If the Presidential Election was won by hearts, Bernie has already won.
But if you haven’t realized yet, his campaign has nothing to do with Bernie being President. And no that’s not some cheesy campaign slogan. I truly believe Bernie doesn’t care to be President.
What he wants is something we’ve heard before. “Change” The same word that got President Obama to the White House in 2007. It was a word many of us chanted because it was powerful, yet we and Obama weren’t entirely sure what “change” meant.
What Bernie’s campaign understands that Obama’s didn’t…is it’s not enough to just say “we need change”. People need to be held accountable. Because if they’re not, all that “change” will vanish with a future generation of politicians.
In the eyes of Bernie Sanders “accountable” doesn’t mean saving the very institutions that almost destroyed our economy in the first place. A speeding ticket shouldn’t give a greater punishment than the unlawful acts that brought us to the recession. One might argue that these institutions were imperative to our economic system. And I could also argue that breaking the speed limit was necessary to get to work on time and therefore save my own personal economic system.
The United States is built on a foundation that includes the idea that “no one is above is the law”. Yet, Bernie Sanders might say, we have corporations breaking these same laws, at a destructive cost to our nation, and instead of paying fines, are receiving checks. Checks paid for by the very people whose lives they destroyed.
Accountable also doesn’t mean…continuing to allow corporate interests to flow into our lawmakers pockets -because that’s “just how it is”.
Accountable means that everyone follow the same rules and receive the appropriate punishment when not doing so. Politicians should be working for the people and for the people only. Not “what’s best for Chevron.”
Change can’t be made for the sake of change. You may change the path but end up at the same place. Many times you have to destroy the foundation before you get any change that’s worthwhile . It could be a good reason why the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki look light years ahead of many U.S. cities. They were able to literally start from the ground up. And unlike the city of Manhattan which is basically a 19th century city, with many 21st century upgrades, Hiroshima and Nagasaki could create a full modern city from scratch. They could create a highway that made sense from the beginning, not a highway that somehow has to make it’s way through a dense city that didn’t know what a highway was when it began.
Change and accountability, aren’t enough for Bernie alone. In order to make that happen he also needs a large passionate following.
Well lucky for Bernie, he just happens to be breaking rally attendance records everyday. And this isn’t just happening in one part of the country, this happens at almost every point of the U.S. he visits. In the last month, he had more than 100,000 people attend his rallies. President Obama never came near that number. And these people don’t just show up, they wait in line for hours. And they’re more than happy to do it.
People will then ask the question…How does Bernie do it? How does he get these enormous crowds?
And in reality, Bernie isn’t doing much.
We’ve all heard Bernie’s speeches. If you’re living and breathing, they shouldn’t be earth shattering revelations. In fact I was praying for the day he would get a new speech writer. Because yes he says the same thing over and over again.
As great of a leader Bernie is, and as imperative I believe his ideas to be: he’s not exactly a political genius. If there is such a thing. What is he asking for? That employees make more, CEO’s less, at fault corporations shouldn’t be bailed out, lets keep U.S. companies in the U.S., free college and free healthcare, and the biggest one: keeping money out of politics.
If you ask anyone out side of the U.S. about these policies, many will say “U.S. doesn’t already have that?”What many call progressive in the U.S. many outside the U.S. call savage for not already having it.
What Bernie is asking for. And all he’s asking for. Is to get the government working for the people again. In the last ten years, the middle class has shrunk significantly. People in their 20’s who expected to be homeowners in their 30’s are still working paycheck to paycheck.
Originally, these people were told that it was their fault. For taking on risque loans, not saving enough etc. And many with families lost their homes. And while the financial mistake of a family cost them a roof, the greedy law breaking practices of banks were rewarded: with a bailout.
This was the government painting an illusion. They had/have us believing that yes, bail outs are necessary. While instead it was just a simple case of the government worrying about the government and forgetting about the very people it’s supposed to govern.
Bailing out a car company to save thousands of jobs sounds nice, how about instead using that money to invest in new energy technology that will create thousands of jobs and prevent this issue in the future. Then lets take it a step further…lets support those car companies that keep all their workers here in America.
