The Unz Review • An Alternative Media Selection$
A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media
 BlogviewIlana Mercer Archive
Bernie's Degeneracy: That's Democracy for Ya
Email This Page to Someone

 Remember My Information


Bookmark Toggle AllToCAdd to LibraryRemove from Library • B
Show CommentNext New CommentNext New ReplyRead More
ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
These buttons register your public Agreement, Disagreement, Thanks, LOL, or Troll with the selected comment. They are ONLY available to recent, frequent commenters who have saved their Name+Email using the 'Remember My Information' checkbox, and may also ONLY be used three times during any eight hour period.
Ignore Commenter Follow Commenter
Search Text Case Sensitive  Exact Words  Include Comments
List of Bookmarks

BERNIE SANDERS, the senator from Vermont, said he thinks “everyone should have the right to vote—even the Boston Marathon bomber … even for terrible people, because once you start chipping away and you say, ‘Well, that guy committed a terrible crime, not going to let him vote,’ you’re running down a slippery slope.”

Bernie is right about a “slippery slope.” But the befuddled Bernie is worried about the wrong slope.

Denying the vote to some and conferring it on others is not a “slippery slope.” It’s exercising good judgment.

Insisting that the vote in America belongs to everyone, irrespective: now that’s a slippery slope, down which the slide is well underway.

As it stands, there are almost no moral or ethical obligations attached to citizenship in our near-unfettered Democracy.

Multiculturalism means that you confer political privileges on many an individual whose illiberal practices run counter to, even undermine, the American political tradition.

Radical leaders across the U.S. quite seriously consider Illegal immigrants as candidates for the vote—and for every other financial benefit that comes from the work of American citizens.

The rights of all able-bodied idle individuals to an income derived from labor not their own: That, too, is a debate that has arisen in democracy, where the demos rules like a despot.

But then moral degeneracy is inherent in raw democracy. The best political thinkers, including America’s constitution-makers, warned a long time ago that mass, egalitarian society would thus degenerate.

What Bernie Sanders prescribes for the country—unconditional voting—is but an extension of “mass franchise,” which was feared by the greatest thinkers on Democracy. Prime Minister George Canning of Britain, for instance.

Canning, whose thought is distilled in Russell Kirk’s magnificent exegesis, “The Conservative Mind,” thought that “the franchise should be accorded to persons and classes insofar as they possess the qualifications for right judgment and are worthy members of their particular corporations.”

By “corporations,” Canning (1770-1827) meant something quite different to our contemporary, community-killing multinationals.

“Corporations,” in the nomenclature of the times, meant very plainly in “the spirit of cooperation, based upon the idea of a neighborhood. [C]ities, parishes, townships, professions, and trades are all the corporate bodies that constitute the state.”

To the extent that an individual citizen is a decent member of these “little platoons” (Edmund Burke’s iridescent term), he may be considered, as Canning saw it, for political participation.

“If voting becomes a universal and arbitrary right,” cautioned Canning, “citizens become mere political atoms, rather than members of venerable corporations; and in time this anonymous mass of voters will degenerate into pure democracy,” which, in reality is “the enthronement of demagoguery and mediocrity.” (“The Conservative Mind,” p. 131.)

That’s us. Demagoguery and mediocrity are king in contemporary democracies, where the organic, enduring, merit-based communities extolled by Canning, no longer exists and are no longer valued.

This is the point at which America finds itself and against which William Lecky, another brilliant British political philosopher and politician, argued.

The author of “Democracy and Liberty” (1896) predicted that “the continual degradation of the suffrage” through “mass franchise” would end in “a new despotism.”

And so it has.


Then as today, radical, nascent egalitarians, who championed the universal vote abhorred by Lecky, attacked “institution after institution,” harbored “systematic hostility” toward “owners of landed property” and private property and insisted that “representative institutions” and the franchise be extended to all irrespective of “circumstance and character.”

Then as now, the socialist radical’s “last idea in constitutional policy” is to destroy some institutions or to injure some class.” (Ibid, p. 335.)

And so it is with the radical Mr. Sanders, who holds—quite correctly, if we consider democracy’s historic trajectory as presaged by the likes of Lecky and Canning—that a democracy must be perpetually “expanded,” and that “every single person does have the right to vote,” irrespective of “circumstance and character.”

