- Bernie’s endorsement of Hillary is nothing different than his endorsement of Bill in 1996. It’s purely a defensive move – protecting us from a RWNJ administration. Yes, it’s the lesser of two evils, but it might be worth it depending on how far Hillary “snaps back” to the right, and depending on how progressive her judicial appointment are. YOU DON’T HAVE TO DONATE TO HRC OR VOTE FOR HER (HOPEFULLY BERNIE WON’T GIVE THE DNC HIS LIST “OF US!”) BUT EITHER WAY, DON’T DISAPPEAR — that’s the main thing that the establishment and the media expect and want. Dig deep and keep making noise on social media, local meetings, at the national convention, during the election AND ESPECIALLY after the election. The struggle continues. [See #7]
- Consider joining Bernie in his brilliant political strategy to attempt to reform the corrupt Democratic party. It is the smart move to attempt to retake it and use it for the political change the people want and need. Let’s take it to Philly and make some noise. Let the establishment know that their days in power are numbered. Let them know we’re coming to reform the Democratic party or splinter it in the process. [See #7]
- Keep your leverage all the way until November. Don’t totally fall for the trumped up fear of Trump. The election is now a media and oligarchical side show. Don’t waste too much energy on it. HOWEVER, it would be great to get Jill Stein into the debates somehow. You can still vote Green or write-in Bernie — especially if the oligarchs and Hillary supporters stay in delusional denial. No matter what the outcome of the November election, our goal is to take over the Democratic Party or to displace it and start a new party. (See #7)
- Some “Party Platform” progress was made. However, not enough, AND party platforms are ignored by Democrats and Republicans. Policies that favor the oligarchs are coming under Clinton. We need to make noise about how Hillary has already ‘snapped back” to the middle and even to the right on a number of issues. Make noise before the election and after. If necessary, we can “primary” her ass in 2020.
- Continue to make noise about the rigged primary election process, especially with all the news being uncovered about the collusion. We should not let this be forgotten.
- Create/join a boycott of the ADVERTISERS of biased media and pundits.
- Join in building a FeelTheBern organization (that might become a future political party if the oligarchs block reform of the corrupt Democratic party). This organization needs to create a platform to which all candidates “pledge.” That will be a way for citizens to VET candidates so that we don’t end up supporting “mini-Hillarys” and “mini-Trumps.” This organization would also set up a funding mechanism that is sourced ONLY BY INDIVIDUAL DONATIONS. The organization also recruits and trains candidates at all levels of government.
- Convince Bernie to continue his leadership. He is a “once in a lifetime leader” and the necessary glue — in the near future — to keep FeelTheBern together so that it can continue its growth.
- Vote everyday by becoming part of the Shopulist Movement.
- If you’re a business with Lower True Cost attributes, let citizens know about it!
- Stay aware. Convince others to “wake up!” Donate to new FeeltheBern organization (which Bernie will announce soon). Volunteer. Run for office.
- Don’t disappear — that’s the main thing that the establishment and the media expect and want. Dig deep and keep making noise on social media, local meetings and at the national convention. The struggle continues.
- Keep an eye on the #FBIPrimary and other corruption that Hillary owns. Who knows? Strange things can happen in politics.
- Join Bernie in his brilliant political strategy to attempt to reform the corrupt Democratic party. It is the smart move to attempt to retake it and use it for the political change the people want and need. Let’s take it to Philly and get Bernie’s demands met. Let them know we’re coming to reform the Democratic party or splinter it in the process.
- Keep your leverage all the way until November. Don’t totally fall for the trumped up fear of Trump. You can still vote Green or write-in Bernie — especially of the oligarchs and Hillary supporters stay in delusional denial.
- Make noise about how Hillary has already ‘snapped back” to the middle and even to the right on a number of issues.
- Make noise about the rigged process, especially with all the news being uncovered about the collusion.
- Create/join a boycott of the ADVERTISERS of biased media and pundits.
- Join in building a FeelTheBern organization (that might become a future political party if the oligarchs block reform of the corrupt Democratic party). This organization (see The People’s Summit) needs to create a platform to which all candidates “pledge.” That’s will be a way for citizens to VET candidates so that we don’t end up supporting “mini-Hillarys” and “mini-Trumps.” This organization would also set up a funding mechanism that is sourced ONLY BY INDIVIDUAL DONATIONS. The organization also recruits and trains candidates at all levels of government.
