Bert and Ernie – Bernie
There is no question that Bernie Sanders is the only hope for the United States, and by extension, this crazy world of ours. For so long, the U.S. has been ravaged by rabid parasite-infested maniacs shooting schools, buying elections, emptying the public coffers, destabilizing regions, and attempting to control the bodies of women and people of color.
But, does Senator Sanders stand a chance?
There are several ways this question can be interpreted.
First of all, does Sanders stand a chance vis-a-vis Hilary, the Democratic Party favorite? Likely not. It is thought that Hilary–an admittedly second-rate candidate who has flip-flopped more than John Kerry ever did–is the only way forward, the only plausible candidate. And thus, we should throw in the towel, be reasonable, and capitulate to our fate. In this view, Sanders never had a chance to begin with. And all who would say otherwise are simply engaged in wishful thinking.
But, this perspective is deterministic, fails to understand all of the upsets, how Obama came out of nowhere in 2008–a rookie Chicago senator–to become the strongest personage in the Democratic Party (albeit, now, perhaps, reluctantly and regretfully).
Second–does Sanders stand a chance against a Republican-led Congress? Or would he just be spinning his own wheels with little effectiveness? This approach assumes the status quo of Republican dominance, and fails to see that for any successful Democratic candidate to govern successfully, that Democrats must take back at least the Senate (which is the best possibility this time around, as Republicans apparently have a lock-down on the House in 2016, no matter how things go). For this interpretation, we must remain vigilant to our own biases and assumptions–while realizing that if the US is to have any future, that future cannot be one that is led by people hell-bent on discrimination, racism, misogyny, and hate. We have to reconstruct our polity from the ground up, so to speak, in order to deal with some of the entrenched global problems, such as terrorism, capitalism, environmental disaster, and women’s rights.
The third way we can interpret “Does Senator Sanders stand a chance” is thusly:
Do the ideals and commitment Senator Sanders stands for have a chance against corporate control? This is the question that transcends both Sanders and his opponents; it is the question of real change towards democracy instead of fascism. Will Planned Parenthood shootings, black church burnings, oil spills and disinformation about climate change continue and worsen, into a fortress system of masters and slaves? Or, do we have the mettle to resist the growing fascism in the United States, and understand that democracy cannot be a word without substance.
Bernie Sanders is an emblem of a larger fight. He has said it all along: this is about creating a movement that is bigger than him. He is merely a placeholder in our icon-driven political model. Sanders doesn’t want it to be all about him; but in our broken democracy, he does serve as a fearless figurehead for the hopes and prayers of a much larger strata of people who realize the grave sustainability–in every dimension–of business as usual.
The status quo itself has moved dangerously right over the past 40 years. Richard Nixon would be denounced by the current Republican snakepit if he spouted his “liberal” creed today. This is not something that goes undiscussed by Sanders. Instead, he harps on the more underlying sicknesses that develop the symptoms we see in the daily news. Sanders is concerned with the marrow of our problems, rather than merely with their trappings. Even this question of substance versus superficiality, phenomena versus epiphenomena, goes lamentably overlooked in our current political rumblings. It seems that as long as the mainstream centrally-controlled media takes fascism seriously, rather than calling it out for what it is, despair and the inevitability of war will be our fate.
But, if we learn to multiply our heroes and heras, hone our blessings and engage the sinews of our organizing–then we can build a better world. One that cares for the future rather than burdens them with the idiocy of gluttony. One based on solidarity and humility rather than isolation and enmity. Bernie Sanders represents the best that America has to offer–commitment to progress against the odds, an immigrant land where everyone is welcome, a green land of bounty offering untold riches if only we cherish and respect them, and a sense of justice necessary for domestic peace.
Please support not only Bernie Sanders, but also construct and create other leaders to take back politics across your region, and ultimately across the globe. Maybe, you just might be one of them.