In his NR piece “Bernie’s Strange Brew of Nationalism and Socialism“, Kevin Williamson makes an interesting observation about nationalist aspects of Bernie Sanders’ populism:
[Sanders] lived for a time in Germany, first studying abroad and then working for Bosch, an automotive-parts company. He is a great admirer of the German welfare state, saying: “I ask myself: Why do they have these nice things, and we can’t?” I ask him to answer his own question, and his answer is at once familiar and frightening: “Germany is very homogeneous. They have lots of white people. We’re very diverse. We have the melting pot, and that’s a big struggle.”
That the relative success of the Western European welfare states, and particularly of the Scandinavian states, is rooted in cultural and ethnic homogeneity is a longstanding conservative criticism of Bernie-style schemes to re-create the Danish model in New Jersey and Texas and Mississippi. The conservative takeaway is: Don’t build a Scandinavian welfare state in Florida…
[Sanders] is a national socialist in the mode of Hugo Chávez. He isn’t driven by racial hatred; he’s driven by political hatred.