Keep Calm and Stay Revolutionary

Hillary Clinton is about to become a progressive for a bit.

Some of us might be wondering: if Clinton co-opts Bernie’s message and tries to steal his thunder, will Bernie lose his momentum? Will Clinton be able to convince a majority of voters that her new progressive persona is authentic? Will undecided voters give her the benefit of the doubt and settle for her, especially if they have been duped into believing that she has a better chance at winning?

These are legitimate concerns. But we have to keep calm and stay revolutionary. Revolution is our bread and butter. Revolution is what sets our movement apart from establishment candidates such as Clinton. Clinton’s two biggest contributors are Citigroup and Goldman Sachs. She will never, ever be revolutionary. As long as we don’t lose sight of the fact that we are part of a revolutionary movement, it will be difficult for the Clintons to beat us.

Movements are notoriously difficult to campaign against. Just ask Hillary Clinton circa 2008.

With Bernie, voters will never need to waste a moment of their time wringing their hands in conflicted anguish about supporting him: we know who Bernie is and we know what he stands for, and that’s not going to change. We trust him, and we know that his message’s time has come.

We don’t always agree with him. But we’re not seeking ideological perfection, we’re seeking some semblance of justice in a messy world. Bernie, like no other public figure, is putting himself out there in front of thousands of people day after day, courageously denouncing inequality, relentlessly raising his voice against the economic injustice that pervades our lives. There’s no other candidate like him and there hasn’t been another candidate like him in my lifetime.

Crowds in towns in Iowa and Wisconsin and New Hampshire respond well to Bernie because he is an honest preacher demanding justice for the people. Nobody thinks of him as a radical or an ideologue because he’s not saying anything radical or extreme. All he’s promoting is justice. There’s nothing radical about justice. There is however something extremely radical about Citigroup and Goldman Sachs, Hillary’s biggest campaign contributors, evading justice all these years for their crimes against the people.

The fact that Sanders identifies as a Democratic Socialist isn’t a hurdle, either. Americans are not inherently anti-Socialist. Most of the people who hold strongly negative attitudes toward Democratic Socialism wouldn’t even consider voting for something as innocuous as a Democrat, let alone a Democratic Socialist.

On the other hand, amongst independents and left-leaning voters, there has historically been a fair amount of enthusiasm for Socialism. Just to give one example: in 1908, in my home state of Oklahoma, which is now considered to be one of the reddest of red states, there were 375 locals of the Socialist Party across the state, working in support of candidates in 5 Congressional Districts, 12 State Senatorial Districts, and 35 Assembly Districts. Likewise, in 1912, Eugene Debs received 16% of the vote in Oklahoma. There’s no reason to think that kind of groundswell support for socialist ideas couldn’t recur in red states in the future, especially if inequality continues unabated.

Bernie will be a much stronger candidate than Clinton in the general election. The Clintons have too much baggage to win over undecided voters. There is a deep, deep well of antipathy for the Clintons amongst conservatives, and that antipathy would only resurface in a virulent way in a general election. Clinton does not promise a fresh start or a bold departure from the status quo. She is very much a known factor, and the Republicans would be able to get huge turnouts to vote against her and Bill in a general election.

Bernie, unlike Hillary, would be a big challenge for the Republicans in the general election, for the same reason that he will be such a big challenge for Hillary in the primaries: he has a movement behind him and people feel unabashedly great about him and his message. It’s difficult to defeat a movement.

So if you’re wondering what’s the difference between Bernie and Hillary Clinton, here’s the gist of it: Hillary Clinton’s two biggest contributors are Citigroup and Goldman Sachs. The people for Bernie want to overthrow Citigroup and Goldman Sachs.

It’s just that simple.

The American Spring: United Against Inequality

The American Spring has begun.

The American Spring is a widespread, multi-faceted movement against inequality. The goal of the American Spring is political and economic revolution. Our methods are as varied as the victims of inequality.

The Bernie Sanders campaign. Fight for $15. Black Lives Matter. Our Wal-Mart. People will respond to injustice and inequality in different ways. We don’t have to choose one movement to be involved in. We can march with Fight for $15 and volunteer for the Sanders Campaign. Someone might vote for Hillary Clinton and be involved in the movement against police brutality. Any movement, any candidate that courageously confronts inequality is valuable.

