearing a Confederate-flag T-shirt in New York might be asked some pointed questions about the policies of Jefferson Davis et al.

Members of the National Review editorial and operational teams are included under the umbrella “NR Staff.”

In This Issue

Articles

Politics & Policy

Calculating Cruz

When Donald Trump’s presidential bid started attracting serious attention, it was perhaps unsurprising that Ted Cruz was the only other Republican candidate to offer kind words about his new rival. ...
Politics & Policy

Born in the U.S.A.

One of the most important questions America will face over the coming decades is how to successfully integrate the children of immigrants. As of 2013, there were 17.4 million children ...
Politics & Policy

My Tomboy Heaven

The transgender trend has reached down to children. I wonder what people would have thought of my gender identity as a child. My experience says, yes, gender identity is complicated, ...

Features

Books, Arts & Manners

Politics & Policy

Origin Stories

Mystique and Aura still perform their occasional magic for the New York Yankees but are slowing down. “Those are dancers in a nightclub,” Curt Schilling scoffed, before taking the ball ...

Sections

Politics & Policy

Letters

Sanders: Not a Nazi, Just a National Socialist In “Adventures in National Socialism” (July 6), Kevin D. Williamson conflates Senator Bernie Sanders’s “democratic socialism” with National Socialism, the system of Adolf ...
Politics & Policy

The Week

‐ Planned Parenthood is clearly worried that this story has legs ($22/lb.). ‐ Telling a pollster you support Donald Trump, for some large percentage of those who do, is a way ...
Athwart

Cecil-Justice Warriors

The Aussie voice on the other end of the phone explained that it was calling from a Melbourne talk-radio station, and could I say a few words about Cecil the ...
Politics & Policy

Poetry

VASE OF ROSES The sunrise burned so bright behind and within the mists of daybreak as to overspill a radiance across the long curve of horizon, broken by the dark line of trees above the ...
Happy Warrior

Socialism for Dummies

When I first heard that Debbie Wasserman Schultz couldn’t explain to Chris Matthews the difference between what Democrats believe and what socialists believe, I chalked it up to her incompetence. ...

Most Popular

Media

Martha McSally’s Blasphemy

As I note in my New York Post piece today, I don’t believe that Martha McSally, who is serving her first term in the Senate after being appointed to take John McCain’s seat, is going to be helped much by accusing CNN’s Manu Raju of being a “hack.” Attacking the press might be an effective way to excite ... Read More
Media

Martha McSally’s Blasphemy

As I note in my New York Post piece today, I don’t believe that Martha McSally, who is serving her first term in the Senate after being appointed to take John McCain’s seat, is going to be helped much by accusing CNN’s Manu Raju of being a “hack.” Attacking the press might be an effective way to excite ... Read More

People Make New Orleans

I had my first taste of southern hospitality the day I moved to New York. A young woman from New Orleans, whom I had met only briefly over Skype (she had advertised a room in the Bronx, though I preferred a room in Manhattan), had asked if anyone would be picking me up from the airport. No, I told her. I didn’t ... Read More

People Make New Orleans

I had my first taste of southern hospitality the day I moved to New York. A young woman from New Orleans, whom I had met only briefly over Skype (she had advertised a room in the Bronx, though I preferred a room in Manhattan), had asked if anyone would be picking me up from the airport. No, I told her. I didn’t ... Read More
Elections

Lying Liz

Ever since she began explaining how her Medicare for all plan would be funded, and how she would pass it, Elizabeth Warren has been sinking. Ahead of last week’s debate, her camp leaked a story that her friend Bernie Sanders met with her in 2018 to discuss plans for 2020, and that at this meeting, Sanders had ... Read More
Elections

Lying Liz

Ever since she began explaining how her Medicare for all plan would be funded, and how she would pass it, Elizabeth Warren has been sinking. Ahead of last week’s debate, her camp leaked a story that her friend Bernie Sanders met with her in 2018 to discuss plans for 2020, and that at this meeting, Sanders had ... Read More
Health Care

‘Reconsidering Fetal Pain’

Two researchers with “divergent views regarding the morality of abortion” have published a paper in the Journal of Medical Ethics concluding that unborn human beings likely are able to feel pain at an earlier point than previous research has suggested. The authors state that they “came together to write ... Read More
Health Care

‘Reconsidering Fetal Pain’

Two researchers with “divergent views regarding the morality of abortion” have published a paper in the Journal of Medical Ethics concluding that unborn human beings likely are able to feel pain at an earlier point than previous research has suggested. The authors state that they “came together to write ... Read More