The vote, of course, is an earned political privilege, not a God-given natural right, as Bernie the atheist describes it.

The granting of political rights should always be circumscribed and circumspect; it ought to be predicated on the fulfillment of certain responsibilities and the embodiment of basic virtues. “Thou shalt not murder,” for example.

Indeed, the case of the Boston Bomber is a no-brainer.

Tsarnaev came from a family of Chechen grifters. He got the gift of American political and welfare rights, no strings attached, no questions asked. That’s how we roll. That’s how little these rights have come to mean.

Yet Dzhokhar Tsarnaev didn’t merely pick a quarrel with one or two fellow Americans or with their government; he hated us all. If he could, Tsarnaev would have killed many more of his countrymen, on April 15, 2013.

But for a radical leveler like Mr. Sanders, virtue has no place in a social democracy. Sanders’ project, after all, is “legislating away the property of one class and transferring it to another.”

Since Bernie Sanders was so perfectly serious in protesting the removal of the Boston bomber’s political privileges—he should not be taken seriously.

Ilana Mercer has been writing a weekly, paleolibertarian column since 1999. She is the author of Into the Cannibal’s Pot: Lessons for America From Post-Apartheid South Africa (2011) & The Trump Revolution: The Donald’s Creative Destruction Deconstructed (June, 2016). She’s back on Twitter, after being suspended, and is also on Facebook, Gab & YouTube

• Category: Ideology • Tags: Bernie Sanders, Immigration 
Hide 21 CommentsLeave a Comment
Commenters to FollowEndorsed Only
Trim Comments?
  1. Rational says:


    The whole idea of allowing aliens (non-citizens) to vote is insane beyond belief.

    If aliens can vote, then:

    a. I can vote as a director of Facebook, IBM, GM, GE, or any other corporation, even though I am not a shareholder/director, and decide what they must do, who they must hire, etc.

    b. I can vote in Bernie’s house and order his wife what to cook for dinner…for me, and tell his daughter to do things that I wish done, such as polishing my shoes, etc…..I vote, she obeys. The fact that I am not a member of her household does not matter, because, despite being an alien in her home, I have equal rights.

    c. I can go to any bank and withdraw money from any account, as the idea of ownership does not matter, as I can vote on any account and order the bank to carry out my vote in any way I like.

    • Agree: hamtok
  2. @Rational


    The better analogy would be to demand that his wife or, better still, Bernie himself perform a lewd act to pleasure you.

    • Replies: @Tony Nobaloney
  3. G. Poulin says:

    Our entire ruling class is insane beyond belief. Time to lock them up in the biggest nut house we can build, and throw away the key.

  4. The Boston Marathon bomber’s vote would count more than the votes of non-murderers, too, since he and his brother killed off one voting-aged citizen, one child who would have voted and one noncitizen. Tsarnaev removed 2 voters from the system via murder.

    This was a mistake by Bernie for several reasons. One of the individuals jailed briefly in the FBI’s probe of Trump claimed that the prisoners that he chatted with were mostly pro-Trump. Maybe, it is Trump’s swagger that appeals to the prison renegades, whereas a button-down Pense candidacy would have less appeal.

    The pro-Republican stance might exist more than Bernie thinks among any felons bothering to vote after being released. Some of that sentiment might arise from rough, low-wage, majority-minority work settings or even neighborhood environments, where a harsh form of reverse racism often prevails even though Bernie and his cohorts have not experienced it.

    While the rate of incarceration is much higher for Blacks based on their percentage of the population, there are more white prisoners, numerically speaking. Of those white felons, more might go through the steps required to vote if they had the option, and more whites than Blacks lean Republican in any group.

    Since Trump is the one who pursued a liberal criminal justice reform after running a law-and-order-themed campaign—condemning mass illegal immigration before his U-turn on that issue—the Black felons responsible enough to vote might credit Trump with their release, changing their voting pattern. This would add even more Republican voters.

    Bernie must mean the combination of allowing any convicted felon to vote (even a murderer) with an easy, libertine voter-registration method, like voting by phone, rather than going through all of the paperwork to register to vote after each move. If the civic-chore aspect of voting changes, Republicans will have a problem, whether or not voting rights are given to the most violent felons.

