Whenever I tell someone I support Bernie Sanders, the first thing they say is he can’t win. This sounds to me like people who’ve compromised, who have resigned themselves to a system that if allowed to continue its current course will stomp everyone that’s not already rich down to gravel underfoot, because the rich already have too much power. With an army of PR companies strategizing about how to keep people distracted and acquiescent, corporate messages flooding into every relevant source, the public is convinced there is no other course. Competitive aggressiveness is tearing the world apart.
The morning after the first democratic debate I tuned into NPR to see how they were playing it. The point that stood out for me was that it was the highest rated Democratic debate in many years. This had to be because of Bernie Sanders. Everyone else was a politician and politicians are the reason people have become cynical and uninvolved. His message came from the heart. He sees the big picture and what most needs to be changed about America. Control of the country is being bought up by the few. In a documentary almost entirely made of uploaded individual footage of the Occupy Wall Street movement as it spread, the range of people marching together is the most diverse of any march I’ve seen. The courage and creativity felt more true of America than the glitzy soul-killing media version. These are people with principles who care about other people. The title “Rise Like Lions” was drawn from a Percy Blythe Shelley poem quoted at the beginning encouraging people to stand against oppressors. The power of this movement is behind Bernie Sanders because he’s getting at the roots of the problem. It’s not a fluke that he’s getting such big crowds. The Seattle demonstrations against the WTO drew over 40,000, which then fueled the Occupy movement. When the mainstream media mocked the movement saying, “Occupy What?”the answer seemed obvious. People want to occupy their country again. Our police are no longer the smiling Andy of Mayberry sheriff protecting the people of the town, they are the guns that protect the new polluting factory FROM the people of the town. That capitalism has become pathological is shown by the soaring wealth of some while a growing number struggle and do without, a gigantic shiny tumor hanging off the side of the shriveling body politic.
Young people today are beyond being swayed by labels. The media may think enough shouting the word “Socialist” will make a difference but the generation coming up is smarter than they think, multisensory. While the elders are yelling, they may have the earbuds in listening to DemocracyNow and scanning world wide articles on reddit. If the mainstream media can’t see what’s happening it’s because they are too close to the 1% themselves.
There is still time to have a just and humane world that respects everything in it. Having a mission to make it happen can unite across surface differences and stop reacting to what the media wants us to be upset about. They say he can’t win because of their own fear, not knowing what a just America would mean to those now on the winning end. Taking the incentive out of greed might be a relief for everybody. If anything over a certain amount goes in a 90% bracket the competition to have the most might be defanged. Without so much extra money, the extremists might not get funded. The best in people could be allowed to flourish without self-interested parties telling them who to hate.
Bernie Sanders is visible because of the lions. Let’s join the pride.