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If Bernie Sanders Hates Uber, Why Is It The Only Cab Service He Uses?

Bernie Sanders really isn’t a fan of Uber, the ride-share company he’s called “unregulated” with “serious problems” in an interview with Bloomberg in August. So it strikes  us as odd that his own campaign uses this “unregulated service” a stunning 100 per cent of the time.

Now, I’m actually the last person at this masthead to take a shot at Bernie for no good reason. I’m center-left, and frankly I’m terrified that we’re going to be stuck with a Hillary coronation. And between Black Lives Matter breaking up his rallies because… well, I can’t quite explain the political strategy where you hit your own side like that, and Hillary already pulling the sexism card out of her Pokemon deck because someone said “shouting,” I really don’t think Bernie is getting a completely fair shake in this primary.

Bernie is the liberal Trump. He probably can’t win, but he forces the Democrats to say what’s actually on their minds, and he’s untethered from the large, dark-money interests that control what’s almost certain to be the most expensive election in world history. Basically he’s a really important disrupter, even if he doesn’t end up as our candidate, and as a kinda-sorta-liberal you’ll always see me giving him the fairest shake on this masthead.

But Bernie. Seriously. Consider the shots you’re taking, especially when it comes to moral panic and scaremongering over services like Uber. I doubt you spend a lot of time in cabs, but I’m going to let you in on a secret: cabs are terrible and have been for a long time. Sorry, medallion holders, but it’s true. The companies have deep, corrupt roots in places like Chicago where things have become pretty ridiculous very quickly; in Chicagoland the corruption goes back for decades.

The regulation on cabs is pretty insane, especially for the quality of the product you’re getting. And for every news horror story about an Uber driver arrested, I’ll show you two with cab drivers. Frankly the taxi industry isn’t simply over-regulated, it’s an outright racket. Uber, far from being unregulated, actually faces quite a few rules and many, many more are coming, pushed by limo and taxi services who are spooked by fair prices, cleaner vehicles, and better service.

So Bernie, it’s clear you’ve studied Uber extensively, or perhaps someone on your staff has. I suggest one of two tacks. The first is to keep bashing Uber, while switching 100 per cent to medallioned, bonded, good old-fashioned Yellow Cabs – the kind you feel are safer, kinder, and more socialist than the high capitalism and technology of Uber.

The second is to continue using the cheaper, superior service while not pandering to union or taxi interests by speaking out negatively on the only service your campaign actually uses. There is no third option, because we really don’t want people to get the impression you’re a hypocrite. Do we.

Follow Will Ross on Twitter @SawmillLoris.

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