- Convince Bernie to continue his leadership. He is a “once in a lifetime leader” and the necessary glue — in the near future — to keep FeelTheBern together so that it can continue its growth.
- Stay aware. Convince others to “wake up!” Donate. Volunteer. Run for office.
6.12.16 At this writing, Bernie has met with his advisers and announced that he will take his campaign to the convention. The People’s Summit will meet in Chicago later this week, while local Feel the Bern organizations will meet, or have already met all across the country. There’s been plenty of talk about the formation of a new progressive party which is understandable since the corporate media, and the smug Democratic establishment, continue to push the story that the left is inconsequential to the rule of their oligarchy. We shall see.
We’re very happy that Bernie will take his campaign all the way to Philly. We look forward to watching the Super Delegates vote, and to seeing the good fight for a more progressive platform. We also hope that Feel the Bern makes a great deal of “peaceful” noise using the proven nonviolent methods of MLK and Gandhi in front of the whole nation. If the coronation of Hillary can’t be stopped by the end of July, then we assume – because Bernie is a man of his word and he told the DNC that he would support the “winner” of the primaries (rigged or not) – that Bernie will “suspend” his campaign (ready to pick it up again should the FBI recommend indictment for Hillary before the general) and will work to defeat Trump.
While we understand Bernie’s commitment, many of us will not support Hillary because we are disgusted with her warmongering abroad and corruption at home—both of which are claiming countless lives–violently in bomb campaigns and more slowly through unemployment. We hope Bernie will commit to doing whatever it takes to GROW the Feel the Bern Political Revolution that his presidential campaign has started, whether it’s from the Oval Office, his Senate office or the offices of a new Feel the Bern Party or political organization.
First, why is Bernie’s continued leadership so important?
Bernie is a “once in a lifetime” candidate. His history is unique and inspiring. He’s been fighting this fight for decades. There is no one like him. THAT’S WHY WE NEED TO GO TO WORK RIGHT AWAY FINDING AND CULTIVATING citizens who are “like Bernie” and who Feel the Bern enough to get involved in the political revolution. Bernie understands this too, as we’ve been seeing him endorse, and split people-funded donations with, Berniecrat candidates like Marcy Kaptur, Rick Nolan, Tulsi Gabbard and others.
Progressive Fragmentation Makes Continued Leadership from Bernie Necessary
We don’t know what will happen in Chicago. But our experience on the local level with the Occupy movement in 2012 and progressive “cooperation” since then is that there is very little of it. Great organizations. Great issues. Great solutions. Great people. But they can never seem to “get together”—this is a problem that has hamstrung the left decades.
Unfortunately, the people who get things done are the neo-cons and Clinton.incs. Why? They unite. (In fact, they are like a phalanx!) They stay together, stay focused, and they win.
And above all, they think strategically in a big picture way. The left gets so silo’ed in its single issues (labor, black lives matter, environment, women, LBGTQI, etc): These are all INTERCONNECTED. We must keep this big-picture, interconnected view, and from there, we need to plan smart.
Bernie gives us a “once in a lifetime” chance to stay interconnected! That’s why it’s so important that he continue to lead the way. If you look at the “Issues” tab on his 2016 campaign web site he about covers it all – in ONE CAMPAIGN. Hopefully, he can help us create an umbrella organization that serves as the infrastructure for progressives to “get things done politically.”
In fact, what we are fighting also comes under an umbrella: the TPP. The TPP threatens all life on this planet– environment, labor, income inequality, black lives matter, women, LBGTQI, etc—all through corporate control that we the people must dismantle.
There’s one more obstacle we face that Bernie’s continued national leadership will address.
CADD (Citizens Attention Deficit Disorder)
This real phenomenon makes continued leadership from Bernie necessary. Because of our busy lives and constant media stream that bombards us, we the people have limited attention spans, and once a big presidential election cycle is over, our interest drops off the charts. That’s why the oligarchy and NeoLibs are so adamant that Bernie drop out now – they know that the interest & attention of many Bernie supporters will quickly go away once he’s “out of the race.”
Call it the “game syndrome.” We like games, races, competitions, contests, battles… and we like to see the results. When they “end” we naturally want to move on. WITH BERNIE AT THE HELM, AND WITH NATIONAL, ISSUE TO ISSUE, CAMPAIGN BATTLE PLANS, we might be able to keep America interested and keep the heat on the political system to bring about necessary change. Americans want “contests and competition of ideas,” let’s give them just that.
If Bernie keeps the Political Revolution in high gear, we’d be looking for the 67% Solution.
