When the prolier-than-thou socialist politician with a multimillion-dollar net worth and several different properties is flying to stump for another socialist politician, you can’t expect the man to fly in coach with the riffraff.
So, when Vermont independent Sen. Bernie Sanders — the self-declared socialist who came ridiculously close to garnering the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination in 2020, at least considering how far left he skews — flew to speak on behalf of Pennsylvania hard-left progressive state Rep. Summer Lee, fan of numerous socialist schemes, it’s only natural that the man traveled first class.
(Here at The Western Journal, we’ve been documenting Sanders’ hypocrisy for years now — along with the double standards of other socialists and far-leftists like AOC. We’ll continue to hold them to account. You can help us bring America the truth the establishment media won’t by subscribing.)
Photos obtained by Fox News showed Sanders taking a first-class seat on an American Airlines flight to Pittsburgh to speak on behalf of Lee, a candidate for Pennsylvania’s 12th Congressional District, at a rally Thursday.
“Sanders, masked up, appears to be sitting near the front of the plane in the photos obtained by a fellow first-class passenger,” the outlet reported on Friday.
THAT’S RICH: Bernie Sanders flies first class to stump for fellow socialist candidatehttps://t.co/axna2Agx0o
— Fox News (@FoxNews) May 13, 2022
Sanders endorsed Lee last week — and, speaking to the Pittsburgh media, he played up the class warfare card.
“We have a working class, a middle class, in this country who are struggling and it’s absolutely imperative we get [people] into congress who are prepared to stand up and take on powerful special interest and fight for working families,” Sanders told WTAE-TV.
“Summer is one of those people who will do that.”
“I’ve known Summer for a number of years and Summer believes as I do, that it is totally absurd that you have billionaires in this country, some of the very richest people paying nothing, not a penny in federal income tax,” Sanders added. “[All] because you have a rigged tax system that favors the wealthy and large corporations.”
Summer Lee Bernie Sanders hug thread! pic.twitter.com/VEtPxz3zgi
— People for Bernie (@People4Bernie) May 13, 2022
Lee has also talked about the redistribution of wealth, particularly in one tweet in the days following the 2020 election.
“Instead of ‘thanking’ Black women, Black voters, and especially, Black organizers … give us the investments we need and deserve, redistribute wealth, ends police violence, abolish the carceral state, commit to building Black directed political power… and reparations,” she wrote.
Instead of “thanking” Black women, Black voters, and especially, Black organizers…
… give us the investments we need and deserve, redistribute wealth, ends police violence, abolish the carceral state, commit to building Black directed political power… and reparations.
— Summer Lee (@SummerForPA) November 6, 2020
“Lee has been likened to ‘Squad’ leader Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., for both their similar progressive platforms and ascensions into public office by defeating long-established members of their respective governing bodies in 2018,” Fox News noted. She also supports “Medicare-for-All” and other “justice” related policies, according to her campaign website.
Sanders’ office didn’t return Fox News’ request for comment.
Now, keep in mind it’s entirely possible Sanders didn’t pay to fly first-class. For that matter, it’s unclear who paid for the seat or what they paid, but the Vermont senator is likely a frequent flyer and would potentially be a top candidate for an upgrade from coach, were he to pursue it.
Those last five words are important, however. Keep in mind that former President Barack Obama — certainly to the right of Bernie Sanders, but to the left of almost every other member of the Senate Democratic caucus when he was elected to that body in 2004 — made quite the to-do of remaining in coach before he became president.
Obama may be younger than Sanders, but so are some saber-tooth tigers, and one doubts that Barack was any stranger to planes. He was every bit as likely to be upgrade-eligible as Bernie is, yet he assiduously flew coach and made sure everyone in hearing distance knew about this fact.
Therein lies the problem with Sanders, a man who heaps torrents of invective upon the 1 percent and gets nastily defensive when reminded he’s one of them.
“In the wake of his 2016 presidential run, the most lucrative thing he’s ever done, the 77-year-old self-described democratic socialist is a three-home-owning millionaire with a net worth approaching at least $2 million, taking into account his publicly outlined assets and liabilities along with the real estate he owns outright,” Politico noted in 2019. “In a strict, bottom-line sense, Sanders has become one of those rich people against whom he has so unrelentingly railed.”
That publication also noted the Vermont socialist “has been impatient to the point of churlish when pressed about this.”
“I wrote a best-selling book,” he told The New York Times. “If you write a best-selling book, you can be a millionaire, too.”
When asked by Fox News whether his wealth was “the definition of capitalism,” he responded: “You know, I have a college degree.”
At the time, Democratic strategists Politico talked to said it was bad optics.
“He became the very thing he criticized others for becoming and at the same time didn’t fix any of the problems he’s been railing about that got him to this point,” said Mary Anne Marsh, a Boston-based Democratic strategist.
“He almost at times sounds like he thinks it’s inherently evil to be well-off,” said longtime Democrat strategist Bob Shrum, who was equivocal on whether it blunted Sanders’ message: “It depends on how it plays out,” he said.
In the end, the hypocrisy wasn’t what killed Sanders’ campaign; he was one of the last two men standing in the Democratic primaries, but the party was deathly afraid a) of another term for Donald Trump and b) that Sanders’ left-wing politics made him unelectable.
Now, Sanders’ main avenue to change American politics involves stumping for candidates like Summer Lee, progressives and socialists who can go to Washington to rail against the rich, all while getting rich themselves in the process.
For all I know, Sanders paid coach fare and upgraded to first class on his flight to Pittsburgh to stump for Lee. I don’t control what the man or his office spends, after all. It’s emblematic, however, of the double standards of a man who rails against the trappings of wealth while surrounding himself with them.