With the 2020 Presidential Race ramping up with each passing moment, there is no shortage of news stories worth keeping abreast of. And now, more than ever, we find ourselves collectively captivated, unsure of whether we’re watching actual history unfold or are trapped inside of an SNL skit. Here at The Lemon, this sentiment is most evident when it comes to the bizarre synchronicity that we’ve sometimes found to exist between the world of political headlines and live auto news.
It could be argued that each of the respective landscapes of politicians and automakers are built upon equal parts of self-interest and misdirection. Factor in the $1.8 Trillion energy industry as a shared area of interest and a bond which, at first, feels tenuous gains clarity and fortification. The global automotive industry is currently valued at $3 Trillion and the government will inevitably have something to say about it. Needless to say, outspoken presences like Bernie Sanders are bound to want their voice heard.
Back in 2008, GM and Chrysler received a $14 billion bailout as part of the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) a decision which Sanders had voted in favor of. But now, Sanders seems hellbent on directing the full over of his Democratic Socialist (DS) ideals at automotive giants. And, like the slowest antelope in a herd attempting to half-assedly escape the jaws of an elderly anti-capitalist lion, self-hobbled General Motors proves an easy target ripe for the kill.
“Americans need to pull their support away from companies who refuse to appreciate or value the American worker!”
This was the opening statement made by Bernie Sanders while addressing a bipartisan forum in Detroit last month, a statement which was met with thunderous applause. But despite that enthusiastic opening, appreciable by countless UAW (United Auto Workers) members in attendance, the address quickly fell to pieces once Sanders began to ramble.
[Sanders] “We talk about unionizing because there’s strength in numbers! We talk about ‘Medicare for All’ simply because every American deserves access to healthcare! We talk about making transportation more accessible and eco-friendly! But GM doesn’t care about that sort of thing, do they? Not only is the UAW a thorn in their side, but now they’ve gone and discontinued the Bolt EV showing a clear disregard for both GM workers and the world they live in!”
[Sanders] “Whether you’re looking to buy or lease, the system will always work in favor of General Motors. Recently, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez courageously presented her Green New Deal, a brilliant strategy that was mocked by Republicans and moderates alike because it threatened their relationship with automotive P.A.C. groups. They simply don’t want a better world, if it means making less money.”
[Sanders] “Raise your hand if there’s a Chevy bowtie on your paycheck. If your hand is up in the air, you may have benefited from the GM’s Family First program. It’s nice, right? They come along and sell you one of their vehicles at a discounted price. But why? Just so that you can get to work and make more money for CEO Mary Barra and her coven of warlocks!”
(Confused silence & light clapping)
[Sanders] “Have you seen that Throne Game show? You know the one with the dragons? I never have, but I can tell you that I’d like to ride a dragon someday. If you want green transportation, it doesn’t get more green than a dragon!”
[Sanders] “There’s a dwarf on that show!”
And that’s when the auditorium began to empty itself, leaving a lone Bernie Sanders onstage, mumbling the name ‘Melisandre’ and miming what may or may not have been the uncomfortable caress of an imaginary breast.
As most American voters have learned, it’s the general direction and execution of Senator Sanders’ approach that works against his policy. Setting aside criticisms of DS policy, a surprising number of Americans agree with the core emotional sentiment that has helped the movement to gain traction in recent years. The point when most voters jump ship is when DS leaders open their mouth.
“The math just doesn’t make sense, and it all reads of hypocrisy,” shares Kell Sifa-Luhl, a Professor of Political Science at Georgetown and enthusiast of domesticated rodents. “It’s like, ‘you had us at everyone deserves a better quality of life’ but you lost us at ‘but don’t worry this isn’t communism’. After all, you can send an Idaho potato to France, slice and season it, throw it in a deep fryer and call it ‘Frites’ but it’s still a damn potato. Then they start talking about riding dragons, and shit…”
Bernie Sanders is