Bernie Sanders’ appearance at Liberty University today made clear that he’s no independent socialist, but in fact a true-blue Democrat of the Stephen Douglas variety. John took note of these remarks already, but they deserves a bit more gilding:
And I will also say, that as a nation — the truth is a nation that in many ways was created, and I’m sorry to have to say this from way back, on racist principles, that’s a fact.
Good to see that Sanders is keeping faith with Stephen Douglas (and also Chief Justice Taney in Dred Scott) and is opposed to Abraham Lincoln’s view of America’s “title deeds.” (Also Martin Luther King Jr. for that matter.) Douglas, remember, said that the Declaration of Independence—and its great principle that “all men are create equal”—only applied to white people, and he repeatedly scorned the “black” Republican Party.
Here’s what Douglas said in 1858:
“No man can vindicate the character, motives and conduct of the signers of the Declaration of Independence except upon the hypothesis that they referred to the white race alone, and not to the African, when they declared all men to have been created equal-that they were speaking of British subjects on this continent being equal to British subjects born and residing in Great Britain-that they were entitled to the same inalienable rights, and among them were enumerated life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”
That’s pretty much Bernie Sanders’ view. This summoned up some of Lincoln’s best sarcasm in reply:
My good friends, read that carefully over some leisure hour, and ponder well upon it-see what a mere wreck-mangled ruin-it makes of our once glorious Declaration.
“They were speaking of British subjects on this continent being equal to British subjects born and residing in Great Britain!” Why, according to this, not only negroes but white people outside of Great Britain and America are not spoken of in that instrument. The English, Irish and Scotch, along with white Americans, were included to be sure, but the French, Germans and other white people of the world are all gone to pot along with the Judge’s inferior races. I had thought the Declaration promised something better than the condition of British subjects; but no, it only meant that we should be equal to them in their own oppressed and unequal condition. According to that, it gave no promise that having kicked off the King and Lords of Great Britain, we should not at once be saddled with a King and Lords of our own.
I had thought the Declaration contemplated the progressive improvement in the condition of all men everywhere; but no, it merely “was adopted for the purpose of justifying the colonists in the eyes of the civilized world in withdrawing their allegiance from the British crown, and dissolving their connection with the mother country.” Why, that object having been effected some eighty years ago, the Declaration is of no practical use now-mere rubbish-old wadding left to rot on the battle-field after the victory is won.
Of course, making “a wreck-mangled ruin . . . of our once glorious Declaration” is what modern Democrats specialize in, just like their forebears in the 1850s. Bernie Sanders would have made a good Confederate—a prototype of modern socialism.