Thank You, Bernie Sanders
EXCERPTED FROM “How The Revolution Started: Essays & Impertinent Thoughts “(Eggy Press).
Thank you, Bernie Sanders, for your leadership.
Thank you, Bernie Sanders, for your courage, your authenticity, your compassion.
Thank you, Bernie Sanders, for speaking truth to power. Thank you for rousing the sleeping giant. Thank you for proving conclusively that progressive ideas aren’t frivolous and “out there” but mainstream and sensible.
America is awakening. America is seeing through the greed and cynicism it’s been falsely assured is inevitable, a “necessary” part of modern life. Citizens who had previously been thoroughly disenchanted with politics are listening carefully and watching closely. And life in the United States will never be quite the same. Just as the Occupy Wall Street movement of 2008 changed the national conversation, this election cycle has transformed the national political consciousness.
Because of the Bernie Sanders campaign, we collectively understand how profoundly corrupted our political system is. Now we understand how undemocratic the two dominant political parties are. Now we understand (too well) that the “news media” are merely entertainment portals in search of ratings and advertisers, and that everything we’ve been told by those alleged “trusted experts” is about as credible as a children’s fairy tale.
Now we know: America is controlled by a small cabal of oligarchs and their compliant bag-carriers. But now we also know that the people — everyone who will never sit on the Board of Wal-Mart, or collect bribes in the form of “speaking fees,” or own a private prison – the people are the biggest corporation of all. And we can’t be stopped.
I’m one of those people. I’m 51; I have no children; I’m financially well-off compared to the average American; I collect no government benefits and very few services; I personally do not need a $15-an-hour minimum wage, or Medicare-for-all, or paid maternity leave, or tuition-free education. I stand to gain nothing from a Bernie Sanders presidency – except the knowledge that my country, for the first time in my life, is finally headed on a path toward peace, kindness, and inclusiveness.
Like many of my fellow Americans, I’ve had enough war. I’ve had enough racism and sexism and jingoism. And like many of my fellow Americans, I’m no longer willing to let neoliberal corporate apologists pass themselves off as progressive agents of change.
Until Bernie Sanders declared his intention of running for President without corporate or PAC support, I hadn’t donated to or volunteered for a political campaign; they were all versions of the same product packaged differently. Bernie changed me. It has been one of the great pleasures of my life to donate and volunteer for his campaign — our campaign — to add another voice to a growing chorus of righteousness. Before I joined this spectacular grassroots effort and talked with voters on their doorsteps and the massive hordes at public rallies, I considered it unthinkable that someone running against the monolithic establishment machine could win the California primary funded by $27 donations.
On Tuesday, June 7th, Bernie Sanders will do the previously unthinkable and win the California primary. On June 7th, we Californians will demonstrate to the entire country that a new era of social justice has officially commenced. And it can’t be stopped.
The Lie has been exposed. From the moment Bernie Sanders announced his candidacy a little over a year ago, business-as-usual cynics started spinning their plausible-sounding but mendacious story: He can’t win. I like him but he can’t win. CNN told me he can’t win. All the polls and the math and people in suits who sound like they know what they’re talking about say he can’t win. He can’t win.
He can win. He will win.
The Clinton campaign and the corporations that support her have spent $200 million to convince gullible voters she’s the “only” choice. What has all that money bought? A gradual and inexorable loss of her “insurmountable” lead and plunging approval ratings the more she appears in public and must answer difficult “yes or no” questions. Only the disastrous “War on Drugs” has returned less on its monetary investment.
Whether or not the money launderers who run the Democratic Party have the good sense to nominate Bernie Sanders for President of the United States, this movement, this blossoming, will continue to flourish. It’s too late to turn back or pretend that business-as-usual is acceptable. Moral clarity has triumphed. Bernie Sanders – and the ideals he represents – has already won the hearts and minds of millions of voters who had given up on the process. And we’re not going away.
Thank you, Bernie Sanders, for fundamentally changing our country. You are not alone. We’re all in this together.