Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Sustaining a Revolution

          At this moment, all across America, there is a revolution going on. If you don’t

believe it, just ask anyone wearing a hat, shirt or button bearing the name Bernie

Sanders. What they’re calling a revolution is really more like a revolt against the

super-rich who call the shots in America’s version of democracy, which is really

nothing of the sort. At worst, America is a fascist nation; at best, it operates under a

sort of pseudo-socialism where the middle class supports the poor and the rich bear

no responsibility to anyone.

          Makes sense to stage a revolution, right? It’s not fair for one percent of a country’s

population to hold 90 percent of the nation’s wealth, especially when that came

about because they bought the necessary lawmakers to assure that it would.

Problem is, it’s not really a revolution. Not really. The masses who are turning out to

cheer on Sanders are supporting just one man, and that man can’t possibly bring

about any substantial change to the status quo in Washington D.C. no matter what

he does. Just ask Barack Obama.

           We witnessed a similar phenomenon when Obama began his campaign to be

President by talking about changing Washington in most of the same ways that

Sanders is now igniting crowds by discussing. Now we are in Obama’s final year as

President, and while the tone and manor of the presidency is blissfully different

from the George W. Bush years, nothing has changed substantially.

          The rich have gotten richer, the poor have gotten poorer, campaign finance

continues to be little more than the outright purchase of elected officials by the

uber-rich, we continue to allow industries to pollute at will and push the planet

closer and closer to a condition that will not sustain human life . . .and on and on.

          It takes more than one man . . .one person . . .to bring about any substantial

change, no matter how popular that person might be.

          It’s going to take a coalition to change Washington and the status quo of

American politics. It’s going to take a team of leaders running for Senate and

House seats in conjunction with a visionary leader like Obama or Sanders to

spearhead the effort from the only podium everyone really pays attention to: the

presidential candidate podium.

          What it’s going to take to bring back the American dream of equal

opportunity for all and a truer version of democracy is a coalition not unlike the

Marvel Superhero Avengers or the DC Comics Justice League. It takes an entire

team espousing the values Bernie Sanders embrace, the most important of which

is arguably campaign finance reform. After all, if our elected officials answer to large

corporations instead of the people who elected them, what we have is not a democracy

but the textbook definition of fascism.

          The presidential platform is interesting, and the person elected certainly wields a

great deal of power over a wide range of areas. The power to change the way

Washington politics works, however, can only be claimed by a large coalition of like-

minded candidates who work together to bring about such change.

          For that kind of coalition to come about, it’s going to take a huge majority of people

who don’t just attend rallies for volunteer in droves for presidential candidates. It’s

going to take a movement that encompasses all elections, from local lawmakers to

national and everything in between. It’s going to take sustained energy, passion and

enthusiasm across a the country, a movement that works tirelessly all year every

year for America to really evolve beyond the corporate fascism that has wound its

roots around and throughout the entire political system.

          Until that happens, people like Bernie Sanders and Barack Obama will continue to

inspire millions but fall well short of their ambitious goals.

          What can those who consider themselves to be part of the Sanders revolution do?

First and foremost, they have to vote. Being excited and attending rallies is cool, but if

you don't bother to show up at the ballot box you might as well have been sitting at home

watching reality TV and sucking down a margarita. Second, be sure the candidates you're

voting for represent - or at least claim to represent the same standards that make you

excited about Bernie. Finally, once you vote, hold those representatives accountable by

following their actions taken on your behalf. When they deviate from the path they promised

while campaigning, call and/or email their offices and demand to know why they deviated.

          It's not enough to start a revolution; you have to participate and see it through

to the very end.


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