As results poured in from the Nevada caucus – showing a landslide victory for Bernie Sanders – liberal news outlets went into panic. MSNBC host Chris Matthews likened the Sanders victory to the fall of France to the Nazis. Such a comparison cannot even be classified as hyperbole. Rather than simply exaggerating reality, Matthews is throwing reality out the window. He has compared the success of a Jewish politician to the conquest of the Nazis. The sick irony is that Sanders lost members of his own family to the Nazis during the holocaust.
This wasn’t the first unhinged comment Chris Matthews has made about the Sanders campaign. He has previously compared Sanders to Fidel Castro while fear mongering about the possibility of public executions in Central Park. It might seem strange that a political commentator would compare Sanders to both Castro and Hitler, considering that the two are polar opposites on the political spectrum. However, it makes sense when you consider the ideology of the American political establishment. For defenders of capitalism like Matthews, there is no difference between the perpetrators of the holocaust and those who stopped it.
To an out of touch millionaire and Washington DC insider like Chris Matthews, Communists and Nazis are equal evils of a similar nature. Either one can be invoked at random to demonize any movement that steps outside of the respectable parameters for bourgeois debate. Bernie Sanders represents a social democratic movement that is funded by grassroots donations rather than corporate money. To the liberal establishment, even this modest reform movement appears as an existential threat to their unchecked power. Therefore, they spew vitriol about Nazis and Communists without any historical analysis. Chuck Todd of MSNBC has even compared Bernie supporters to Hitler’s brown shirts.
These political commentators see the world through a paradigm which is fundamentally flawed and failing. They see the status quo of the United States as something sacrosanct. To them, the United States represents democracy while countries like Cuba represent dictatorship. What they fail to see is that the ruling class of this country exports dictatorship the world over to maintain its world hegemony and riches. The wealth of America’s ruling class is based on the exploitation of labor, land, and resources in poorer countries. It is the communists, like Fidel Castro, who fight for the liberation of their nations against US imperialism. Similarly, it was the communists, a union of all the people in the Soviet Union, men, women, Tartar, Russian, who put an end to the Third Reich. However, the antagonistic relationship between communism and fascism is thrown aside so that these cheap attacks can be levied, and all those things that oppose american hegemony can be conveniently lumped together.
The Bernie Sanders movement is not the movement that will save the world from the hegemony of capitalism. But capitalists and their mouth pieces sure are scared of even its modest, social democratic aims. Even a more equitable distribution of imperialist plunder is an unacceptable and radical goal for mainstream american political commentators. This is why they grasp for straws and use the most sensationalist arguments they can think of. These smears might be vapid, but they expose a profound truth: for many defenders of capitalism, fascism is preferable to its greatest enemy—socialism.
Categories: U.S. News