What Bernie Means to Us
Where We Are
Bernie Sanders is a political icon. He’s an unvarnished look into the heart of what America should have been. What we could have become. A vision of a singular society. A society that has intentionally & steadfastly avoided being brought to fruition since the violent, plunderous founding of the nation. We ignored each and every opportunity to build an egalitarian community that indeed weighed the content of each person’s character.
Instead, we rewarded all seven of the Deadly Sins in the most violent and depraved ways possible. Especially rewarded were greed and avarice. We murdered, stole land from and broke every treaty with the First Peoples. We kidnapped, imprisoned, and forced several generations of Africans into slavery. From this toxic stew, we built the wealthiest, most powerful nation the world has ever seen, with these hands.
We continue to deny the descendants of these peoples and other groups access to American wealth and power at every turn. This is the very fruit of their forefather’s labor. This is indeed the real American Promise- you come here, you work hard, you and yours will live in prosperity. A promise is rendered myth.
We have had our opportunities to change: the end of chattel slavery, Reconstruction, the Great Depression, end of World Wars I & II, the New Deal, Brown vs. Board, the housing crash, and bailouts. The list could go on for an entire article. Each of these moments was a potential turning point. A chance to hit the reset button. A moment when we could have broken down the structure and redistributed wealth and power. Instead, we found more devious ways to double down. What was required was an end to undue suffering. In a nation that manufactures wealth daily, any pain is unnecessary.
Regardless of Cost
Bernie is dear to us because he, like us, sees an opportunity to become. The last crash triggered the worst possible responses: spare the rich, punish the poor. Bailouts for them. Austerity for us. The policy-driven chasm between rich and poor has deepened well beyond the understanding of most humans. Bernie says we all deserve a fair wage, food, water, shelter, quality education, and excellent healthcare. Regardless of the cost.
Bernie is unafraid when we need courage most. In a time when instability and insecurity are reawakening the worst of human nature here and around the globe. He is saying “NO.” Loudly and firmly. We can be better. Live our best lives, together. Fight for one another and not with each other.
Bernie sees into the darkest places and speaks of light. He knows, like most of us, our problems are rooted in intentional economic deprivation. He even rightly names the millionaires and billionaires as the culprits in our American saga. Much to their chagrin. He says they need to pay more in taxes to repair what they and their lackeys have broken.
In a time when the GOP and the Dems alternately blame entities with no real power in our political system: each other, poor people, migrants, Russians, or voters for all of the nation’s problems. We intuitively know this is untrue, even if we dare not voice it. In these moments, Bernie speaks for us.
Our Bernie Sanders does this in the face of a hostile media. Both political parties attack him regularly. Driven by one-percenter funding; public relations firms, F-list celebs on social media, cable news, wannabe gatekeepers, & troll farmers are arrayed against him. And us. They lie, divide, and misinform. Bernie stays on message. Our message.
It’s the economy, stupid. And we all deserve much, much more.
Bernie’s existence is likely very lonely. Thankfully, he is not alone. He has the morally courageous and gifted voices like those of Nina Turner, Rosanne DeMoro, and Rev Dr. William Barber II fighting by his side. He has us.
Bernie’s off-the-rack appeal speaks to us. Not in a pandering way of the open collar & rolled up sleeves from his manufactured, perfectly coiffed peers in the political arena. His rumpled appearance carries a far-too-unique genuineness that says “This is me. Take me as I am.” He is that co-worker, friend, or family member that is habitually ready to lend a hand and a back when the burden is too much to bear alone. We’ll fight the good fight shoulder-to-shoulder with that guy. Perfection not required.
In short, Bernie is our guy because he stands firm on a highly-valued intersection. The most precious of political real estate. He is where we are: on the intersection of the Economy and Our Humanity.
Not the bad guy. But, a facsimile thereof.