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The Awe-Inspiring Political Revolution of Bernie Sanders

Written by Cindy A Matthews

 

In 1932, a former Democratic governor of New York, named Franklin D. Roosevelt, was given a slim chance of winning his party’s nomination for the presidency. He campaigned hard (and history tells us just how physically grueling it was for him as a polio sufferer) but he arrived at the convention without the necessary two-thirds of the delegates needed to win on the first ballot. After promising the vice-presidential position to Speaker of the House John Nance Garner, Roosevelt “garnered” the necessary delegates to swing the nomination on the fourth ballot.

 

That contested convention led to FDR becoming the Democratic nominee four times and president for twelve years–a record which stands to this day. Roosevelt was seen as a maverick (just as Bernie Sanders is) because he proposed that America could only overcome the economic crisis of the Great Depression by allowing the federal government to play a bigger role in resuscitating the economy. By easing the burden of ordinary Americans, unemployed and standing in soup lines, FDR’s “New Deal” would grant opportunities to all to thrive and prosper.

 

Many forget that FDR “nominated” (or endorsed) his opponent Al Smith on the first round of the convention in 1932, yet it was Roosevelt who eventually got the nod and went on to win the presidency four times. Eighty-four years later, we seem to have forgotten just how contentious Democratic conventions are. We can blame this on poorly-written history texts, but the majority of the blame rests on the mainstream media of today and how it attempts to color the process in order to please the parties. Modern major political parties want everything at the convention to look “perfect” and “calm” and “unanimous,” but history shows they were anything but and we know human nature hasn’t really changed.

 

But why does blame rest on the mainstream media for this false sense of how politics is played out in front of voters? Simply put, it’s because they keep a lot of the actual facts to themselves and present only what they feel the public needs to know. Ninety percent of what Americans watch, read or listen to in the realm of “news” is owned by six corporations. These handful of corporate media owners don’t appreciate candidates who point out the vast sums of money they give to other candidates in order to maintain their media monopolies, which Bernie Sanders and his “Berniecrats” have repeatedly pointed out. So, corporate media just doesn’t cover stories about progressives, hoping the voters remain in the dark.

 

The major political parties in the U.S. are quite partial to these corporate media funds, too. They don’t want voters to know how much they’re influenced by these big six corporations, but it has become obvious over time, as paid-for politicians are quick to do their corporate masters’ bidding. For example, Time Warner, parent company of CNN, is listed as Hillary Clinton’s eighth largest donor, just behind Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs. (http://www.opensecrets.org/politicians/contrib.php?cycle=Career&cid=N00000019)  Why would CNN say or do anything that would upset their bought-off candidate and jeopardize their “in” with her? Corporate media does as they’re told so the laws remain in their favor, not the public’s favor.

 

But the corporate media’s attempt to trick us into thinking Bernie Sanders’ run for the White House is over has failed. Historians and informed voters know better. Here’s why: as per DNC rules, a candidate with an active campaign (and Bernie’s campaign has not been suspended) is not allowed to deny the endorsement of another campaign. Doing so would result in forfeiture of said candidate’s superdelegate status and loss of access to the convention floor stage. In other words, in order to take the stage and speak to the entire convention in Philadelphia, Bernie has to play the DNC’s game in regards to the “presumptive nominee” and “endorse” her. Franklin D. Roosevelt did likewise in 1932 so he could address the convention, too, and he went on to win the nomination and the presidency by a landslide that same year.

 

See how the game is played?

 

To use a tired cliché, “It ain’t over ’til the fat lady sings.” Bernie Sanders promised his supporters he would take us to the convention. His surrogates have been fighting hard these past few weeks to bring about a progressive platform to present to the Democratic Party and they have achieved many successes. Bernie’s 1900+ delegates have been contacted and asked if they need assistance in getting to and from the convention in Philadelphia. He wants everyone to be there because he’ll need them when the roll call begins. These aren’t the actions of a someone who has given up, but of a player who is still very much in the game. To return to the cliche, the “fat lady” hasn’t sung and taken her final curtain call yet, but it could be coming soon.