Inequality affects us all, but it affects us in different ways. One thing that will unite all of us involved in The American Spring is the use of social media to get our message across.

Social media will allow the Bernie Sanders campaign and other movements to flourish on a small budget.

Those of us who support Bernie Sanders believe that his campaign, and his Presidency, will give an enormous boost to the fight against inequality. We may not agree with him on everything, but his views on inequality are so consistent and so strong that we feel compelled to give him our support and our vote. We need an outspoken opponent of inequality in the White House. A victory for Bernie would give us an extraordinary opportunity to powerfully and persistently confront inequality for at least four years, with the President as a trustworthy ally in the fight. Sanders may not be a magic bullet, but if he makes it to The White House we might just have a shot at creating a more equitable society, peacefully, through the political process.

There are critics of Bernie Sanders who feel that his stance on Israel is a deal-breaker. Sanders believes the Palestinians should have their own state. He is opposed to the Israeli settlements. He boycotted Netanyahu’s speech to congress. Still, some of his critics believe Sanders has not gone far enough to condemn Israeli actions. I respect their opinion. Those who refuse to vote for Sanders because of his views on Israel will continue to fight against inequality in their own manner, according to the dictates of their own conscience. The American Spring is large enough to include millions of different voices.

There are also critics of Sanders who believe that his statements on Baltimore and police brutality were inadequate at best. I hope Sanders will raise his voice against aggressive, militarized policing and police brutality. Militarized, aggressive policing, and the massive police-state this has created, is perhaps the single most hideous expression of inequality in America, and confronting this problem should be our number one priority. If someone feels that Sanders’ failure to adequately address this issue is a deal-breaker, the movement against inequality will not suffer for it. Black Lives Matter is just as important, perhaps more important, than the Sanders campaign.

Some Sanders critics would even refuse to vote for him because of his stance on the F-35 fighter jet being stationed in Vermont. Those critics will undoubtedly continue to take part in the movement against inequality.

Some critics of Sanders say we need to spend our time and energy building alternative parties and movements outside of the corporate-backed two-party system. I agree. We desperately need a Democratic Socialist Party in America and I hope we build one someday. But until we have a Democratic Socialist Party, or some other viable third-party route to the White House, Sanders is the closest thing to a Democratic Socialist candidate that we’ve got.

Some of us feel that voting for anyone but Sanders or a third-party candidate in a general election would be a violation of the dictates of our conscience. We just can’t stomach the idea of voting for the lesser of two evils. In my opinion, this is a valid viewpoint. Even if we can’t bring ourselves to vote for a Corporate Democrat to prevent a Republican victory, we are still a legitimate voice in the movement against inequality.

Unlike the Tea Party, The American Spring is an organic movement that genuinely originates at the grassroots level. That’s why it is such a diverse movement with so many different perspectives. The movement against inequality isn’t funded and orchestrated by billionaires. It begins in the diverse daily lives of millions of people. The American Spring is a reaction to the millions of ways that inequality affects us every day. The millions of people involved in the movement against inequality are not primarily motivated by ideology, we are motivated by a desire for justice in our daily lives.

We are motivated by our desire to live without aggressive, brutal policing in our neighborhoods. We are motivated by a desire to enjoy the benefits of an education without being cursed by a lifetime of student loan debt. We are motivated by the desire to have access to health care without having to pay huge, unaffordable monthly premiums. We are motivated by the desire to have a decent job with a fair wage, not a job that consigns our family to poverty.

We don’t have to pick sides in this movement. We are all on the same side. We are all on the side of justice.

Fragments on Identity

There’s no more West left. I can’t pack my things and head across the plains in pursuit of a better life on a free plot of land.

There are no more decent jobs being created. Wages no longer rise. Health care is still out of reach. Student loan debt still buries us. Poverty remains entrenched.

The ruling class raped the economy with their incompetence.

Abundance is over. The gig is up.

Now I am beginning to understand that the American dream is a bankrupt dream.

No longer do we instinctively blame the sickening inequality in the nation on our own failures. Now we feel deeply that we have been robbed, that we are being robbed. We know that a profound change is necessary. Revolution begins to seem like a reasonable option.

We are taught to worship the Founding Fathers, but we dare not do what they did. We can’t be revolutionaries. We think there will only be one American Revolution.

But maybe there will be many American Revolutions.

