I Don’t Like Bernie Sanders, but His History of Condemning Political Violence Is Actually Very Good

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By Joe Simonson | 1:24 pm, June 14, 2017

It goes without saying that if you’re politicizing Wednesday’s shooting, you’re Objectively Bad and need to reconsider if the couple dozen retweets you’re getting is worth looking like a total douche just for the brief high of validation you’re getting from total strangers.

Anyway, this is still the Internet and that means that most people who use it are Objectively Bad, but I’m here today to bitch about a small segment of them: Anyone somehow blaming Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders for being remotely responsible for what happened.

Sure, Bernie is an old pinko who probably holds all sorts of weird Soviet revisionist thoughts and has sympathized with brutal communist regimes. But he’s always been clear in condemning domestic political violence.

In fact, Sanders is one of the most reasonable people within the Democratic Party on this topic. When campaign rallies and protests got violent during the presidential campaign last year, Sanders repeatedly condemned the behavior.  His rhetoric contrasted with Hillary Clinton’s at the time; she essentially blamed Donald Trump for “inciting it.”

While the shooter looks like a deranged Bernie Bro, putting any responsibility for Wednesday’s horrific events on Sanders is remarkably stupid and a reflection of some of the worst political impulses on the right.

While other Democratic politicians immediately began blaming America’s gun culture or so-called lax restrictions on the purchase of firearms, Sanders played it straight in his public statement:

I have just been informed that the alleged shooter at the Republican baseball practice is someone who apparently volunteered on my presidential campaign. I am sickened by this despicable act. Let me be as clear as I can be. Violence of any kind is unacceptable in our society and I condemn this action in the strongest possible terms. Real change can only come about through nonviolent action, and anything else runs against our most deeply held American values.

“My hopes and prayers are that Representative Scalise, congressional staff and the Capitol Police Officers who were wounded make a quick and full recovery. I also want to thank the Capitol Police for their heroic actions to prevent further harm.”

Nothing about guns, nothing about a culture of violence facilitated by the right, nothing about how “yeah, well, look at the GOP’s healthcare plan!” Just pure denunciation.

Once again: I hate Sanders.  His ideas are tired and scary and his followers are gullible kids and smelly college professors who are united in their ignorance of reality and history. Many of the regimes Sanders likely cherishes were brought to power through violence and bloodshed.

But at least he’s been clear about how he doesn’t want to bring those tactics here.

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