Bernie’s Political Revolution can be described as the people taking back their political & economic power and saving the planet on which they live. Instead of pitchforks and torches, the revolution (which we call the 67% Solution) starts with an understanding of the people’s power to make change. Though the U.S. Constitution is a living document with obvious flaws to overcome, it is also a great gift that allows citizens to dissent and even to change laws without great fear of the loss of life & limb. The 67% Solution is simply the amount of support needed to amend our Constitution and for Congress to pass laws that withstand Executive Branch veto. Bernie’s Political Revolution will use the rules of the game to change the game for the good of the game.
A “correction in direction” of policy in America will come when we as citizens make it clear to the oligarchy that we understand the power that we have “together,” and that we will use that power for necessary change. We also make it clear that if the people’s needs are not met, the reasons for us to peacefully congregate and cooperate will be gone.
From the Ground Up
So, after just writing that we need a “top down leader” like Bernie (WHICH WE DO} you’re wanting to remind us that Bernie would say political revolutions and change ALWAYS HAPPENS FROM THE BOTTOM UP. And that’s true! However, in this case, we need Bernie to keep this thing together while we establish the ground up philosophies and infrastructure to get the job done.
What might that “ground up” Political Revolution look like?
Let’s assume that we want to find, develop, support and elect candidates who are “like Bernie” at the local, state and national levels. Let’s call them Berniecrats (for now).
After following Bernie’s Political Revolution for more than a year, it appears that there are four basic things that would make a Berniecrat:
1) A Berniecrat cannot be bought (except by the people). Berniecrats accept donations only from individuals.
2) A Berniecrat actively supports issues that will save our representative democracy.
3) A Berniecrat actively supports policies that will save the planet.
4) A Berniecrat will fight inequality in all its forms.
More specifics on the traits of a Berniecrat below.
Should there a Berniecrat party?
One day there will probably be a Berniecrat party (or a New Progressive Party or a variation of the Green Party, etc.), but we can start out by having Berniecrat Democrats, Berniecrat Greens, Berniecrat Independents, etc. Bernie will attempt to influence the 2016 Democratic Party Platform with Feel the Bern policies. Who knows how successful he will be in influencing the Democrats. Whatever the outcome, we hope that Bernie will announce specific plans regarding reform of the Democratic party or the formation of a new party later this summer.
If there is no Berniecrat Party, immediately we must form a political organization that does most of the work of a political party: 1) writes a platform that is debated and voted upon annually and that candidates pledge to support (see Bernie’s campaign Issues on line); 2) coordinates vetting and ratings and endorsements of Berniecrat candidates; 3) coordinates fund raising (from individuals only); 4) coordinates candidate & staff training for primaries, campaigns and political action at local, state and national levels; 5) coordinates political action (a few issues at a time – this is another area where Bernie will be instrumental in the near future) at local, state and national levels; 6) and more…
So, let’s say I’m a Democrat Berniecrat running for office at any level. What does that mean?
- It means I was vetted, rated and endorsed by the Berniecrat organization (just like other organizations use ratings and endorsements). My rating was based on my record relative to, and my pledged support of, the National Berniecrat Platform (which could use as it foundation the policies and programs that Bernie proposed during the 2016 campaign).. Citizens could then feel confident that I truly Feel the Bern and am not another establishment politician.
- I was trained by the Berniecrat organization and my local campaign was integrated with state and national campaigns.
- I was funded by individual donations ONLY with the help of the Berniecrat digital fund raising infrastructure.
- I pledged (just like other organizations use pledges) to adhere to the Berneicrat platform in my representative votes (unless there are extenuating circumstances),
Who knows what future Bernicrat platforms will look like, but based on Bernie’s 2016 Presidential Campaign, here are four basic things that I must pledge to make me a Berniecrat:
1) I cannot be bought (except by the people). I pledge that all of my campaign funds come from individuals and/or public funding where available. Organizations that support me can ask their members to send me individual donations if they wish.
2) I actively support issues that will save our representative democracy and that will create a fair and true competition of ideas. Once we re-create a fair and unsuppressed representative democracy, we can work to build a sustainable and equitable future.
Some other possible platform policies regarding the protection & expansion of our representative democracy:
- All private money out of politics except small donations from individuals
- Total public financing and time limits for campaigns
- No money allowed in lobbying; the industry is limited to public lobbying only; and no member of government can work as lobbyist for a decade after public service.
