Senator Bernie Sanders hasn’t let up one second since the inauguration.
He has led health care rallies and town halls, been interviewed numerous times on news programs, and published several biting op-ed pieces. He hasn’t skimped on his message or pulled back on his rhetoric since the campaign trail. If there’s one person ordinary Americans can depend upon to speak up for our rights and to fight for a happier and healthier future for all, it’s Bernie Sanders.
An amazing discovery I made recently is that Bernie is growing in popularity. It’s not only “Berners” who have faith in Bernie’s ability to lead the political revolution; voters who supported other candidates have come to know and trust him, as well. How else can I explain the sudden resurgence of pro-Sanders/progressive Facebook, Google+ and other social media groups? How else can I explain the growing numbers of “hits” on articles about Bernie’s positions I’ve published on the Our Revolution Continues blog? How else can you explain the large crowds at rallies and marches showing solidarity with oppressed peoples for whom Bernie fights so hard to protect? Bernie Sanders is the man of the hour and the public is eager to know more about him.
Nick Brana, a former Sanders campaign staffer, feels that now is the time to draft Bernie Sanders into a new progressive party to run for the presidency in 2020. He and several others have started DraftBernie.org and are currently surveying voters about the validity of forming a new party and drafting the Vermont senator as their first presidential candidate. With Bernie headlining the ticket, they feel other progressives running for state and local positions in 2018 will be eager to join. Progressives will no longer have to compromise their beliefs and accept corporate money (and the strings attached to it) in order to run for office via an establishment party. They will find a home within a “People’s Party” whose stated aims agree with their worldview.
While others argue that American third parties in the past have been conquered and absorbed by establishment parties, so they don’t stand a chance in our current system, Brana disagrees. He sees history repeating itself in the same way the nascent Republican Party came into being. The GOP didn’t come onto the political scene in a big way until 1856, but by 1860 they had won the presidency. This remarkable feat was accomplished during a time of much debate over civil rights (slavery), turmoil in the economic system, and threatened succession by several states. Recent news stories of California wanting to leave the union because of the current administration’s violation of civil rights adds a sense of déjà vu to the Draft Bernie movement. Nick Brana may be prescient about the timing and ultimate success of this new progressive party.
But the establishment parties aren’t going to take a threat to their control of our electoral system lying down. Bernie Sanders was to speak at a town hall meeting in the poorest county of one of the poorest states in the Union, West Virginia, on February 13. It was to be televised and hosted by MSNBC’s Chris Hayes, but at the very last minute the National Guard Armory hall where it was to take place was suddenly “unavailable.” West Virginia’s Democratic governor more than likely was told by the Democratic National Committee to cancel the event to keep Bernie off the air. But why?
It seems the televised town hall meeting Bernie led in Wisconsin (also broadcast by MSNBC) received phenomenal ratings. YouTube clips of the Wisconsin town hall have received hits in the millions. Establishment Democrats (those who take corporate money) can’t risk looking “less progressive” to the public, so they are cracking down on what they feel is dissent–Bernie speaking to the poor. “Corporate Dems” want to shut down the discussion about poverty in America at the expense of millions of suffering Americans who could be helped by implementing Bernie Sanders’ proposed policies.
Bernie Sanders said in a statement: “If anyone in West Virginia government thinks that I will be intimidated from going to McDowell County, West Virginia, to hold a town meeting, they are dead wrong…Poverty in America will be discussed. Solutions will be found.”
The desire to keep “big money” in politics is the establishment’s motivating factor in attempting to discredit Senator Sanders yet again. However, this time it might not work. The mainstream media has given more air time to him recently–much more than it did in all of the campaign of 2015-2016–and anxious Americans are looking online for answers to their problems. They’re finding comfort in the words of Bernie Sanders. The establishment may think they can succeed in silencing one dynamic man, but, in the end, they can’t silence his ideas. We’re “feeling the Bern” once more.
Bio: Cindy A. Matthews is a freelance writer, novelist and editor of Our Revolution Continues blog: http://bernie2016.blogspot.com.