[Marxism] Defense Industry Gives More to Bernie Than Any 2020 Candidate | The American Conservative

Ralph Johansen mdriscollrj at charter.net
Tue Dec 10 20:24:31 MST 2019

Louis Proyect 

I hold no special brief for Bernie, but I do think this article has to 
be read critically, especially since it suggests things in its heading 
that it suggests only with significant qualifications in its content. It 
is on the whole a biased and unfair heading, as well as being in its 
totality a biased article. It is written by a defense analyst who has 
worked for both the Democrats and the Republicans. Writing this as he 
does for the American Conservative, why do I suspect he's not a Sandernista?

The headline attributes those contributions to "the defense industry." 
That's carelessly or intentionally misleading. The article seems  to 
accurately report the findings of the survey, and it is probably 
credible to the extent that it suggests that Bernie is protective of the 
economic benefits to constituents' employment prospects that result from 
keeping production of the ridiculously expensive and impracticable, “too 
big to fail” F-35 aircraft in his jurisdiction.

One comment appended to the article states "I went to the open secrets 
page and he's getting less than 1%**of his donations in 2020 from 
individual donors who work in the defense industry."

And "According to Washington Post: When not counting transfers, 77 
percent of Sanders’s fundraising this year came from donations of $200 
or less. That’s the highest share of small-dollar donations relative to 
total fundraising among all major candidates.*"*

The article acknowledges that the contributions that the headline 
implies come from industry employees and not from the defense industry 
contractors themselves. The article acknowledges that "Defense industry 
PACs, and the corrupting influence they have over compliant politicians, 
are not the source of this money...and most seem to be from engineers, 
technicians, and other non-management types." So not from owners or 
managers, but from workers, more particularly then from mid-level 
workers it would appear. It is plain enough to me that, in terms of 
total individual contributions to Bernie's campaign which presently 
exceed those made to any of the other candidates, the proportionate 
number of contributions from employees of the defense industry is at 
least as much as or more in keeping with his support from the working 
class generally, as it is a reflection of defense industry support.

Politicians, moreover, know the difference. He cannot reasonably take 
his acceptance of that support from workers as obligating him, in the 
way contributions from corporate industry create obligations to the 
politician, to support the defense industry and all it entails tout court.

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