After we displaced or killed the native population, there were enormous amounts of land for the taking. Working class people could move into the wide open spaces and hack away at the stolen land to create a better life for themselves and their descendants. This enormous space, this beautiful, abundant land, fueled America’s prosperity and growth. But there is no more land left for working class people. There is no more more prosperity and growth for the 99%.

I once thought Alaska was a new frontier. Like so many others, I wanted to go into the wild to seek abundance. But Alaska was bought up and commodified long ago.

I looked for a new frontier beyond the borders of the United States. The world is not just the ruling class’s capitalist empire, it’s the working class’s new frontier. Some of us fan out across the globe seeking a new beginning, a new beginning that was once sought in the American West.

One of the only ways I can assert control over my life is to cut my labor short and move on to a new job, in a new location. But my wages always stagnate, because I’m always overworked, and the job benefits are always pitiful, so it always become necessary to move on. I keep moving, if only to remind myself that I’m free, that I deserve better.

I’ve become a migrant laborer, constantly in search of a better life. Between jobs, I get a brief taste of freedom. Freedom from selling my labor to pay my debts. Freedom from wage slavery. A brief taste of freedom reminds me who I really am. When I leave a job, when I stop working for wages, even if only for a moment, for that moment I belong only to myself.

I won’t settle down because there is no longer anything worth settling for.

My community is a community of migrant laborers drifting on the undercurrents of inequality, always in pursuit of transitory freedom from capital.

I am alienated from my true self by transient wage labor so I am always seeking an identity. I attempt to forge a new identity in each place I land. In Alaska I wanted to be a wilderness adventurer. In Texas I wanted to be a rugged individualist. In Israel I became a pilgrim. I identify with a place and try to meld with a place.

What I am, briefly, becomes where I am. But then I move on, and the flimsy identity I tried to construct for myself is shattered, so I look for a new identity in a new place. Like migratory labor itself, my identity is tenuous.

I still seek abundance. I feel entitled to abundance. I want to possess places. But I can’t possess by taking physical possession since I have no money. I can only possess through experience.

Abundance is no longer material, abundance is experiential.

I will never stop looking for a dignified life beyond the cash nexus.

Dynasty

I was born in 1980. I’ve lived my entire life under the Bush-Clinton dynasties.

From 1981 to 2013, a total of thirty-two uninterrupted years, the Bush-Clinton families either occupied the White House or were close to the top of the list in the Presidential line of succession.

The Presidential line of succession defines who may become President if something happens to a sitting President.

The line of succession is an interesting way of looking at the problem on entrenched family political power. If you think of the line of succession as a crude ranking of political power in the US, then you can easily see how the Bush-Clinton dynasties have dominated the US political system during the last 35 years.

Here is the order of succession:

Vice-President
Speaker of the House
President pro tempore of the Senate
Secretary of State

Now let’s take a closer look at the Bush-Clinton dynasties and their place in the line of succession since 1981, the beginning of the Reagan administration.

From 1981 to 1989, George H.W. Bush, as Ronald Reagan’s Vice-President, was first in the line of succession.

From 1989 to 1993, George H.W. Bush was President.

From 1993 to 2001, Bill Clinton was President.

From 2001 to 2009, George W. Bush was President.

From 2009 to 2013, Hillary Clinton, as Obama’s Secretary of State, was fourth in the line of succession.

As you can see, during the last three and a half decades, the Bush-Clintons have established themselves as our ruling families. We may not be living under a traditional, hereditary monarchy, but we are not far from it. We live in a corporate oligarchy dominated by two families.

President Obama was forced to define his campaign in relation to the Bush-Clinton dynasties, but he did not repudiate their entrenched power. Obama had to defeat a Clinton in a grueling contest to win the Democratic nomination in 2008. Obama’s election was in large part a repudiation of a Bush. Obama appointed a defeated Clinton as his Secretary of State. Obama’s administration has been bookended by the Bush-Clinton dynastic feud. Obama’s years in office have been but a brief, unsatisfying interlude in the midst of decades of Bush-Clinton supremacy.

Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush are considered to be the two current Presidential frontrunners. If either of them were to win in 2016 and occupy the White House until 2025, then these two families will have been in power for nearly 45 years. That’s approaching half a century, not an insignificant amount of time.

If the 2016 Presidential contest becomes another contest between the Bush and Clinton families, then democracy will have been extinguished in this country, and we will be forced to helplessly witness another dynastic feud between our country’s two ruling families.

