Bernie Sanders is beloved by a lot of people who live in their parents’ basement and work part time to pay the bare minimum on the student loans they collected in pursuit of their Gender Studies degrees. Ostensibly, this is because your typical Millennial ne’er do well is fascinated by the idea of receiving things for free from the government in return for maintaining their citizenship, or because they heard about Bernie Sanders in their subversive knitting group or picked up a campaign flier at Urban Outfitters.
But if it turns out that the “takers” of the world are seeing their own reflection in Bernie’s LensCrafters clearance section specs, it’s because, it turns out, Bernie Sanders is, indeed, one of their own: a man who failed to earn a decent paycheck for actual work until almost his 40th birthday.
Despite a prestigious degree, however, Sanders failed to earn a living, even as an adult. It took him 40 years to collect his first steady paycheck — and it was a government check.
“I never had any money my entire life,” Sanders told Vermont public TV in 1985, after settling into his first real job as mayor of Burlington.
Sanders spent most of his life as an angry radical and agitator who never accomplished much of anything. And yet now he thinks he deserves the power to run your life and your finances — “We will raise taxes;” he confirmed Monday, “yes, we will.”
One of his first jobs was registering people for food stamps, and it was all downhill from there.
Sanders took his first bride to live in a maple sugar shack with a dirt floor, and she soon left him. Penniless, he went on unemployment. Then he had a child out of wedlock. Desperate, he tried carpentry but could barely sink a nail. “He was a shi**y carpenter,” a friend told Politico Magazine. “His carpentry was not going to support him, and didn’t.”
Then he tried his hand freelancing for leftist rags, writing about “masturbation and rape” and other crudities for $50 a story. He drove around in a rusted-out, Bondo-covered VW bug with no working windshield wipers. Friends said he was “always poor” and his “electricity was turned off a lot.” They described him as a slob who kept a messy apartment — and this is what his friends had to say about him.
The only thing he was good at was talking … non-stop … about socialism and how the rich were ripping everybody off.
So, basically, Bernie Sanders was that jobless friend who hangs around coffee shops where he cons you into buying his drink, only to talk your ear off about how amazing Che Guevara was, and how he’s living off the grid in an apartment without flooring or heat because he doesn’t trust The Man because The Man is totally in the pocket of corporate America, even though you’re meeting in a Starbucks and his order was way more complicated than yours. Every once in a while he mentions running for office, but it’s usually left as a pipe dream because he’s too lazy to ever get around to forming up a campaign, so he hangs out in his basement or yours, writing terrible stories for his “alternative political ‘zine” and scouring thrift stores for drab, vaguely militaristic clothing.
Somehow, this guy managed to make it to Congress, where he earned his first real income, making him, of course, a career politician – if only because being a politician was literally his only career.
And it’s not as though Sanders had the kind of rough upbringing that would lead one to assume his level of success was unprecedented within his family. Although he did grow up poor, as Business Insider notes, he did well enough – and his family did well enough – to send him to the University of Chicago, presumably where he acquired his left wing views, to get a degree he, apparently, never used, except as a resume builder when he was angling for his government paycheck forty years later. But, I suppose, his utter lack of economic education had to come from somewhere.