Cathy Areu: Democrats must come together to stop Bernie Sanders’ takeover of party in wake of Castro praise

They say “you can’t have your cake and eat it too.” Well, that may apply to the rest of us, but it does not apply to presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt. Sanders is running for president as a “Democrat,” but he’s not.

All was going as planned until the political chameleon’s true colors started to show. His cake started to crumble once he became the Democratic Party’s front-runner in recent weeks.

First of all, Sanders doesn’t even know what his platform of socialism is. He grew up in the United States under a democratic government with little to no experience of socialism’s foundations.

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According to a cocky Sanders, Cuba is a simply misunderstood socialist regime.

"We're very opposed to the authoritarian nature of Cuba but you know, it's unfair to simply say everything is bad. You know?" Sanders said on CBS's "60 Minutes" in an interview that aired Sunday.

He’s wrong. Cuba is a communist nation controlled for decades by ruthless dictators. But, according to Sanders, dictator Fidel Castro (the man that took away everything my family loved and owned in Cuba), taught an already literate population how to read. Just ask my elderly Cuban mother, who earned a Ph.D. in mathematics, for free, at the University of Havana, before the Castro regime took over.

Then, in a tweet on Feb. 21, Sanders taunted both parties: “I've got news for the Republican establishment. I've got news for the Democratic establishment. They can't stop us.”

Us? Who’s “us?” Democratic strategist James Carville once called Sanders a “cult leader.” Who’s in the cult? Surely it’s not us Democrats, as he wanted us to believe; his tweet admitted that he’s not one of us.

As a confused longtime, registered Democrat, Twitter addict and nosy journalist, I quickly called Sanders’ congressional office to confirm the senator’s party affiliation. After some hesitation, the Sanders staffer told me that the senator is officially an “independent from Vermont.” Our Democratic front-runner in the race to the White House is still a registered independent? Yup.

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It gets worse: the political chameleon from Vermont has already placed his bid for his Senate run in 2024 – as an independent! But Sanders specifically took an oath (a new rule the Democratic National Committee created for just him) that he would abide by Democratic policies if they allowed him to run as a Democrat in the 2020 presidential election.

Why would he do such a thing? From what I’ve gathered, Sanders is a unique breed of politician. He’s using party affiliations for his convenience. He knows he wouldn’t stand a chance at winning any delegates if he ran under his real party: independent. It didn’t work for Ross Perot, an independent, in 1992. And it has never worked for Ralph Nader, perhaps the most famous independent to run for president in our country’s history. In a recent opinion piece, Nader wrote that an independent, like himself, would probably lose the nomination for the White House, but he was willing to stand up to our currently flawed two-party system to give American voters more options at the polls.

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Even former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton pointed out the Sanders’ myth in her 2016 book “What Happened,” saying Sanders would cause “lasting damage” to the Democratic Party. “He didn’t get into the race to make sure a Democrat won the White House,” Clinton wrote, “he got in to disrupt the party.”

Sanders’ true colors are starting to show, and thank goodness. Because it’s not too late. Let’s stop “feeling the Bern” and see this politician for who he really is: an opportunist, playing with the American two-party system for personal fame and gain.

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