A Bush-Clinton contest in 2016 would be another restoration for entrenched family political power. I don’t believe I am being too alarmist if I say that a Bush-Clinton matchup in 2016 is a terrifying prospect.

Any sensible agenda for a political revolution in the United States must include the demand that we overthrow the Bush-Clinton dynasties. Simply put, we should not vote any more Bushes or Clintons into the White House.

This is not a personal attack on any of the individual members of the Bush-Clinton dynasties. I’m sure they’re all lovely people. What I am attacking is the existence of the Bush-Clinton dynasties. The existence of ruling families who monopolize political power through close corporate ties is incompatible with democracy. If the Bush-Clinton stranglehold on our political system hasn’t already destroyed the last vestige of democratic rule in America, it is certainly very close to doing so in 2016.

What we saw with the Obama movement in 2008, and what we are seeing come to fruition now with the Bernie Sanders movement, is a mass repudiation of the Bush-Clinton dynasties as well as a repudiation of the sickening social inequality that has defined the Bush-Clinton corporate dynastic era.

Right now we are fortunate to be taking part in the birth of an American Spring, powered by social media, an American Spring that is attempting to wrest political power from entrenched corporate and family control and put political power into the hands of the people.

The Koch brothers are not the only family whose power needs to be reigned in. A genuine political revolution in this country necessitates that the Bush-Clinton dynasties be overthrown as well. There is no hope for Democracy if these two families remain in power.

We declare our independence from the Bushes and the Clintons.

Bernie’s Gonna Win This Thing

Forget the media. Forget the essay. Forget O’Malley. Forget Inevita-Billary (Inevita-Billary: the peculiar condition that repeatedly causes millions of people to falsely believe that Hillary and Bill Clinton are an inevitability).

Bernie’s gonna win this thing.

It’s an undeniable fact of recent history that several long shot candidates have won the Democratic primaries. Jimmy Carter, Michael Dukakis, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama were all long shots. Bernie Sanders will win in 2016 and add his name to that list.

The media is clueless about who’s going to win. They don’t have the slightest idea. The pundits recite their mantra (Bernie can’t win, Bernie can’t win, Bernie can’t win) over and over again, ad nauseam, because they don’t know what else to say at this point. They have a narrative and they’re sticking to it. They won’t change their narrative until the world outside their cubicle, in the form of a political revolution, kicks them in their collective ass and forces them to snap out of their Hillary-induced trance.

No one, other than the media, is concerned about the essay Bernie wrote 43 years ago. We’re not concerned because we’re intelligent enough to discern that the essay is nothing more than a harmless, eccentric memento from Bernie’s youth. The essay is irrelevant. We’ve already moved on.

We’re not worried that Martin O’Malley has entered the race. He’s the dashing, tough-on-crime, former Mayor of Baltimore. Whatever he did in Baltimore didn’t work.

Apparently O’Malley has been dabbling in populism, but he isn’t exactly going to ignite a revolution. He’s not angry. He’s not raging against anything. He doesn’t inspire passion. He’s got upper-level management written all over him.

How is Bernie going to win this thing?

First he’ll win in Iowa.

Hillary hates Iowa. Iowa doesn’t much care for Hillary either. She finished third there in 2008. She’ll probably finish third there in 2016. Obama’s victory in Iowa in 2008 signaled the beginning of the end for Hillary. When Bernie wins Iowa in 2016, it will send the same signal all over again: Hillary is toast.

After Bernie wins in Iowa, he’ll win in New Hampshire, where he is already gaining ground.

With wins in Iowa and New Hampshire, Bernie’s campaign will become a revolutionary juggernaut that will steamroll him and his movement all the way into the White House. The Democrat Party and it’s superdelegates aren’t going to stop him. The superdelegates will get behind him once it’s clear that he’s winning in the state primaries. The Democratic Party may be a corporate party, but the Party and its superdelegates aren’t going to thwart the nomination of the rightful winner unless they want to destroy the Party and its credibility for the foreseeable future.

The Republicans don’t have a strong enough candidate to win in the general election against Bernie and his movement. Unless the Republican Party finds a way to re-animate Reagan’s corpse, they don’t stand a chance.

