America’s most popular politician, Bernie Sanders, has been at the center of the left’s enthusiasm. Even though the Democratic Party failed to welcome Sanders and his widely-backed policies, the Republican Party has deemed him a legitimate threat.
Various channels have circulated a report that the FBI is investigating the possible involvement of Sanders’ wife Jane in a land deal for which Burlington College acquired loans, coincidentally, while she was dean. Bernie became entangled in a smear campaign based on allegations that his office influenced the bank’s decision to approve the loans, despite there being no evidence of this. The complaint was filed by Brady Toensing, Trump’s campaign manager in Vermont, following unsubstantiated claims by Republican Don Turner. Yet, recent coverage of Sanders focuses on the investigation. Politico reported that Jane consulted attorneys about the investigation, fueling unnecessary attention as seeking legal advice does not indicate guilt. But even resentful Clinton supporters have merged with Republicans to besmirch Sanders. It is obvious that Bernie’s political rivals are trying to keep this investigation on life support.
This is not the first time that Toensing has publicly criticized Sanders for trivial reasons. Toensing included in his accusation a statement that the Roman Catholic Diocese of Burlington was led into financial ruin during Jane’s superintendence, which the Vermont Bishop of the Catholic Church refuted.
Attempts to tarnish Sanders’ reputation have existed outside this investigation. On July 5, the conservative Free Beacon contended that a CNN anchor confronted Sanders for abandoning a promise to introduce single-payer legislation. Sanders clarified that he is waiting for the Republican health care tug-of-war to recede. This jab misrepresented inaction as reneging on a political promise, all while Trump has broken many promises made during his candidacy. The argument backfires, as it does in any other smear campaign targeting Sanders.
Sanders reported a bit over $1 million in pre-tax income in 2016. His opponents exploit that figure, plus his three homes, to undermine Sanders’ commitment to improving the lives of families and alleviating inequality. Royalties from his best-selling book make up the majority of his income.
All Congress members have a home in their district and Washington, D.C. In Washington, Sanders has a condo. The third home was purchased, after selling a house that Jane inherited, for the Senator’s retirement. Sanders is among the least wealthy senators. Attacks on his assets are motivated by partisan interests that neglect how the establishment parties allow greed to proliferate.
The slam pieces on Bernie Sanders are getting more imaginative and spreading faster. This is proof that he is being recognized as a threat to the establishment. Sanders’ policies are more popular than ever and gaining momentum as voters demand leaders like him. The Democratic Party continues to focus on moderate policies to please donors, but the Republican Party is preparing for Sanders’ populism to rival Trump’s. With elections getting closer and his popularity strengthening, Sanders’ opponents will aggravate their efforts to sabotage his incorruptible image.