- Eliminate voter suppression laws
- End Gerrymandering
- Increase election fraud security
- Introduce some sort of proportional representation, creating and sustaining better representation than the current two-party system offers
- Eliminate the Electoral College
- Create voting day holidays and other innovations that make voting easier instead of harder.
- Consider mandatory voting
3) I actively support policies that will save the planet.
There can be no compromise here or any wasting of time. The people now realize that the Earth is our lifeboat and there was no rescue ship coming to save us. Our attitudes need to change to fit that reality–much like the attitudes and rules of a lifeboat lost at sea. There can be only one ultimate goal = stopping the destruction of the planet by human activities (mostly the result of capitalism gone mad).
Potential future goals of Berniecrats regarding the protection of all life on our planet:
- Zero pollution
- Zero extinction caused by human activity
- A massive clean up of past pollution
- A massive “give back” of land and habitat to other species
- Invest in the economic boom that will result from finding the replacements for planet-destroying products & services.
- Institute True Cost Capitalism – where the ALL the costs of business must be paid – in other words, no negative externalities.
- Institute Global Law & Order treaties to make sure all nations protect their citizens and natural habitats AND making sure that corporations and the oligarchy have no where to hide.
4) I will fight inequality in all its forms.
Most of Bernie Sanders Political Revolution policies revolve around fairness and addressing injustice (from his 2016 Presidential Campaign web site):
- Income and Wealth Inequality,
- Free College Tuition,
- Create Decent Paying Jobs,
- A Living Wage,
- A Fair and Humane Immigration Policy,
- Racial Justice,
- Affordable Housing,
- Women’s Rights,
- Creating an AIDS and HIV-Free Generation,
- LGBT Equality,
- Empowering Tribal Nations,
- Caring for Our Veterans,
- Medicare For All,
- Strengthen and Expand Social Security,
- Lower Prescription Drug Prices,
- Disability Rights,
- Ending the Race to the Bottom,
- Rights of Native Hawaiians,
- Improving the Rural Economy,
- Fighting for Nurses,
- Reforming Wall Street,
- Real Family Values,
- War and Peace,
- War Should Be the Last Option: Why I Support the Iran Deal,
- Making the Wealthy, Wall Street and Large Corporations Pay Their Fair Share.
In the future perhaps Berniecrats can also work on the following issues of economic fairness:
Fair Starts – We’re all born owning a piece of the rock. We’re all guaranteed living income in a fair trade for our labor. The risk of inequality baked into the system (and into some of our human nature) are continuously guarded against and compensated for.
Fair Competition – Capitalism still exists with new and strict rules. If citizens want to spend their time and effort becoming “rich” by accumulating capital, they still can! They just have to do it within the rules of the game, which will be more strict in order to save the planet and its citizens from abuse and extinction.
A True Cost capitalism is created (no business can be done without paying for the True Cost of that business, or in other words, no negative externalities are allowed). Totally open value streams are required. No more head starts for corporation or individuals.
The rich and corporations pay their fair share in taxes. Global Law & Order treaties leave the rich and corporations no place to hide — there are no tax havens, no escaping environmental protection responsibility, or escaping the responsibility of treating workers fairly and keeping them safe. People’s Corporations are created to meet basic needs of citizens. A true meritocracy is created.
Fair Finishes – Inheritance is extremely limited for individuals, in order to avoid the creation of a ruling or upper class – this is key to a true meritocracy. Some people can be wealthy, but everyone must have enough to live comfortably. We see this now in Northern Europe, where health and quality of life is so much better. Corporations life spans are limited and their sizes are limited. Trust-busting is common place.
This is just one vision of what the future may hold if we’re lucky enough to have Bernie continue his leadership. I know that I would donate, volunteer, phonebank, canvas and vote for Berniecrat candidates at all levels of government if they stood for the same issues as Bernie.
The struggle continues. Feel the Bern!
Friday, March 20, marks the Spring Equinox… Equal Night… one of the two moments every year when night and day are equal…the start of spring! Happy Spring, where hope runs eternal.
Spring training is now in full swing. We’re in the middle of the first week of the NCAA tournament where 68 (used to be 64) teams get whittled down to 16 (in the seven days from Selection Sunday to Sweet Sixteen Sunday). Daylight Savings Time & St. Patrick’s Day hangovers are nearly over. And soon the snows from this crazy winter will be gone.
Funny how things balance out. The universe seems to want to it that way. And for the most part, so do we. We don’t like it when things are out of balance. We strive to make things fair. Especially when it comes to our sporting events and games.