The mechanics of a Bernie Sanders victory in ‘16 are as simple and straightforward as the mechanics of Carter’s victory in ‘76, as Dukakis’s in ’88, as Clinton’s in ’92, as Obama’s in ‘08. These things just happen sometimes. Things don’t always work out according to the media’s plan. Things don’t always work out according to Hillary’s plan, for that matter.

History just has a way of surprising the hell out of Hillary and the media sometimes.

Bernie Sanders: Raging Against the Dying of the Light

Maybe all this campaign talk about a Political Revolution will fade away.

Maybe all the people buried under mountains of student loan debt, with no prospect for a rising income, and no health care, will resign themselves to their situation, live in quiet desperation, and let go of any hope they once had of effecting significant political change in their country.

Maybe all the working families living in poverty will give up their fight for higher wages. Maybe they will silently accept the social injustice that consigns them to toil away for pathetic wages while the plutocrats that exploit their labor grow more and more obscenely rich.

Maybe we Americans will go gently into that good night. Maybe we just don’t have the strength or the energy to fight any longer. Maybe the rich are meant to get richer and the powerful more powerful, and we the people have reached our peak. Perhaps stagnation and despair will be our eternal lot.

As the planet grows warmer and the rich grow richer, maybe we the people will forget our grievances, keep our mouths shut, accept our station in life, and let the billionaires have their way. After all, they’ve got all the money, they’ve got all the power, and maybe we just don’t stand a chance.

But I doubt it.

I believe we will continue to rage against the dying of the light. We won’t stop until we get our revolution. We won’t go gently into any good night.

Our demands will be met. We will keep organizing. We will keep raising our voices. Bernie will continue raising his voice for us. We won’t accept the fate that the billionaires have chosen for us. We won’t follow the media’s script any longer. The billionaires don’t own our future. We the people create our own future.

We know Bernie can win, despite what the media tells us. We know that if Bernie wins, the people win, and we know that if Bernie loses, the people lose. We know that the billionaires want Bernie to lose. And we damn well know that the billionaires want the people to keep losing. So of course the billionaires will continue to perpetuate the lie that Hillary is inevitable.

Hillary is not inevitable, and Bernie is the only candidate worth voting for if we want a political revolution. It’s nothing personal, but we aren’t in the mood for family political dynasties right now. With all due respect to the Bush family and the Clinton family, we would prefer not to have aristocratic family dynasties sitting on the throne any longer. We had a Bush-Clinton Presidential election already, 23 years ago, in 1992. We’ve had decades of Clintons and we’ve had decades of Bushes and we’re over it.

Nothing personal. We just don’t care for royalty. We fought a revolution once to overthrow dynastic family power, remember?

The billionaires are living it up now, but their days of unrestrained power over our lives are numbered. We’re not going to forget what they’ve done to us or what they’ve done to our planet. We’re not going to forget that they want to destroy our financial future and destroy our planet’s environmental future. We will never forget. We will never shut up. We will not go away.

Bernie has been raging against the dying of the light for his entire political career. And we will rage with him. And the billionaires will feel the Bern.

Revolution Now: 10 Reasons Why Activists Should Support Bernie Sanders

1. On Sanders’ Decision to Run as a Democrat

Sanders is running in the Democratic Party primaries for practical reasons. As a Democrat, he  can easily get on the ballot in every state, and he will be in all the debates. He’s not fulfilling some lifelong goal of joining the Democratic Party. He’s still an independent socialist.

There is no need to focus excessively on the fact that he’s running as a Democrat. It’s unfortunate that he has to run as a Democrat in order to run an effective campaign, but there is no viable third party route to the Presidency at this time.

Similarly, we needn’t make too much of the fact that Bernie caucuses with the Democrats in the Senate. Karl Marx would caucus with the Democrats if he were in the Senate. It’s just practical politics.

2. On the Need for Left-Wing Alternatives to the Democratic Party

There is no doubt that the Democratic Party is a big-business party. There is no doubt that we need to do the painstaking work of building left-wing alternatives to the Democratic Party.

But, much as we might need to build left-wing alternative parties, we have to face reality. The President is an important figure. Faced with a presidential election, we can either sit it out, or vote. If we vote, we should vote for the candidate who shares our ideals. For me, Bernie Sanders is that candidate. It’s not particularly important to me whether he runs as an Independent or a Democratic or a Rent-Is-Too-Damn-High candidate.

There is no doubt in my mind, however, that if we had a strong, viable Democratic Socialist Party, Sanders would be a member.