  5. Realist says:

    The vote, of course, is an earned political privilege, not a God-given natural right, as Bernie the atheist describes it.

    Non sequiter.

    • Replies: @Anon
    , @hamtok
  6. Anon[192] • Disclaimer says:

    What does not follow from what?

    • Replies: @Realist
  7. Realist says:

    What does not follow from what?

    God given right….atheist….what’s not to understand?

    • Replies: @Anon
  8. imbroglio says:

    The franchise should be granted… by whom? You’re forgetting the 800 pound gorilla and where he sits when he enters the room. Franchises and every other grant are granted by those who have the power to grant them.

    Canning’s “organic, enduring, merit-based communities” will emerge, in ghastly form, as the solipsistic constituencies of identity politics. Why do people like Omar laugh at America and Americans? “Here’s a people so stupid as to clasp the adder to its breast. You’re clasping? I’m biting.”

    Bernie is utopian. Utopians do terrible things if and when they have the power to do them. But you can’t fault him for insincerity.

    The younger Tsarnaev who hid out near my home town was doing what his older brother told him to do assuming that the bombing wasn’t a false flag. Not an excuse. Only to say the kid had no political convictions and probably wouldn’t bother to vote if he could.

    • Replies: @Authenticjazzman
  9. anonymous[340] • Disclaimer says:

    Sanders is just a wine and cheese socialist, totally an armchair theorist. He has no background in actually doing anything besides being involved in politics which has provided a living for him. It’s doubtful he could run a couple of Walmarts. This is his last go-around and he’s out to see how much in contributions he can garner. Pushing the edge, theoretically of course, keeps him in the conversation. He’s worthless but such is the state of politics where characters like him, Biden, and the rest of the Dem lineup could be taken seriously. Just one big clown show.

    • Agree: Mark G.
    • Replies: @Jim Bob Lassiter
    , @hamtok
  10. Anon[192] • Disclaimer says:

    Oh, OK. I think she’s poking fun at Bernie here.

    • Replies: @Realist
  11. Realist says:

    Oh, OK. I think she’s poking fun at Bernie here.

    Regardless it’s a non sequiter. Bernie claims he is not an atheist.

    I am sure as hell not a fan of Bernie’s, he is a doddering, bumbling old fool.

  12. @imbroglio

    ” Bernie is utopian”

    Nonsense, he wouldn’t recognize a utopia if it slapped him upside his empty head. He is a fucking lunatic, a raving psychotic fool, and he is simply trying to swell the numbers of potential Democrat voters , by adding anyone he can.

    Authenticjazzman ” Mensa” qualified since 1973, airborne trained US Army vet, and pro jazz musician.

    • Replies: @hamtok
  13. Bernie –pandering to the college-age crowd. And most of ’em won’t vote anyway but…politics as usual.

  14. What you should understand that Jews are totally practical people.
    There are in US prisons some one million Democratic voters.

  15. @Rational

    I doubt Bernie’s sow could even microwave a cup of instant coffee.

    • Replies: @hamtok
  16. @anonymous

    “It’s doubtful he could run a couple of Walmarts. ”

    You insult every cashier in every Walmart.

  17. @The Alarmist

    A gum job from Burnie?


  18. hamtok says:

    True, but not to be taken literally.

  19. hamtok says:

    Your reading of Sanders is the best I’ve encountered so far,anon…[340] Cheers!

  20. hamtok says:

    Great comment. He’s in it for power and money.

  21. hamtok says:
    @Jim Bob Lassiter

    Yes, but, his wife could steal money from a collapsing college to serve her daughter. Corruption must run in the family as Bernie has been conspicuously silent on this subject. He must feel the Burn!

Current Commenter

Leave a Reply - Comments on articles more than two weeks old will be judged much more strictly on quality and tone

 Remember My InformationWhy?
 Email Replies to my Comment
Submitted comments have been licensed to The Unz Review and may be republished elsewhere at the sole discretion of the latter
Commenting Disabled While in Translation Mode
Subscribe to This Comment Thread via RSS Subscribe to All Ilana Mercer Comments via RSS
Becker update V1.3.2
The Shaping Event of Our Modern World