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.
Sanders Political Revolution (from his 2016 Presidential Campaign web site): Getting Big Money Out of Politics and Restoring Democracy (overturning Citizen’s United)
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).
Sanders Political Revolution (from his 2016 Presidential Campaign web site): Combating Climate Change to Save the Planet
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!