3. On the Fact that He Can Win

Sanders could win the election. It is entirely possible. He will be an effective voice against inequality during the campaign, and should he become President, he will be the most powerful activist on the planet.

There have been plenty of supposedly long-shot candidates who went on to win the Presidency.

4. On the Evolving Nature of Political Parties and the Possibility of Transcending Party-Affiliation

Yes, the Democratic Party in 2015 is a corporate party.

First though, it bears repeating: Sanders is not really a Democrat. He is running as a Democrat for practical reasons.

But, let’s just imagine for a moment that he was a converted, born-again Democrat. So what? The Democratic Party’s sordid history does not necessarily mean that every individual within the Party is thereby rendered ineffective and worthless.

Presidents often end up transcending their party affiliation. Sometimes history forces a President to rise above the gritty mechanics of party politics.

Parties also dramatically change character over time – look at the Democratic and Republican parties in 1860, compared to the present day, for example.

Again, we need not be overly concerned about Sanders’ pragmatic party affiliation. The Democratic Party is not going to trap all of us activists in its sinister snares.

5. On Revolution from Within

We need to start thinking about a revolution from within. We can use the political processes that have been bequeathed to us to our advantage. Instead of spending decades doing the slow and painstaking work of building left-wing alternative parties, we could work toward achieving a political revolution in the near future. Revolutions are a much swifter way to effect radical change.

It may be a waste of activists’ time and energy to spend decades building tiny, left-wing alternative parties only to see a socialist city councilor get elected in a left-leaning city here and there. Instead, we need to start thinking like revolutionaries.

Patience is not the strongest virtue of revolutionaries. We the 99% may just want our political revolution now. Not decades from now.

6. On Spending Precious Activist Time and Energy Campaigning for Sanders

Why should activists spend their time and energy campaigning for Bernie Sanders? Is it because we are naive youngsters who don’t know any better? Is it because we are ignorant of the Democratic Party’s sordid history? Is it because we don’t know the tawdry tale of what happened to Jessie Jackson’s and Dennis Kucinich’s supporters? How can we spend the next year campaigning for Sanders, when we should be spending that year quietly doing the slower, more painstaking, more important, more politically correct work of movement-building outside of the two-party system?

Our answer: we are going to campaign for Sanders because we believe he is a revolutionary candidate. The Sanders campaign has the potential to help facilitate a political revolution in this country.

Whatever expedites a political revolution will be worthy of our time and energy.
We’re thinking like Thomas Paine now. We’re moving beyond niche movement building, we want more than a few socialists on city councils. What we desire is to take back the country from the billionaires immediately.

We want our country back now. Not in 30 years.

7. On Immediate Independence from the Billionaire Class

Tell the revolutionaries in 1776 that what they need is to do slow and painstaking work to achieve independence from Britain gradually. Tell the slaves, and the abolitionists that what they need is to do slow and painstaking work to gradually end slavery.

No. What the American colonists needed in 1776, what the slaves needed in 1860, and what we need now, is a revolution – an American revolution, achieved through democratic processes, that brings about political independence from the billionaire class immediately.

8. On Bernie in the Here and Now

Right now, there is a shortage of viable left-wing alternatives to the Democratic Party. When such alternative parties exist, I’ll be happy to join. In the meantime, Bernie Sanders exists in the here and now, and he is calling for a political revolution here and now, and I will campaign for him and vote for him in the here and now. We don’t have time to wait for alternatives.

9. On Thinking in Revolutionary Terms

The prospect of a Sanders victory is not far-fetched if you think like a revolutionary. If the people want revolution, if the masses rise up and vote against inequality, then revolution is possible and a Sanders victory is obvious.

These days, a revolution in America is an imminent possibility.

10. On Bastille Day

The current political situation, because of the unprecedented inequality that exists in this nation, is volatile. As such, it is impossible to predict what might happen in the 2016 election.

The situation calls for big ideas and big solutions. Now is not the time to talk about the nuts and bolts of movement building and the slow and painstaking work of building alternatives to the two-party system.

To call for slow-motion movement building right now is like standing outside of the Bastille on July 14,1789, and telling the revolutionaries in the crowd that what they really need to do is to slowly, painstakingly build a new political party that will represent their interests.

No. What they needed to do on July 14th, 1789 was storm the Bastille.

