“Despair is not an option!” Bernie Sanders shouted to a packed auditorium in Boston, Massachusetts, recently.
“They got the money, but we got the people.”
In the midst of the horrors of a Trump presidency, this Our Revolution Rally brought back happy memories for many long-time Berners. We gathered with our local Our Revolution group to watch the livestream broadcast and it felt like the old days, before the DNC rigged the primaries against Bernie to install their corporate-owned-and-operated candidate. Even Bernie had something to say about that particular fiasco, “The Democrats lost the election–Trump didn’t win it.” Either way, the results were the same and Berners still wonder if Bernie won’t break away from the establishment party, after 2018, to form a new “People’s Party” such as the one proposed by DraftBernie.org.
Online broadcasts via YouTube and Facebook, websites, emails, and e-newsletters have been effective in keeping the Political Revolution alive and well – and growing. The official Senator Bernie Sanders Facebook page has become the site of “Bernie TV,” broadcasting a series of short interviews between Bernie and progressive voices. Bernie has hosted informational talks with Bill Nye (“The Science Guy”) on science and climate change research; with Josh Fox, the activist/director of Gasland and the upcoming Awake: A Dream From Standing Rock; and also with Jane Mayer, investigative journalist and author of Dark Money, about the evils of Citizens United and Big Money.
The corporate mainstream media has sat up and taken (some) notice of Bernie’s popularity. His latest “fireside chat” received over 14 million views, compared to 3 million views a typical Bill O’Reilly Show receives on the Fox Network, according to alternative media newscaster Cenk Uygur of TYT. It’s true, even if it seems unlikely, that Bernie Sanders has the hit reality show of the political season so far.
These statistics demonstrate that people are hungry for accurate information, not alternative facts. They’re hungry for hope and direction, not fear and distraction. The Political Revolution provides them optimism and guidance and gives many Americans a reason to wake up each day, even when the headlines are blasting Trump’s latest outrage against humanity, creating anxiety.
“We have a profound moral crisis,” Bernie said in Boston, noting how the wealthy elite want an even larger slice of the economic pie and how Trump’s policies only reinforce income inequality between Americans. With 52% of all new income going to just the top 1%, Bernie stated, “We should create an economy that works for all of us, not just the billionaire class.” He announced in Boston that he would be submitting legislation soon for a guaranteed health care bill through a Medicare for All program (to match the House version, H.R. 676). He also promised to introduce bills for universal child care, equal pay for equal work, and free college tuition and the refinancing of student loan debt, which is now at over $1 trillion.
Bernie made good on that last pledge within days. The College for All Act was introduced into the Senate and the House by Sen. Bernie Sanders, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Rep. Keith Ellison, Rep. Pramila Jayapal, and a host of others. It would provide free college tuition to four year public institutions to all students for families making less than $125,000 a year, or at least 80% of the population, and free tuition to community college for all Americans. It would also provide debt relief and loan restructuring for millions of others whose lives have been put on hold by student loans with outrageous interest payments.
Bernie has also called for a transformation of the Democratic Party to a party of the working class, a grassroots party, not a party of professional politicians spending all their time raising money from corporate donors and billionaires. He pointed out how ordinary Americans sincerely believe in the progressive agenda. For instance, most Americans agree billionaires should pay their fair share of taxes. “Create jobs, not jails,” and “Hire teachers, not fire teachers,” he said in Boston, receiving thunderous applause.
April 23 will bring a national online rally for Our Revolution community groups. Our local group looks forward to getting together again then. In the meantime, we’re getting our “hands dirty” by sponsoring another health care town hall with our elected officials, along with many other local activist opportunities. The Political Revolution led by Senator Bernie Sanders is growing daily and gathering steam like a locomotive. It’s strong and mighty, carrying the hopes and dreams of many Americans who want to live in a just, peaceful, productive, and compassionate society.
Bio: Cindy A. Matthews is a freelance writer, novelist and editor of Our Revolution Continues blog: http://bernie2016.blogspot.com.