President Obama promised hope and change. Therefore people were hopeful that his huge economic stimulus package would bring change. However, as we got into the 2010’s people started to realize that a certain economic stimulus package wouldn’t have any effect on their broken lives. Meanwhile, the very bank that should have been shut down is charging them countless overdraft fees. Which are basically fees for not having money.
People started to get angry. They realized their financial situation certainly wasn’t a result of them being lazy. Many working, still working two jobs. Then as movements like Occupy Wall Street developed people realized they weren’t alone in this feeling. So then one might start to think…”if it’s not my fault…is it the governments fault?”.
But, no, no, no, we live in America, where anything is possible, you must be doing something wrong! It was your bad choices that led you here. Personal RESPONSIBILITY!
So while many weren’t outwardly blaming the government on their issues, they knew something wasn’t quite right. It’s hard to know what’s normal when you’re not living in it. So they sat on these feelings for a while.
Then, it came. Bernie Sanders. The man that confirmed people’s biggest hopes and fears. The man that said, “you’re right it’s not all your fault.” and “the government doesn’t have your best interest at heart.”
And this is where we begin to see people open their eyes.
While the message Bernie is giving might be “Don’t worry we’ll fix this.” what people are hearing is “It’s OK, you’re OK. It’s this over here that needs to change.” And just those two words “you’re ok” can mean everything to people
So everything Bernie repeats over and over again weren’t sacred tablets handed down by God. Everyone of his ideas and accusations were already on the minds of many. The foundation of a movement was already there. It just needed a leader. Someone to confirm what many already knew or thought.
And what better leader to confirm your fears about government than a U.S. Senator from Vermont running for President?
So the question shouldn’t be how is Bernie getting so many followers, the question should be how is the government so out of touch with this many people that they are looking for another leader. It’s similar case with the Trump side, though a little less academic.
People that go to see Bernie don’t go just for hope of a better tomorrow, but as a confirmation that they are not failures. That is powerful.
If I were to make a rough estimate, I’d say 25% of the nation are full fledged supporters of Bernie Sanders. What separates Bernie from many other candidates is that his campaign isn’t built on who’s the better leader or even President. It’s built on ideas. It’s built on an inherent principle that “everyone matters”.
So now you have roughly a quarter of the population who doesn’t just believe in the movement, they realize it’s necessity.
Now this is where a Clinton voter might give arguments on why the movement is not necessary and almost ludicrous. But Bernie Voters are different. Bernie didn’t change any minds, he only confirmed what many already knew/thought. This doesn’t mean Bernie’s ideas are anymore right or wrong than another candidates, it just means Bernie’s campaign is essentially built around giving people self worth again. So arguing an idea with a Bernie supporter is almost like saying “it’s your fault you’re in this mess.” It’s taken very personally.
So as the election primaries begin to point to a certain candidate. There’s one thing that’s very clear. There is a movement in this country, a strong movement that regardless of who is elected will continue to grow.
I can’t tell you exactly where that movement could be headed, but I will say this, it’s a movement that has zero faith in our government. It’s movement of people that have nothing to lose. It’s a movement that gives them purpose again.
Now we as a nation have two choices. We either elect the leader of that movement so we can work together. Or we tell the movement that they’re simply not worthy of the government they’ve lost faith in.
And if the latter is is chosen, I can almost guarantee resistance. Because remember these people aren’t just fighting for change, but fighting the very idea that they matter.
You might be thinking, he can’t possibly be alluding to “revolution”. Well in terms of loading your muskets and marching…no. But we might not be far off. All it takes is one spark. Perhaps the streets of a major city are flooded with parked cars to protest unlawful towing. Perhaps a group of Black Lives Matter protesters break through a jail cell. Perhaps a group of women use a men’s restroom in North Carolina. And then maybe one of these events is fought with what is perceived as brute police force, only to be met with the same brute force.
And anyone of these events could happen right now.
No matter who is in the White House next year, one thing is certain, what Bernie created isn’t going anywhere.
Perhaps this was Bernie’s intention all along. Not to be President of a system he knows doesn’t work. But instead destroy the political foundation and create his own Hiroshima and build a system that works today.