You've got the bumper sticker, you're in the Facebook groups, maybe you've even voted already. What if I told you, that's just the beginning?
By Michael Emero
May 13, 2016
Too often political 'support' or enthusiasm has consisted of people getting out their stats, debating the validity of polls, and arguing over potential odds of process minutia. Attention strays from policy and personal involvement to be refocused on endless dispute over what's possible, what's likely, and what can be predicted based on looking at the past. The situation gets re-framed around useless dialogue concerning who can win, how, and by what margin. This has been establishment media's biggest success- getting everyone to treat serious topics like just another story to chat about and 'follow' instead of making active choices about our own lives.
Did everyone forget that this is our country's highest office and collective futures at stake, not just some football game or horse race we're placing bets on? Did everyone forget that whatever is left of our democracy, we ended up with mainly because most of the populace treats it like a spectator sport?
I don't know about you, but I became a delegate, voted, donate and march for Bernie because his is the only reasonable, responsible, honest campaign running. He's the first public politician I can truly respect. Even if you firmly stick to establishment protocol, ignorantly believe the entirety of mainstream media propaganda, and even totally ignore every single one of his policy platforms, just the things he refuses to do makes him the obvious "lesser evil" as President. Constant war. Fracking. TPP. Social Security cuts. Building walls. He's the only one trying to get money out of politics, calling for accountability and transparency in government, and not on the Wall Street / Big Pharma payroll. This election should not just be about deciphering the latest poll data.
People of character and principle don't choose sides based on the dubiously 'likely' outcome; that's what bad voters and career establishment politicians do (and encourage others to do). I'm continuing to support Bernie regardless of the latest headline or hit piece because the choice is a complete intellectual and ethical no-brainer. I care about my kids' opportunities, I care about the planet, and I care that the runaway corporate capitalist status quo we're trapped in only gets worse from here, not better, unless something seriously changes. I'm not doing this to be on the winning team, or because success is publicly deemed likely. I'm in this because getting our democracy and government representation back is critical, crucial, and paramount to accomplishing everything else. To do anything else would be going against my own and this nation's best interests. Period.
If Rosa Parks decided to weigh the odds first and trust past experience, where would we be today? For all the energy that goes into these constant speculatory debates, we could instead be helping secure the result we want and need by phonebanking, Facebanking, canvassing, donating, or talking to friends and family. That's what actually determines the outcome, not this pointless armchair quarterbacking. We can keep rehashing the election fraud, closed vs open primaries, and various aspects of caucusing, or we can take our handicaps in stride like winners do and overcome them. Of course we know the current system is inherently unfair and corrupt- that's why we're fighting to change it.
I know us #BernieOrBust people have gotten a lot of flack through misunderstandings about our motives. I can't speak for anyone but me, but this isn't about sour grapes, cult of personality, or delusional optimism. It's about being responsible with my vote and voice, representing my integrity, following what I know to be right, and doing what our country and people desperately require even with full awareness of the risks of setback or temporary failure. Because to look myself and my children in the eye, I need to know I did all I could. If enough of us do likewise, that is how we win. That is how progress occurs.
Apathetic non-involvement is largely what got us here. As with every other major change in America, only dedicated commitment in the face of certain adversity can resolve it. History isn't made by bench-warmers or fans on the sidelines- what side of it do you choose to be on?