 

The over-arching strategy of Bernie Sanders and his progressive Political Revolution is awe-inspiring. It will only become more so in the next few weeks. Watch and see for yourself.

 

Bio: Cindy A. Matthews is a freelance writer, novelist and editor of The Bernie Blog. http://bernie2016.blogspot.com

About the author

Cindy A Matthews

Cindy A. Matthews is a freelance writer, novelist and editor of The Bernie Blog. http://bernie2016.blogspot.com

8 Comments

  • Climate Change, Alliances and an end to capitalism.

    Here we go. It’s time for a change. A real change. For all life on earth. Climate Change is going to consume,us. War and hatred are going to consume us. The never ending war for resources is going to consume us. Unless we act yesterday.

    I’ve had enough of it. Up to my eyeballs with it. I want something different. I’ve worked all my life for peace and freedom. I finally get to self actualization and it all seems pointless. The Buddhists search for nirvana, inner and outer peace, pure peace and enlightenment. It’s their quest. Their holy grail. I get there only to find that everything that I have worked for, everything that I’ve done to bring people together, to improve lives, to protect nature was worthless.

    After 50 years of integration Britain decides to BREXIT. Silly people.

    The hard right, the conservatives, the fascists, the capitalists and the neo nazis have won. Well this little victory anyway. Fascism is alive in Europe, once again, from Yugoslavia to Le Penn.

    The Russians hate Islam and created a war to occupy Afghanistan. The British and USA took over. All got their arses kicked. Was it worth it? All that it has unleashed? 30 years of Russian occupation, 20 years or more of US/UK occupation and now still no end in sight. What was the point? War just creates antagonism, hatred, polarization and extremism.

    Then we had the end of the Soviet Union. The break up of the old states. Yugoslavia disintegrated. Thank you Thatcher, thank you Reagan – not. This was followed by the shock doctrine, the loss of Gorbachev and Shevardnadze, poverty and hardship in Russia and then Putin. We are now living with that legacy.

    Thanks Germany for wading in and recognizing Bosnia Herzegovina – not. It was too soon. This was followed by the emergence of extreme politics which then led the Serbians to fascism. Instead of the Jews it was the turn of Muslims. Thanks -not.

    There was more polarization, hatred, division and then deaths. Hundreds of thousands killed. Mass killings, mass graves in Europe once again. Srebreniza was a horror. A city under siege and 40,000 people killed, men, women and children. Then the camps emerged. We saw the pictures of the barbed wire and the emaciated bodies. The final solution was next.

    Fortunately, eventually, a little too late for Srebreniza. The USA/UK and allies intervened. I am a peacenik but not a pacifist. Sometimes, just sometimes, war is necessary. This in my view was a just war, a necessary war. The very last just war. I would like to see an end to war. All war. The demilitarisation of armies, navies, airforces and police forces. I want to see missiles, bombs, bullets, guns, swords turned into ploughshares. However, we don’t live in that world just yet. But we could, if we wanted. As Gil Scott Heron said “If all the people that say they believe in peace, believed in peace, we’d have peace.” Now is the time for peace. No war with China. No war with Russia. No war in Turkey. Too many people have died already in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya,and Syria. Don’t let Turkey be next.

    I’m a socialist, an eco socialist but if we have to trade to keep the peace. Then let’s trade. If that’s what people really want. But let’s trade on equal terms. Trade to improve peoples lives around the world. Let’s use it to end hunger and poverty, for peace and humanity.

    Economic globalization based on US, Chicago School of Economics, or neo-liberalism , the revolutionary capitalism and hegemony of Reagan and Thatcher has divided the world.
    What they started as revolutionary capitalists and anti communists has split our world. People have more things, at least in the West, and the rest of the world has lost. Nature has lost. The planet has lost.

    Now we are in a new phase. The fascist phase. From Zhirinovsky in Russia, Kaider in Austria, Jean Marie le Penn in France.

