Stark Differences: Jeremy Corbyn vs. Bernie Sanders

Differences between them are stark. Sanders is more opportunist than populist, nearly always supporting Democrat pro-war, pro-Israel, pro-business, anti-human/civil rights policies – voting with party members 98% of the time, more than most Democrats, polar opposite his high-minded rhetoric, hiding his real agenda.

In over three decades as a Labour party member, Corbyn opposed its policies over 500 times – according to the Financial Times and London Telegraph.

Sanders pledged support for Hillary if she’s nominated. He refuses to attack her pro-war, pro-business, anti-populist agenda – or denounce Obama’s endless wars on humanity. Silence = support.

All Sanders speeches are alike, rhetorically backing social justice, decrying the “massive injustice in terms of income and wealth inequality” in America, he told Liberty University students, founded by Christian fascist Jerry Falwell, a deplorable venue for a so-called progressive to visit – arguing against “the top one-tenth of 1%…own(ing) almost as much wealth as the bottom 90%.”

His voting record belies his rhetoric – a self-proclaimed socialist/progressive in name only. He’s done nothing to help create an alternative to bipartisan extremist policies. His idea of a “political revolution” is old wine in new bottles, business as usual policies he rhetorically opposes.

He told LU students “there is no justice when thousands of Americans die every single year because they do not have any health insurance” to pay for expensive treatment. He was the only Senate member rhetorically for universal healthcare – then disgracefully voted for Obamacare.

His “no” vote would have killed an anti-populist rationing scheme benefitting insurers, drug companies and large hospital chains, providing healthcare on the ability to pay, ignoring Martin Luther King saying “(o)f all the forms of inequality, injustice in healthcare is the most shocking and inhumane.”

In denouncing greed at LU, he ignored his do nothing record against it. He said nothing about endless US imperial wars, human refugee floods they cause, decades of Israeli persecution of Palestinians, killer cops in America murdering Black youths with impunity, and repressive laws he supported turning America into a police state.

He’s no populist/anti-war savior. His voting record belies his stump speeches. He represents business as usual dressed up in phony high-minded rhetorical mumbo jumbo.

Corbyn opposes business as usual. His voting record shows it. He wants humanity saved from the scourge of endless wars, urges challenging US-dominated NATO, advocates renationalizing Britain’s utilities and railways, as well as demanding business pay its fair share in taxes.

He opposes austerity, wants public welfare cuts reversed, and tuition-free higher education for all qualified students, not affording it on the ability to pay.

He backs nuclear disarmament and quantitative easing for ordinary people – to stimulate economic growth and jobs creation. He supports investing in vital infrastructure projects, public transportation and renewable energy – to end dependency on environmentally destructive fossil fuels.

Hours after his landslide victory as new Labour party leader, he addressed a pro-refugee rally in London, vocally supporting desperate people in need, an issue Bernie Sanders ducks.

When asked how he’d handle the crisis as president, he gave a noncommittal/weasel word answer saying “(i)t’s impossible to give a proper number (to how many he’d let in) until we understand the dimensions of the problem.”

Daily headlines scream them – explaining floods of desperate people risking life and limb to reach Europe and other safe havens – without blaming US imperial wars for the crisis, nor does Sanders.

Corbyn told Labour party supporters his “first action…as leader…would be to come to a demonstration in support of refugees, the right to asylum and the human needs of people all over the world.”

He expressed shock “beyond (being) appalled at the way so many (in the) media…describe desperate people in desperate situations as ‘the problem.’ “

“They’re victims of war. They’re victims of environmental degradation. They’re victims of poverty. They’re victims of human rights abuses all over the world. We have a responsibility as one of many countries that signed the 1951 Geneva Convention on the Right to Asylum.”

Sanders is still trying to figure out if there’s a crisis to address, showing contempt for desperate people in need.

“Together in peace, together in justice, together in humanity – that surely must be our way forward,” Corbyn stressed.

It’s one thing to be on the right side of major issues as a longtime backbencher, quite another as party leader. In his new role, Corbyn needs to back his rhetoric with anti-business as usual policy endorsements. His bona fides depend on it.

Sanders’ House and Senate voting record shows he’s part of the dirty system he rhetorically opposes. He’s no Jeremy Corbyn.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at