Written Jan. 21, 2016…
I will not accept the status quo any longer in this country, and neither will millions of other people. Hence, movements like Black Lives Matter, Occupy Wall Street and Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump doing so well in the polls. People who follow Trump are completely misguided and ridiculous, of course, but it shows how disillusioned with the Republican Party conservatives have become. On the Democratic side, Sanders has surged in the polls due to millions of liberals being fed up with the liberal establishment and the DNC.
People say Bernie is “pie in the sky.” I disagree. Bernie has been in politics for over forty years. He is not some wide-eyed kid just starting out. He has been through a lot and fought for a lot, including getting arrested for marching for civil rights in the early ‘60s. That took guts for a white person back then. He has been fighting against the establishment status quo all his life, voting for things that were considered career suicide, but he did it because it was the right thing to do. He didn’t give into cynicism or what was politically expedient at the moment.
There are a lot of people out there who mean well, and probably consider themselves liberal, but who don’t seem to want to see the boat get rocked too much. Maybe they simply like the idea of liberalism more than the actual reality. Or maybe they have too many scars from fighting for what was right over the years and have just become too cynical and disillusioned, and just want a more simple life now and are okay with the status quo… but I’m not. And neither is Bernie. Or millions of others. I’m a cynical person by nature but the passion that he and fellow supporters have shown have me excited again, and believing that something great is actually within grasp… if we allow it to happen and don’t give in to the fear and the cynicism. I want to see the good things that happened under President Obama be taken to a much greater level with the next president.
I have met some Bernie supporters who are about the most passionate people I have ever seen in my life, and it’s been a real eye-opener. It makes me realize we have been swallowing lies and garbage for too long in this country and we need to stop doing that. We were going in the right direction back in the ‘60s and then took some horrible turn along the way, and we’ve never gotten back on track. We have allowed greed and cynicism and money to control us as a nation. We have allowed racism to become perfectly acceptable again. We have allowed sexism to become normal again. And here we are having to re-fight all the same old battles again.
I’m sure there were plenty of black people, not to mention whites, who told Dr. Martin Luther King to just accept what little gains he had made and not try, or even hope, for anything better. That could get you killed. It was hard enough just to get to this point… don’t try to go any further. But he kept fighting for a better life for black people, as well as all people. It cost him his life but he never showed fear. It makes me wonder what more could have been achieved if his life hadn’t been cut short with a bullet. Bernie is one person who is trying to carry on his work and yet some people just think he is delusional, naive, angry, etc. They are perfectly willing to accept what little gains have been made and not hope for anything better. Well, I will gladly follow the candidate who is trying to fight the status quo establishment. I will back the candidate who wants to see super PACs gone from elections. No more big money politics, no more Wall Street ass-kissing, no more taking money from billionaires and Big Pharma and the insurance companies. No more special interests and shady deals in back rooms. No more Wall Street CEOs getting away with murder. If you are a politician you cannot take huge amounts of money from Goldman Sachs and others like them, and then claim you will be tough on them. If you believe that, then that is “pie in the sky” thinking and delusional.
When I hear Hillary supporters say that Bernie is “too angry,” all I can think is: Why aren’t you as angry as he is? Why is every person in this country not angry as hell? Are you okay with the 1% getting richer and richer, and the rest of us getting poorer? Are you okay with your rights slowly being taken away, little by little? Are you okay with politicians who make tons of promises and never come through on them? Are you okay with a Congress that gets paid big money to do absolutely nothing? Are you okay with Democrats doing things that you would never tolerate from any Republican? Shouldn’t you be holding your own candidates to a higher standard? If not, then why? Democrats have voted for horrible things like the TPP and the Patriot Act. They have voted in favor of the Iraq War, which was one of the biggest foreign policy blunders and embarrassments in our history. They have voted against gay marriage and gays in the military. They have voted for NAFTA. Well, Bernie Sanders didn’t vote for any of these horrible things. That should count for something. It certainly does for me. It’s not just where you are now on the issues, but where you have been in the past as well. Voting for the right thing is very easy when it’s politically expedient to do so. But where were they when it was not politically expedient? And believe me, if Bernie gets into office and keeps none of his promises, then he will be held accountable just like anyone else. He knows we will not let him off the hook or give him a free pass. But I also hope that Bernie supporters don’t turn on him the first time he has to make a compromise that we don’t agree with. No president is going to do everything that we like. And no president is infallible. I don’t expect him to be the Second Coming. That would be naïve. But obviously he needs better people in positions of power to help him with his plans, or it will be all for nothing. He also needs all of us to get more involved in the political process. As he always says, it’s not “when I become President” but “when WE become President.” We need to start throwing out all these establishment career politicians (regardless of what party they belong to) and start voting in people who actually want to make a real change.
I want a candidate who is looking out for the 99%… not the 1%. Voting for Democrats who are only slightly better than Republicans is not going to do us any good and not change a damn thing for the better. All you are doing is just trying to keep things from getting any worse. Is that really what you want??? Are you okay with settling for so little? Isn’t that what we have already been doing for decades? And how has that worked out for any of us?
We need to stop fooling ourselves and suffering from cognitive dissonance, thinking that the Democrats are all that different than Republicans. They sadly are not much better. The Democratic Party has been moving steadily more to the right over the years, and only seem “progressive” because the Republicans have gone completely batshit crazy into the extreme zone. But we need to start holding the Democrats to higher standards and stop accepting the status quo and mediocrity. We need to stop accepting the “lesser of 2 evils” and start demanding better.
I find it very interesting that establishment Democrats are all of a sudden coming out of the woodwork to go on TV and bash Bernie, in favor of Hillary. It reeks of desperation and pure cynicism, if you ask me. Look at her poll numbers and tell me that she isn’t growing more worried with each passing day. Tell me that some of these politicians aren’t hoping for Hillary to win, because they know it will be good for their own careers. And tell me also that Bernie can’t beat her when the same thing happened in 2008 with an unknown black senator that nobody thought stood a chance. Everyone said he would lose, he couldn’t possibly beat her, he would lose the general election, he couldn’t beat a war hero, etc. We all know how that turned out. And yet here we are, once again, hearing the same exact garbage from the same exact “experts.” But less and less people are swallowing it.
When people say that Bernie can’t win, I say bullshit. He is surging in the polls more and more each day. And now the attacks are starting on him. The man who is about the most respected politician in the country. The man who has never once ran a dirty campaign. But yet they are comparing him to communism and Trump and all kinds of ridiculous nonsense that is total garbage. They also say that he can’t possibly win a general election. They say that he is unelectable. Who says this? The so-called “political experts” who have gotten almost every single prediction wrong so far. Every poll shows Bernie doing better against Trump and other Republicans. Every poll shows him doing better with independents. And he has accomplished this with zero support from the media and the establishment. And yet they still keep pushing the lie that he can never win. Don’t believe it. They said Trump would be gone by now. He isn’t. They said Bernie would never beat Hillary, yet he has overtaken her in the polls in some states. He draws bigger crowds than anyone, and he has the most passionate, loyal supporters.
If you are perfectly okay with the status quo and mediocrity, then keep voting for the same corporate-loving, big money hacks. But not me. I have never voted for the “lesser of 2 evils” and I damn sure am not going to start now. Do I think Hillary would be a better president than Trump or Cruz? Of course I do. But I don’t think we should be voting for someone simply out of pure fear. I want better for America. And so should you. If not now, then when?