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The awful transformation of Bernie Sanders has been absolutely breath stopping to see. Sanders has gone from a charming, engaging, provoking, and supremely principled Democratic presidential candidate to a scheming, conniving, devious, supremely unprincipled Democratic presidential contender. In quick succession, Sanders has been accused of being a tax cheat, a special interest money grabber, a foreign policy dim wit, a Nixonian dirty trickster, and a racial bigot.

What will it be next? Bernie will be accused of being a chronic wife beater, serial philander, or closet pedophile? Now keep in mind Sanders, like any other politician or want to be politician, can and should be vetted, intensely scrutinized and where warranted criticized. The public’s antenna should be sky high to not listen to what politicians say, but what they do and have done; namely their actions. Sanders, again, is no exception.

However, there’s a huge world of difference between leveling principled criticism, demanding accountability, and truth in action from Sanders, and the over the top factually challenged, and plain out right slander and lies against him.

As long as Sanders was viewed as a politically marginal, even nuisance, to the Clinton march to the nomination, he was ignored by much of the mainstream media, Democratic regulars, and Clinton boosters. Then suddenly something funny happened. Bernie actually started winning, and equally important he started piling up delegates. This radically changed the game. Sanders was no longer the eccentric Uncle that everyone smiles at in knowing amusement at family functions and then turn away to more important family business. Now he was a real threat. This instantly made him a marked man.

The hit pieces now started with a vengeance; hit pieces that had little to do with Sanders actual Senate record, positions on the issues, and his actions on the campaign trail. They now suddenly became all about Sanders’ character.

Let’s take a couple of issues that have been kicked around to supposedly expose Sanders’ mendacity. He purportedly repeatedly blew off African-Americans in his home state of Vermont who sought support on issues of discrimination. But the truth is as Mayor of Burlington, Sanders was outspoken in prodding and pushing diversity, tolerance and anti-discrimination measures to make virtually lily white Vermont into an open and welcoming climate for refugees, minorities, and immigrants. Sanders consistently got high marks for his effort.

Sanders has been accused of propounding the big lie that he doesn’t take Super Pac money, whereas Clinton hauls it in by the bucketful. Open Secrets, which tightly monitors and watch dogs elected officials and candidates to see where they grab their money from, detailed every penny that Sanders took in his campaigns from 2011 to 2016 and found that he raked in a grand total of $15,000 in Pac (not Super Pac) donations. The cash added up to a stupendous one percent of his overall campaign funding total. As Sanders has repeatedly and truthfully said, and Open Secrets documented, 97 percent of Sanders’ money came and comes from individual contributors.


IBW21 (The Institute of the Black World 21st Century) is committed to enhancing the capacity of Black communities in the U.S. and globally to achieve cultural, social, economic and political equality and an enhanced quality of life for all marginalized people.