@TheEconomist is of two minds? Political Observer speculates.

Compare and contrast two Economist essays:

Under the rubric:

‘America’s nightmare’

Headline: Bernie Sanders, nominee

Sub-headline: The senator from Vermont would present America with a terrible choice

‘Sometimes people wake from a bad dream only to discover that they are still asleep and that the nightmare goes on. This is the prospect facing America if, as seems increasingly likely, the Democrats nominate Bernie Sanders as the person to rouse America from President Donald Trump’s first term. Mr Sanders won the primary in New Hampshire, almost won in Iowa, trounced his rivals in Nevada and is polling well in South Carolina. Come Super Tuesday next week, in which 14 states including California and Texas allot delegates, he could amass a large enough lead to make himself almost impossible to catch.

Moderate Democrats worry that nominating Mr Sanders would cost them the election. This newspaper worries that forcing Americans to decide between him and Mr Trump would result in an appalling choice with no good outcome. It will surprise nobody that we disagree with a self-described democratic socialist over economics, but that is just the start. Because Mr Sanders is so convinced that he is morally right, he has a dangerous tendency to put ends before means. And, in a country where Mr Trump has whipped up politics into a frenzy of loathing, Mr Sanders’s election would feed the hatred.


This is just the first two paragraphs of an essay devoted to Anti-Sanders invective. Published on February 27, 2020. What might be the motives of the editors of this ‘newspaper’ be? This publication, even in the Age of Facebook, Twitter and a host of internet ‘news’ and ‘opinion’ sites- its very select readership will find this essay reflective of their politics and economics. How great is the ‘reach’ of this publication? which is not just ‘Conservative’, but ‘Reactionary’ in the truest sense. Given this context,  a Left-Wing Social Democrat is as good as a Marxist!

A sample of the pronouncements of the editors, is not just instructive:

On economics Mr Sanders is misunderstood. He is not a cuddly Scandinavian social democrat who would let companies do their thing and then tax them to build a better world.

On trade, Mr Sanders is at least as hostile to open markets as Mr Trump is. He seeks to double government spending, without being able to show how he would pay for it.

In putting ends before means, Mr Sanders displays the intolerance of a Righteous Man.

A sensible ecologist would tax fracking for the greenhouse gases it produces. To Mr Sanders that smacks of a dirty compromise: he would ban it outright.

Sometimes even the ends are sacrificed to Mr Sanders’s need to be righteous.

So keenly does Mr Sanders fight his wicked rivals at home, that he often sympathises with their enemies abroad.

The party’s leftist activists find his revolution thrilling. They have always believed that their man would triumph if only the neoliberal Democratic Party elite would stop keeping him down.


On February 29, 2020 The Economist publishes this essay:

Under the rubric That Berning feeling’

Headline: What does Bernie Sanders’s political revolution hope to accomplish?

Sub-headline: The senator for Vermont is a European social democrat—of a 1970s vintage

Ambitious, exhilarated and a little nervous, a freshly elected Democratic congressman was buzzing with the possibilities of his new office when he first encountered Bernie Sanders. “You do realise this place is a complete waste of time, don’t you?” growled the independent senator from Vermont, by way of welcome to Capitol Hill. And, to be fair to Mr Sanders—and to the millions of Americans who set such great store by his integrity and plain speaking—he could not have summed up his own legislative history better. Mr Sanders has grumbled persistently about real problems—a broken health-care system and inequitable college education above all—while rarely making any headway in fixing them. During 30 years in Congress he has been primary sponsor of just seven bills that became law, two of which concerned the renaming of post offices in Vermont. An uncharitable observer might consider this the record of a blowhard.

Mr Sanders has taken his preference for speechifying to the big time. With only momentary interruptions, he has spent five years campaigning to be president—ever since he decided to play spoiler to Hillary Clinton’s coronation. America’s most famous socialist is running for the presidency on more or less the same set of problems he has emphasised for all those many years (plus a more recent focus on climate change). Though his proffered solutions, in the form of fantastical reforms and vast spending pledges, look ruinously expensive and unlikely to pass Congress, a committed faction of Democratic voters like them enough to have made Mr Sanders the indisputable front-runner. A candidate could scarcely have hoped for better results in the all-important early-primary states. Betting markets give him a 60% chance of winning the nomination. If he does well on March 3rd, Super Tuesday, when 14 states vote and one-third of delegates will be allocated, he will be uncatchable.


The reader might just wonder who this ‘Ambitious ,exhilarated and a little nervous, a freshly elected Democratic congressman was buzzing with the possibilities of his new office when he first encountered Bernie Sanders.’ is? The anonymous source, even if invented,  is the sometime, but utterly reliable ‘source’. The Economist never lets anything go to waste. The February 27, 2020 polemical essay, has been re-written, or is that re-imagined, with a bit more journalistic substance , not to mention polish, but still alive, still vibrant with invective. This latest iteration demands patience on the readers part, it becomes a lengthy, even tedious indictment of Sanders, in sum, a courtroom melodrama.

Political Observer











About stephenkmacksd

Rootless cosmopolitan,down at heels intellectual;would be writer. 'Polemic is a discourse of conflict, whose effect depends on a delicate balance between the requirements of truth and the enticements of anger, the duty to argue and the zest to inflame. Its rhetoric allows, even enforces, a certain figurative licence. Like epitaphs in Johnson’s adage, it is not under oath.' https://www.lrb.co.uk/v15/n20/perry-anderson/diary
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.