“There is a secret to being a supporter of Bernie Sanders. It is something that totally escapes the thinking of most Democrats and Republicans. It is the mental understanding that Sanders is fighting a war that most people are not. It is the war between corporations and the people. Unless you are fighting this war as well, you cannot possibly understand how important it is to vote for Bernie over Hillary. This is not about Hillary or Bernie, it is about fighting your real enemies, the multi – national corporations who are trying to control this nation and the world. You ignore this war at your own peril.” ~ Randolph Greer
This quote by Randolph Greer really captured me. Lately in my experiences talking with non-Bernie supporters, I have been disheartened at times, because we’re not having the same conversation. Non-supporters are often talking about candidates- how this one stood on that issue, how alike Sanders and Clinton are on votes cast in the Senate, how she’s a woman and it is time to finally break that glass ceiling… None of these factors have anything to do with why many of us support Bernie Sanders. We’re not just supporting a candidate. We’re supporting a cause much bigger than this one presidential election. This fact seems hard for many of my fellow democrats to grasp or understand.
When we point out injustices, discrepancies at voting booths, false memes propagandized by the media, undue power and influence by our own party to orchestrate political outcomes, undemocratically, and in dishonest ways, it’s not because we’re poor losers who can’t, or won’t, admit defeat. It’s not because we’re privileged millennials too lazy to actually get out and vote. It’s because these things are happening and need to be spoken of. It’s because our voting rights are sacred, and our only voice, and they need to have value and be heard. It’s because corruption can’t win, and must be fought, tooth and nail, at every outpost in every arena until its stamped out of existence entirely, for good.
When we speak out against lies our political leaders tell us, when we call out hypocrisies and demand the truth, when we fight for human rights we never should’ve lost, when we challenge political opinions that call for slow and centric change, it’s not because we’re radicals and extremists. It’s not because we’re pie-in-the-sky unrealistic thinkers. It’s because we remember what used to exist in this country. We remember the rights and privileges promised and once held. We remember when integrity meant more than power. We remember when people mattered more than money, and we know these aren’t radical beliefs, too hard to come by, even in this cynical millennial age.
When we refuse to give up and hold onto hope, and believe in miracles, and that political dreams can still come true, it’s not because we’ve been led down the river by our political leader. It’s not because we’ve been told the only way we’re losing is if elections are rigged. It’s because Bernie understood, as we do, that no one has the right to dash all our hopes, that believing in the impossible is sometimes all we have, and won’t, shouldn’t, ever be diminished. It’s because we know, as he does, that this is simply a battle and not the war and we need our hope to fight another day, and because, most of all, more than anything, we needed to believe that change was possible, and democracy still worth saving.
We are at a cross road, as a nation, as a continent, and as members of our global community. What we do, what practices we engage in, what we allow our government and their special interest big funders to do not only affects us, it affects everyone else on this planet. That doesn’t just pertain to climate change, although that should be at the forefront of every decision we make. Our planet’s simply running out of time and ability to sustain us. That’s just a fact and one we can’t avoid any longer. But part of why we have such a hard time grappling with that notion or understanding our responsibility in our planets demise is for the same fundamental reasons and issues at stake in this election. When we continue to support a government that is more concerned with profits than people, when we continue to allow our representatives to make decisions for us that cause irrevocable harm to the earth, when we sit by and watch as millions of Americans have inadequate housing or not enough food to eat, are working jobs that don’t pay their bills, that have limited to no prospects because of a lack in education or are swimming in debt for the rest of their lives for the education they did receive, or have to make unthinkable choices between medications they need to survive or keeping the heat on and electricity going, we have lost everything this country has strived to be since its inception, and most importantly, we have given up on our own humanity.
There are choices we are making today that make or break this country, choices that in many cases can never be undone or set to rights. It is time to take an honest assessment of ourselves and face the harsh realities in front of us. Do we have time to waste on incremental change, and compromised, unfavorably-garnered results towards progress, or is it time to take bold and decisive action that will propel us in an entirely different direction? That is the question we should be grappling with, each of us, everyday… the only question, in my opinion, that’s even worth contemplating.
Letitia C. Page