For those of us old enough to have lived through the 80s, we all did some stupid things in that era. But some of us did more stupider things than others. Among them stands Bernie Sanders, whose passionate love affair with socialism led him to honeymoon in communist Russia in 1988.
And while others learned form their mistakes from 30 years ago, Bernie Sanders continues to make those same mistakes. After a century of socialism’s miserable failures and the deaths of over 100-million innocent people, he continues to embrace the deadly ideology.
Bernie Sanders says the same things today he said 30 years ago. And that’s all you need to know about him.
It’s 1988 and newlywed Bernie Sanders is in the Soviet Union with his wife, Jane, handing out gifts to the mayor of a midsized city they’ve befriended. The mood is festive as the two bestow the items: A Beatles album, a red “Bernie for Burlington” button, “delicious Vermont candy” and a tape of tunes Sanders recorded himself with fellow artists from Vermont, among other goodies.
“I have met many fine mayors in the United States,” Sanders says, “but I want to say that one of the nicest mayors I’ve ever met is the mayor of Yaroslavl.”
At another point,a member of Sanders’ delegation hands a Russian woman a small American flag.
“If you’re wondering what’s wrong with capitalism, it’s made in Hong Kong,” he jokes. “Sorry about that.”
The scene is part of 3½ hours of raw, never publicly seen footage of the trip Sanders took to the Soviet Union that year — his “honeymoon.” POLITICO viewed the tapes this week, along with a forgotten hour long episode of a TV show created by Sanders that featured the same trip, at the offices of a Vermont government access channel.
But that’s only the beginning. The hours of footage include a scene of Sanders sitting with his delegation at a table under a portrait of Vladimir Lenin. Sanders can also be heard extolling the virtues of Soviet life and culture, even as he acknowledges some of their shortcomings. There are flashes of humor, too, such as his host warning the American guests not to cross the KGB, or else.
Sanders is seen living it up with Russians. There are, naturally, shrines to Lenin everywhere. In one scene, Sanders and his wife, as well as other couples, boogie to live Russian music. “I brought my special dancing shoes!” Sanders exclaims.
Later, he tells a Russian man, “I’m not very happy about this, but there are not many people in the state of Vermont who speak Russian. In fact, one of the things that we want to do is to see if we can develop a Russian studies program in our high school.”
At another point, one of Sanders’ hosts jokingly warns the delegation to not upset the KGB: “Those who don’t behave move to Siberia from here.”
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