Socialism may have destroyed Venezuela, the latest proof that it is a failure as an economic system. However, expounding on the ideology has proven to be very lucrative for Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vermont, the only admitted socialist in the United States Senate. The trick is a marketing plan that would have put anyone on Madison Avenue to shame, involving a presidential campaign and book sales.

Sanders makes money as a best-selling author

Besides Sanders’ Senate salary, his main source of income has been in book sales, according to a Vermont web paper Seven Days.

In 2016 he made a $795,000 advance from his best-selling book “Our Revolution.” He made another $63,750 for an upcoming young adult book “Bernie Sanders’ Guide to Political Revolution.” Sanders even got $6,735 in royalties for his 1997 memoir “Outsider in the House.” He even has a spoken word folk album entitled “We Shall Over Come” that came out in 1987 but still made $2,521. Add all of that to Sanders’ Senate salary, and he got a pay day last year of over a million dollars. That is not too shabby for a guy who was living in a shack in the early seventies and driving a rust bucket vehicle while living a hand to mouth existence writing for underground newspapers.

How the socialist made money by becoming famous

Anyone can write, espousing anything from hard left communism to free market capitalism. However, chances are that such texts will remain in the cellar where book sales are concerned unless a clever marketing plan is behind it. Even a United States senator may have trouble making it big in book sales unless he or she is a national figure.

Sanders solved that problem by running for president.

To be sure, even presidential candidates might have problems goosing book sales if they are not successful. Fortunately, while Sanders did not become president, he did become popular among a segment of the population that buys books, middle to upper class, college educated people.

Not only does he have a certain charisma and a gift for gab, but Sanders also had the great luck to run against the most singularly unattractive candidate from either party, Hillary Rodham Clinton. Next to her, the elderly, cranky socialist looked kind of refreshing.

Are there any other worlds for Bernie Sanders to conquer?

Sanders is not likely to run for president in 2020, though it is not outside the realm of possibility. However, he could go into other media. As Sarah Palin proved when she became a leader of the Tea Party movement, reality show television can be very lucrative. Perhaps Sanders could travel from town to town featuring the struggles of the toiling masses against the capitalist exploiters. The money that could be made doing that would dwarf book royalties.