Likewise: what we need to do in 2016 is storm our Bastille.

What They’re Really Saying When They Say Bernie Sanders Won’t Win

Media pundits, when they declare that Bernie won’t win, want us to believe that our history has been foreordained. The pundits, it seems, have been granted supernatural powers, powers that allow them to know exactly what the future holds for us. We need not bother creating our own future, since the pundits have already written it for us. We can just stay at home and watch the future that has been predicted for us unfold on our television screens.

The pundits passively predict our future. We spit on their predictions. We will go out and make history. Activists know that history isn’t written until after it’s been created. Hence the word Active-ist. Not Passive-ist.

When people say that Bernie won’t win, they are observing the American scene from a comfortable distance and declaring that the American people simply do not have the ability to alter the current political dynamic. We have reached a dangerous juncture in our nation’s history when many people seem to have completely given up on the possibility of influencing their future.

When we the people for Bernie Sanders say Bernie will win, we are saying that we are active agents involved in the making of our history. We have not given up on the possibility of creating our future. We the people for Bernie Sanders believe that if we elect an activist like Sanders to the highest office, we will be creating a better future.

Many of the targets of the billionaire class’s assault on the 99% don’t yet want to rise up and vote their oppressors out of office. Many of us feel like staying home on election day and cursing the system. But passivity will give way to activity. As the Bernie Sanders movement picks up more and more momentum, apathy will give way to enthusiasm. The pent-up anger and latent idealism of the 99% will find an outlet in Bernie’s campaign.

It’s remarkable to think of the extraordinary amounts of untapped power that we have available to us with our vote, and yet so many of us, the majority of us in fact, refuse to enact that power on election day.

We often hear the refrain that even if Bernie Sanders were elected President, nothing would change. He would only be gobbled up by the system and forced to compromise his beliefs. According to this line of thinking, it makes no difference who we elect President, the system is so rotten that every President is forced to sell out the minute they reach the Oval office.

History suggests, however, that Presidents do matter. I don’t think anyone could argue with the fact that Abraham Lincoln, and FDR, for example, made a substantial impact on the course of history. It’s ignorant to say that Presidents are nothing but a bunch of interchangeable sellouts. It’s also dangerous – the wrong President can make things much worse even than they are now.

So we are faced with two options. We can either use the political process to our advantage, and vote for the candidate who most closely aligns with our ideals. Or we can stay at home, curse the system, and wait for the day when the system is overturned in its entirety.

Personally, I think it is entirely possible to use the political process to our advantage. I believe we can take ownership of the system. I believe that Bernie Sanders will not sell out when he becomes President. I believe Bernie Sanders will be a revolutionary President because he will be an activist President. I believe it is critically important that he wins. I believe he will win. And I believe we are making history.

We Are Bernie Sanders

If Bernie Sanders becomes the next President of the United States, it will be more than an upset. It will be an American Revolution.

Bernie Sanders can’t win the election himself. Only we the people can win the election.

We, the people, by declaring Bernie Sanders our President, will win the greatest victory in the history of American politics, and with our victory we will create a new government of the people, by the people, and for the people. A victory for Bernie Sanders will be a new birth of freedom.

Bernie Sanders will bring our movement with him to The White House. In Washington, the power elite will look out their windows and see us marching. They will see us marching and they will know that we have declared, at last, our independence from the billionaire class.

Bernie Sanders is not a savior. No President can be a savior. The problems that we face can’t be fixed by a single individual. Only we can fix our problems, collectively, with a mass movement that brings about fundamental, systematic changes in American society.

We Americans have revolution in our blood. No matter what they tell you, remember that we are not complacent by nature, we are not helpless by nature, we are not passive victims waiting for our next President to be anointed by the power elite.

No, we will choose our fate. We will march in the streets. We will go out and vote in record numbers. We will take this country back from those who stole it from us.

We don’t need a miracle. We don’t need an upset. We need a revolution. Our votes will be the revolution. We are Bernie Sanders.

When Bernie wins in 2016, the billionaire class will be confronted by a teeming mass of people who are yearning to breathe free, with revolution in their blood.

One day, whether we are rich or poor, we will all have access to health care.

One day, rich or poor, we will all be able to go to college without becoming buried in debt for the rest of our lives.

One day, we will invest trillions of dollars to improve our country’s infrastructure and create millions of jobs instead of throwing away trillions of dollars and thousands of lives on needless wars.