    In UK, BREXIT, Boris Johnson, Michael Gove, Ian Duncan Smith, Kate Hoe, Nigel Farage, UKIP, EDL, BNP, NF, and the others such as White Wolves and Combat 18. All this led to the death of Jo Cox MP, a defender of Human Rights and Refugees across the globe. We are in a new phase.

    We have Marine le Penn and the National Front in France. Austerity promoted by Christine Legarde and the IMF in Italy, Spain, Portugal and Greece.

    There is a genocide against Islam in Afghanistan, Iraq, Iraq, Libya and Syria.

    The disregard of Burundi. The US police force and black people. Trump and now Theresa May in UK.

    The hatred within the British Conservative Party, Hungary and other Eastern European states for refugees fleeing war. The disregard for Human Rights and UN Conventions on Refugees. The deaths of thousands fleeing war, famine and poverty in the Middle East and Africa., drowned in the Mediterranean. The attempted prevention of legal travel from one European country to another.

    So where are we now?

    The world needs something different. We all need something different. The planet needs something different. We only have one planet and it’s resources are finite. We are destroying it for ourselves and for future generations that is if Climate Change doesn’t destroy us first.

    So what do we do?

    We have a climate crisis. It’s here and it’s now. It’s not future generations that will tackle climate change. It’s not our generation. It’s the past generation. We failed. Me too. I’m sorry. I tried. I tried really hard but failed. So what can we do now. The least we can do is look after each other, care for each other and love each other until it all unfolds.

    I suppose that there might be a possibility of saving all life on earth by staying below 2*C. I just don’t see it. The current prediction is for a 6*C rise in global mean temperature by the end of the century. 2*C is important because above it all life on earth will cease. We are currently around 1.3”C above pre industrial levels. The population of the earth is around 7.5 billion. The UN predicts a peak in population of around 11 billion because above this figure there just physically isn’t room for people or for the agriculture that would be required. It’s estimated that the sustainable population for the planet to cope and regenerate is 2 billion. Some people think that there are too many people in the world. I don’t subscribe to this idea. There are just people and we need to love and care for each other and deal with it. We need to be responsible and have less children. Eat less meat and more fruit and vegetables, maybe eat a little less too. If we can be responsible, consume less and keep below 2*C. There’s a chance of survival.

    Some people believe in hope. They hope we can tackle Climate Change, tackle population rise, tackle consumerism and tackle greed and capitalism. However, I have a view on hope:

    Hope is when people feel powerless. They have a seemingly insurmountable problem or problems and they hope that it will all come good. They believe that some magic solution will come from somewhere and solve it for them.

    I don’t think magic exists and hope is an illusion. Reality exists. It’s what we do that makes things happen. It’s what we do that makes change, real change. The change that needs to happen. You can only do it for yourself, for your friends or for your family or together for the world we want to see.

    The ability to think, dream and imagine is essential. The skills to theorise are necessary. But only actions change things. Human beings working together for the change they want to see. However, action without thought is pointless. Theorising without action worthless. Think-theorise-act-reflect-think-act again-reflect/learn-theorise again. PRAXIS. For me it’s the only meaningful change. We haven’t got much time. Turkey is on the brink. Trump and Clinton will go to the polls in November, France will have a presidential election soon, Greece, Spain, Portugal, Italy and the world need our help. Come meet me, let’s enjoy each other and theorise and act together. Just say hello, hola, bonjour, merjaba, ni hao whatever works for you.

    Let’s act for peace, humanity, human rights, nature and love. Let’s save the planet together.

    Capitalism has had it day. It’s failed. It’s brought austerity. It’s brought wars, division and hatred. Let’s ditch it.

    Let’s build some alliances. Social Democrats, Socialists, Communists, Greens, caring people from anywhere, all of us. Let’s work it out and let’s sort it. For peace, humanity and the planet.

    To me humanity and nature are all. We all have a life. We all a point. Tigers, bears, monkeys, kakapos, lemurs, eagles, wrens, bats, sharks, tuna – all. Even mosquitoes. I’m actually not really sure what their point is but they must have one. They are annoying and parasitic. They spread disease such as malaria and dengue fever. There’s a new one now, the zica virus. To me mosquitoes are the capitalists of the natural world. I don’t see their point but they exist.

