I think Bernie Sanders is a mensch. But even the “left” wing in this country is sometimes, well, right-wing. It appears that Sanders is an isolationist and a protectionist:
As Sanders has climbed in the polls… the (more) pro-capitalist and nationalist content of his politics (have) become increasingly clear. An interview with Sanders released Tuesday by former Washington Post writer Ezra Klein for the Vox web site is particularly revealing in this regard.
About halfway through the interview, Klein asks Sanders about his attitude towards immigration. “You said being a democratic socialist means a more international view,” Klein says. “I think if you take global poverty that seriously, it leads you to conclusions that in the US are considered out of political bounds. Things like sharply raising the level of immigration we permit, even up to a level of open borders.”
At this point, Sanders abruptly cuts off Klein, saying, “Open borders? No, that’s a Koch brothers proposal.” “Really?” Klein responds, apparently taken aback. “Of course,” Sanders replies. “That’s a right-wing proposal, which says essentially there is no United States… It would make everybody in America poorer.”
Sanders continues: “You’re doing away with the concept of a nation state, and I don’t think there’s any country in the world that believes in that… What right-wing people in this country would love is an open border policy. Bring in all kinds of people, work for $2 or $3 an hour. That would be great for them… You think we should open the borders and bring in a lot of low-wage workers, or do you think maybe we should try to get jobs for those [American] kids?
Here’s a great takedown of this remarkably non-socialist stance here.
We already have a de facto open border-and millions of people come to work and stay here under the harshest conditions-yet it is better to be here and toil than go back to Mexico to ply their trades. The correct answer to this problem is if you have an open border, there must be new labor laws that forbid the exploitation system as it is now. The economy will absorb all this extra spending by those people, and expand the tax base. That’s not right-wing at all. Sanders seems to think that Americans will want to do these jobs-and he’s wrong. As I have said before, you won’t see people up and doing like Tom Joad trying to find their way by moving to where these jobs are stationed. Better to work at the local Pizza Hut making $9 an hour and live in your mom’s basement than make that trek.
The important point to be made here is that we can walk and chew gum at the same time. Open border does not equal the loss of American jobs, nor does it equal a poorer nation. We are much richer because of our immigrants. Always have been.