One day, we will have the courage to face climate change and make a sincere effort to save our planet before it’s too late.

One day, we will all be able to exercise our right to marry.

One day, it will be self-evident to all that black lives matter.

One day, we will revitalize poverty-stricken neighborhoods long ago abandoned by capital.

One day, we will de-militarize the police.

One day, we will tear down the walls of the prison state and build a new nation of liberty and equality, where rich and poor alike will be free to pursue happiness.

But only a revolution will make our dream a reality. We are at a point in the course of American events when revolution becomes necessary. We must sever the destructive bond that chains the American political system to the billionaire class.

We believe in this country’s potential to radically transform itself. We will unite to overthrow the financial tyranny that oppresses us. We will not tolerate this sickening inequality any longer. We will win the election in 2016, and We Will Occupy The White House.

We declare that the American citizens, not the billionaire class, will henceforth be in charge of determining America’s future. We declare that a victory for Bernie Sanders is a victory for all the American people. We declare our commitment to the revolutionary, democratic spirit that beats in the the heart of all Americans, no matter their race or creed.

We declare that we will be free at last from the billionaire class’s grip on our nation’s future.

We will be free at last.

Occupy The White House

The Revolution

Bernie Sanders is a socialist in the US Senate, the most deliberative, prestigious body of government in a nation that is at the helm of a global capitalist empire. It is an act of political genius for someone to have accomplished such a feat in an era of neoliberal hegemony. He is obviously astoundingly good at politics, but he conceals his political skill with a gruff, grandpa-next-door demeanor.

A zealot is someone who is fanatical and uncompromising in pursuit of their ideals. Sanders is a socialist zealot. If you take the time to watch him speak, you will quickly come to realize that he is passionately driven by socialist ideals. That is to say, he is passionately devoted to justice.

Never before in the history of the United States has such a prominent, establishment political figure espoused such a radical economic philosophy in such a sustained and public manner as what you are about to witness in the months ahead.

The Bernie Sanders campaign is incredibly significant, and it is revolutionary.

There are some socialists and radicals out there who want to count all the ways that Sanders is not a true socialist. They say he isn’t radical enough. But the purists are missing the point entirely: Sanders is openly socialist, he is already in the Senate, and he is aiming for the Presidency. Socialism is out now, on the Presidential campaign trail.

Bernie Sanders is not confined to Zuccotti Park. Bernie Sanders is not confined to the pages of an online magazine or a left-wing scholarly journal.

To all the apathetic ones: Wake up and get with the program! Here is our candidate! This is the galvanizing figure we’ve been waiting for!

We don’t have to occupy Wall Street—we can occupy the White House.

The Disappointment

I understand that many people were swept up in the Obama campaign of 2008. But there are some crucial differences between the 2008 Obama campaign and what will be the 2016 Sanders Movement.

Obama’s election was a milestone for this country because of who he is, not because of what he believes.

Obama’s life story is fascinating, and his Presidency is significant, but his politics are mundane. He is only a caretaker for Capital.

In 2008, Obama tapped into the enormous potential for radical change that exists in this country.

Unfortunately, since 2008, what we have experienced is more useless and costly war, more wage stagnation, continued high unemployment, massive and unsustainable student loan debt, job insecurity, police brutality, enormous and unprecedented profits for the 1%, and still no affordable health care.

Obama did not bring a revolution to the White House. He didn’t even bring spare change.

The Message

Bernie Sanders’ life story, while it may be interesting, isn’t even remotely the point.

Bernie himself is not the point. We won’t vote for the man, we will vote for the ideas that animate the man. Ideas are the fire in the man. We will vote for the fire.

The beauty of Bernie Sanders is that he is nothing but a preacher. Nothing but a blunt mouthpiece for an idea that is much older, much grander, and much more important than any individual politician. Bernie is only an individual believer in a long line of believers in a collective ideology: the radical and humanistic ideology of socialism.

This makes him the most radically modest Presidential candidate in history. Like a stylite sitting atop his pillar and preaching at any passersby who will listen, his purpose is merely to convey the message.

He doesn’t want you to like him. He doesn’t want to hold your baby. He doesn’t need to earn his daddy’s respect. He doesn’t need to be the smartest or the suavest man in the room.

Bernie is a nobody, like you and me.

Come join the Party. We will win.