I understand the passion of the ‘Bernie Or Bust’ crowd. They’re like folks who’ve recently given up smoking or eating meat. They realize this New Way is better than the Old Way. Seriously better — and better for everybody, not just themselves.The New Way is clearly better and they want everybody to know it and embrace it.
Stop wrecking your lungs and the lungs of everybody around you. Stop eating meat and end the unsustainable and cruel practices of industrial meat production. Stop electing politicians who represent the interests of billionaires and corporations instead of the interests of the public. Just stop doing that shit.
But here’s the thing the Bernie Or Bust folks need to understand. Bernie can’t break up the big banks. He can’t make college education free. He can’t end income inequality, or reform campaign finance, or extinguish racism. Assuming he’s elected President of These United States (a consummation devoutly to be wished), Bernie can’t do any of that. He’d like to, but he just can’t. Not unless there’s a radical change in Congress — and friends, even if the Republican party continues to shit the bed and Democrats pick up an unexpected number of Congressional seats, it won’t be a radical enough change to allow President Sanders to do what he’d like to do.
Hell, Democrats were in the majority in the Senate when President Obama was elected, and Congress prevented him from closing the prisons in Guantanamo. You think they’re going to let Bernie break up the big banks? No fucking way.
So what can Bernie do if/when he’s elected president? He can make a start. Hell, even if he loses the nomination, he’s already made a start by mobilizing so many people. But it’ll be up to us — to the folks who believe in what Bernie believes — to do the grunt work of changing government. And we change government by voting. Not just in presidential primaries and caucuses, and not just in presidential election years, but voting in every goddamn election in every goddamn year. Vote in local elections, vote in state-wide elections, vote in off-year congressional elections, vote and work hard to get good people elected at every level of government.
You ‘Bernie or Bust’ folks tell me you support Bernie Sanders. Great. Then you need to actually support him. and what he believes. Here’s a True Thing: If you seriously make this claim:
then you can’t truly believe in this:
Not me — us. It’s not about Bernie as an individual. It’s about what Bernie believes. If you truly want to see Bernie’s vision of These United States come to fruition, then model yourself after Bernie. That man has been busting his ass for half a century to make this country fair and just for ordinary people.
You really want to support Bernie? Then think about what Bernie would actually want you to do. Work hard to get him the nomination. If we fail, then work hard to get Hillary elected. If we fail at that, then keep working and work harder. Work hard to elect people in your hometown, in your county, in your state.
It’s not about Bernie; it’s about us. If you think it’s just about Bernie, then you haven’t been paying attention. If you think it’s just about electing Bernie as a leader, then you haven’t been listening. He’s not just asking for us to follow him; he’s also asking us to shoulder our share of the burden. He’s making promises, but he’s expecting us to help him fulfill them.
Not me — us.