If there’s one thing that Americans can agree on, it’s a fair game. For good or worse, we as a culture are obsessed with sports, and to most of us, fairness and a level playing field are sacred. Americans love to compete. We play to win. And although we may root for different teams, most of us hate cheating and unfair advantages. We won’t stand for a rigged game. We hate unfair competition. So with balance and fairness in mind, we ask you a couple questions:
[socialpoll id=”2156237″ type=”set”]
Last March, I was having dinner with a friend and her father. And even though religion and politics are still not considered polite conversation, our discussion turned to the changing demographics in America and the fear that it sparks in many older white Americans. (It was just a few months later that America By The Numbers with Maria Hinojosa — an excellent show about the changing demographics in America — premiered on PBS.) I’ve been aware of shifting demographics for quite some time, but was surprised at the concern that was expressed. Fear really is the enemy of a democracy and of a dinner date. But then, as the waitress brought me the steak and asparagus that I had ordered, I got hopeful. For some reason, I thought of “fish fries.” That’s right, “fish fries,” and I felt a wave of hopefulness.
Most Americans, even if they’ve never attended one, have at least heard of a fish fry. They’ve become very popular with local print and broadcast news in the Heartland. I guess because they have nothing better to cover, local media produce numerous guides, directories and features about fish fries every spring.
Fish fries have always been popular in the Midwest and Northeast, especially in Roman Catholic communities, and especially on Fridays during Lent when abstinence from meat was/is required. But fish fries can be found in any community in any region and religious affiliation is unnecessary. Throughout the years, many restaurants have had fish specials on Fridays, but my memories are of parish and community fish fries. A great way for the community to come together and for an organization to make a little money.
Back in 1960s, when I must have attended my first fish fry, the standard menu consisted of battered or breaded fried fish served with french fries, coleslaw, lemon slices, tartar sauce, ketchup and some sort of dessert. The fish was usually “God’s Cod,” but I remember Jack Salmon — not salmon at all, but a cool name for walleyed pike, a large game fish pulled from the lakes and rivers of the northeast.
In German areas, like south St. Louis where I grew up, beer was/is the beverage that “pairs best” with fish fry fare. Sometimes there were potato pancakes with sour cream and applesauce and maybe a slice of rye bread. In St. Louis, you could find mostaccioli as a side dish along side the mac & cheese thanks to the Sicilians who came to the city in the early 20th century.
Of course, the south invaded a while back bringing catfish and cornmeal batter, along with hushpuppies and cheese grits as sides. Up the river from NOLA came snapper, shrimp, Jumbalaya and Louisiana hot sauce.
So you can see where I’m going here and why I was feeling hopeful last spring thanks to fish fries. Fish fries in Gateway are showing a more gentle and tasteful swing in demographics.
Fish fries have been around for a long time. Certainly Native Americans came together and cooked big fish dinners for the whole community long before the rest of us got here. Over the years, different ethnic groups have brought great recipes to the classic fish fry menu. Today, here in Gateway, one of the most popular fish fries is the Mexican Fish Fry at St. Cecilia’s Catholic Parish. It’s so crowded that people order and schedule pick up online! On their menu: salmon, cod, shrimp, chile relleno, tostada, quesadilla, chips and pico de gallo, tamales, and sometimes, fish tacos!
Yes, I’m hopeful — and I’m getting hungry! Fish fries are part of our heritage in the Heartland (good health or not), and they’re still going strong. You can still get “God’s Cod” battered and fried with the same sides that were served in 1964, but you can also get flavors from around the world! You’re still at a fish fry! You’re still in America. And you’re still in good company!
Who knows what a fish fry will be like in 50 years. The writers and producers at Gateway-TCR are thinking about fish fries (and other things) in 2064,1964 and today. We’re practicing a “careful futurism” as we build the sustainable stage upon which the Gateway-TCR stories will be told. That means we’ll be looking back as much as we look forward. -50 | 0 | +50, our method of careful futurism, compares the change in POV from 1964 to 2014 and then uses it as a governor for predicting what the community will be like in 2064. What will fish fries look like in the future? Will they be more healthy? Will influence and recipes come from China, Japan, Korea, South Asia, South America, Africa? Will we live in stronger and more just communities? Won’t America be even stronger because of our diversity? We can only hope and pass the tartar sauce.
It doesn’t look good, and many don’t believe we can save ourselves? We do. On the road to Gateway…