In-Fighting in the Progressive Movement, and why Bernie Sanders is Still Awesome
Alfonso KC
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Firstly, Caitlin Johnstone’s odd criticism of Sanders shouldn’t have been the straw that broke the camel’s back. Simply put, she called for an alliance with a conspiracy theory-touting white nationalist and then insulted all those calling her out on it. She’s always been unhinged, especially when it came to issues like the Syrian conflict.

Now, I’ve written numerous posts on Medium defending Sanders, but that does not mean he should be withheld from criticism.

Notably, Sanders backed the not-so-humanitarian bombings in Kosovo despite clear knowledge of more peaceful alternatives. U.S. policy, as a matter of fact, showed no concern for the wellbeing of the people of Kosovo nor with minimizing the costs of human life and destruction.

Sanders, albeit being better than virtually every other mainstream politician on this issue, still often touts the pro-Israel line. He wasn’t the sole Congressperson to vote against military engagement in Afghanistan, Barbara Lee was; and he supported keeping troops in the country during the 2016 election campaign.

He supports or supported the drone program, the ‘kill list’, and Bill Clinton’s “quiet war” in Iraq. He stated Edward Snowden should be penalized and only went as far as to call for “some form of clemency or plea agreement” for him.

One of his worst acts as an elected official, of course, is his strong support for a proposal that would have dumped nuclear waste in Sierra Blanca, a largely poor, Hispanic community. It was a classic case of environmental injustice and racism. To just throw onto the disenfranchised nuclear waste is a horrid thing to do.

This is not to suggest, as Caitlin Johnstone and Debbie Lusignan say, that Sanders is as bad as the ‘establishment’, but there is no doubt in my mind that Sanders ain’t no saint.