Not even Bernie Sanders is immune from saying weird things about sex and rape, it seems. Mother Jones posted a 1972 essay in which the future Vermont senator details a couple of rape fantasies as he ruminates on the relationship between men and women. The essay was published while Sanders, who is challenging Hillary Clinton in the Democratic presidential primary, was working a series of jobs before he got into politics. It's included in a larger Mother Jones profile of Sanders. "A man goes home and masturbates his typical fantasy," the essay begins, and it gets more explicit from there. In early 1970s Vermont, apparently the "typical fantasy" involved a lot of dominance and violence. You don't have to be a prude to find it a little unnerving. Maybe not as unnerving as the thought of Bernie's singing career, but close.
He's not advocating anything or talking about anything non-consensual, but the whole essay is strange — and strangely written. Of course, a few sentences written before the start of his political career can't undo the decades of work Sanders has done on behalf of women, minorities, the poor, and the LGBT community. He didn't advocate the dismantling of the social safety net, like Hillary Clinton did in the '90s. And, compared to Republican candidates who seem to say something offensive at least once a day, this is small potatoes. But, it's a good reminder that no matter how obscure or hard to find, if you run for President, someone will take the time to dig up examples of your embarrassing prose.