LETTER TO THE EDITOR: The irony of attacks against Sanders

Yesterday’s [March 3] letter to the editor titled “Sanders is a Joke” was rather interesting to me.

The author inaccurately portrayed Bernie Sanders in his early years following his graduation from the University of Chicago as a person who never held an “employable job requiring manual labor.” In actuality, Sanders worked as a carpenter, Head Start teacher and psychiatric aide — all “employable position” and two out of the three (possibly all of them) involve manual labor, depending on your definition of manual labor or if you have any idea of the physical demands of working with a classroom full of young children or as an aide in any medical facility, particularly a psychiatric one — while living in New York City, possibly with his parents, between 1964 and 1968.

That is four years, not “decades,” as the author states. In 1968, Sanders moved to Vermont with his first wife (who, by the way, is to this day a staunch supporter of his), where he continued to work as a carpenter, writer and filmmaker. After sharing with us this stunning degree of misinformation, the author states his emphatic support for Donald Trump, who actually never worked a day of manual labor in his life, was the beneficiary of an enormous trust fund, and “worked” in real estate, where he was accused, charged and settled with the Justice Department in 1973 for violating the Fair Housing Act by using various illegitimate tactics to deny housing to minority applicants.

The author portends to know the reasons for the dissolution of Sanders’ first marriage, as well as his move away from his parents’ home, despite those things not being a matter of public record, yet, he supports Mr. Trump, whose two previous marriages are widely known and documented to have dissolved due to his being a philanderer.

The author also apparently detests Sanders due to his conscientious objector status during the Vietnam War — a consensus shared by many upstanding citizens and even soldiers at the time who felt, probably rightly, that the war was a fraud. That is his prerogative, yet, paradoxically, he again throws his support behind a candidate who used “student deferments” to repeatedly avoid military service during the exact same time period, was deemed fit for service in 1966 and probably would have been drafted but received a “medical deferment” for “heel spurs,” which then became “a heel spur,” although Mr. Trump cannot remember which foot the supposed spur was in.

Heel spurs, by the way, are most commonly caused by ill-fitting shoes, and if you believe for a minute that Trump ever in his life wore ill-fitting shoes … well, I don’t even know what to tell you.

The author’s commentary comparing Sanders’ policies of social democracy, which are akin to those of one of our longest-serving and most-beloved presidents, FDR, to “communism” and even “treason” is, in and of itself, a sad portrayal of the crying need in this country for improved access to higher education for all.

The hypocrisy goes on and on. The author states that Sanders “has already been caught pilfering his campaign funds,” which is completely untrue. I am assuming he refers to modest salaries paid to two of Sanders’ family members for actual work they performed for his House campaign 12-14 years ago (which is perfectly legal, by the way, [but it] was presented as “pilfering” as part of a smear campaign by his opponent at the time, and has been thoroughly debunked).

The author sees Trump as different, however, despite the fact that Trump lends funds to his campaign and then pays himself back directly with the millions of dollars in donations he has solicited. He has also bragged on national TV during debates and in interviews about giving “lots of money” to both Republican and Democratic politicians — including Hillary Clinton — in return for favors.

Many people on both sides of the ideological spectrum are tired of the status quo and the corruption. That is probably one thing that Sanders and Trump supporters have in common. We want to get the bribe-takers out of office — but how does it make any sense to take out the bribed and replace them with one of the bribers? Corruption is corruption, regardless of whether you are on the taking end or the giving end.

T. Karaman

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