    It’s a bit like Ebola. It’s been around for a long while. I don’t know where it came from but it’s nasty. We managed to eradicate smallpox and polio. Maybe Ebola, HIV, and racism are next. Then who knows. Maybe long, happy, healthy lives.

    We can deal with disease so maybe we can deal with capitalism, fascism, the neo nazis, racism, division and hatred.

    To the left. If you believe in peace please stop polarizing. Stop hating. Stop trying to destroy. Stop being negative. Freedom and peace are positive things. Believe in them. Live them. Enjoy them. They’re infectious. They’re like love – the way we love our families, our friends, it’s unconditional ans spreads like wildfire. Engage positively, peacefully, show your affection for life. reflect upon it, theorise it, engage with it then act with it.

    To the old school Marxist/Leninist, Trotskyites, Maoists. Your time is over. Marxism, Socialism, life has moved on. It is ever changing, we are ever changing. Life has changed over the last 100 years. The world has changed and the planet has changed. Work with it please don’t try and control it and us.

    For those that believe in a Bolshevik style revolution and dictatorship of the proletariat. Don’t do it. Trust us, trust yourselves. Don’t replace one ideological control with another. It isn’t going to work.

    I don’t believe in leaders, supermen or superwomen who think for me. I can think for myself, I can do by myself and I can organise with others equally thank you. My leaders are there because they have organisational experience and relationships with people built over years. For this I can trust them to do what we want and what they say they will do. Not because they look pretty, have nice hair and wear a nice dress or suit.

    I vote for Corbyn, McDonald, Cat Smith and the whole team because I trust them. I work with socialists, communists and greens. I want to work with PODEMOS, maybe Syriza, Bernie Sanders, US Greens, Al Gore, even Merkel. I want to assist the Turkish liberals and left if I can. All with humanity with a view to harmonious cooperation based on mutual trust.

    The happiest time of my life was when I was about 8 years old, on a Sunday with my family. My sister, my mother and my father watching TV, reading books, eating some sweets and parched peas. Just feeling pure love. I have felt it as an adult with my friends in London too.

    In terms of safety, acceptance, love and joy I found that in China and Nicaragua. I want to feel it everywhere I go.

    In terms of nature, it was at sea watching flying fish, turtles, whales, dolphins and sharks in the Caribbean. In the forests in Norway. In rain forest and cloud forest in Central America. Up mountains in the lake District UK.

    What a world we have.

    It took a long time for women to get the vote in UK, thanks suffragettes, it took us a while to build the Labour Party, and a welfare state with full employment, thanks Kier Hardy and the Unions, It took us a long time to end apartheid, thank all of us , it took us a long time to get equality for gay people, thanks everyone, it’s capitalisms turn next, we’ve come this far, not long to go now, don’t loose sight. Be positive. Make the change. Then we can deal with Climate Change.

    The mosquitoes are against us. It’s time to tame them and clean them up. It’s time to organise and work for peace, social justice, equality and love.

    So try and love me because I really want to love you.

    Jaz x

  • I don’t think he “sabotaged” anything, Walter. He did as he’s promised–and he’s not conceded yet. He had to get on the “good side” of the Dem machine so he could rally his delegates (and then some) at the convention. If he had to act nice to HRC for a day, he did it and it’s over now. The Berniecrats are running for office, Bernie’s fundraising and campaign for them and his new Our Revolution group… The movement he inspired is growing. You need to ignore the mainstream media outlets, Walter. Time Warner and ComCast and NBC/Universal are all HRC super PAC donors bigtime. They’re just trying to make people like you think Bernie’s giving up, but he hasn’t. #FeeltheBern !

  • There is no truth to the claim that DNC rules required Bernie Sanders to endorse Hillary Clinton. The sad truth is Bernie sabotaged his campaign and the movement it inspired.

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