FeelTheBern One More Time!
It is difficult to deny that the Bernie Revolution aka FeelTheBern movement has impacted the presidential election greatly. The level of energy, enthusiasm, involvement and interest in politics of the millennials has surpassed 2008 Obama’s. The REVOLUTION took everyone by surprise; it was created and spearheaded by 74-year old Bernie Sanders, Independent Senator of Vermont which has labeled himself a socialist. Despite the huge success of the “Revolution”, the Senator was not able to translate its energy into enough votes to clinch the nomination.
After a crushing defeat in the April 26, 2016 primaries where five states and almost 400 delegates were at stake, – Bernie won just the state of Rhode Island with only 24 delegates (shared, Bernie:13; Hillary:11) – it has become really, extremely difficult (not necessarily impossible) for Bernie to “turn the table” and become the Democrat Party nominee. However, there is at least one scenario, discussed later, which could revive the Bernie’s REVOLUTION and re-ignite the FeelTheBern movement.
Bernie Sanders is the candidate you wish could become the nominee of your party, not just because of the “future you can believe in” message but because he truly wants to change the status quo in Washington; and that comes across loud and clear.
In politics, the “Bernie Sanders” doesn’t come around often; so, his looming departure from the campaign trail would leave most bernizens with heavy hearts and no hope for a better future. Truth be told, Bernie Sanders brought that unto himself. He violated his own pledge; he departed and abandoned a principle – to stay away from attacking his opponents – which has fueled his political career and given him many successes for more than four decades.
Although I knew my wish for Bernie to clinch the nomination was in contradiction with my analysis that Hillary would become the nominee , – and I am very rarely wrong – I rode the emotional, hopeful and promising coaster of Bernie Sanders as the next President of the United States. Just like most bernizens, I found Bernie to be honest, consistent, different and even unique perhaps but there were two other characteristics (probably three) of the Senator I admire:
- His foresight to see the outcome of a decision before making such or backing those who do – he accurately voted against the Iraq war which was orchestrated under false pretense – His wisdom is further strengthened by his primary objective to be a “servant” of The People instead of cuddling with lobbyists and special interest groups. Bernie doesn’t make decisions which benefit him primarily; he has always, always put the interests of the constituents first. – There is just one other politician who may be able claim the same, US Senator Elizabeth Warren from Massachusetts –
- Bernie is not like other politicians; he is quick to acknowledge mistakes; yes, he is still human despite his wisdom. For instance, he publicly acknowledged the mistake of having supported Bill Clinton’s crime bill which has disproportionately disfavored minorities in general, blacks in particular.
- There is one other characteristic I didn’t know about Bernie, he is exceptionally funny; he has an incredible sense of humor. Bernie whispered once publicly at a rally (before the NY primaries) not to let his opponent (Hillary) know he was going to win the NY primaries (he did not) because, he reasoned, she was under a lot of pressure and he didn’t want to add any more pressure to her to which joke the crowd laughed aloud.
It’s all those things – and many others – which have attracted large crowd to his rallies. There is some genuineness in his words; he is not trying to “con” his audience; he doesn’t do doubletalk. Such characteristics are very attractive in general, much more so in politics; besides, the constituents have been yearning a very longtime for someone who could really represent them in and take their interests to Washington, a candidate for The People so to speak; Bernie fits the qualification and meets the criteria. To me personally, there are two very important characteristics Bernie and I share:
- His stance on “campaign financing”; Bernie doesn’t just talk about how bad it is for politicians to solicit money from millionaires and billionaires to finance their campaigns, he sets the example. His political career has been a model for others; it is indeed possible that one who aspires to public office can reach his objectives without compromising – through solicitation of campaign financing – the sacred duty of representing the constituents. Bernie brings the model to the national stage; he is running for president of the United States and his campaign is wholly financed by the same people (the constituents) who go to the voting booths to vote for him
- His aversion for mudslinging in politics. Mr. Sanders has proven time and again he was able to go on with his political career without having to demonize his opponents. In Vermont, he ran for mayor (successfully), for governor (unsuccessfully) and for US Senate (successfully), pledged to debating issues and abode by his own principle “not to resort to mudslinging” even when his opponent did. And Bernie has been very successful.
Unfortunately, during his campaign for the presidency, he departed and abandoned that very principle which has fueled his political career with great success for more than four decades. But don’t count Bernie out just yet; populist movement has many lives. I would hate to see Bernie “fold his campaign” before the Democrat Convention in July in Philadelphia for two (and even three) very important reasons:
- There is still a real opportunity for Bernie to become the nominee
FBI’s inquiry into Hillary’s use of a private email server while serving as Secretary of State in Obama’s first term presidency is not completed; no determination has been made. If she is found to be guilty (negligence is already established) of jeopardizing national security – although Obama doesn’t think so according to Washington Times – she would have to end her bid for the presidency which would make Bernie the de facto nominee for the Democrat Party.
- Bernie should be Hillary’s VP
Bernie should be in the ticket as Hillary’s running mate. Except in foreign policy perhaps, Bernie is every bit as qualified for the presidency as Hillary is. In addition, Bernie would bring a balance to the Hillary’s administration. From experience, we know the promises made on the campaign trail are usually “tabled or shelved” once the individual settles into the Oval Office. Bernie Sanders’ presence in the White House would serve as a daily reminder to the Hillary’s administration that policies to address the promises made to the constituents ought to be discussed and solutions ought to be drafted.
The Bernizens can challenge or even pressure Hillary to seriously consider Bernie to be on the ticket; after all, there are only upsides to have the populist Bernie on her team.
- Bernie’s Revolution must go on after the presidential elections
If Bernie does not become the Party nominee and is not picked by Hillary as VP, it’s not over. The Revolution must go on. Yes, it would be preferable that he is the nominee; absent of that however, Bernie’s Revolution can force changes in Washington. The Bernizens must continue to fuel the FeelTheBern movement throughout the country and put politicians on notice that The People are coming and they’d be wise to pay attention. As Bernie has made it clear on countless occasions, the movement is about The People. With a unified voice, FeelTheBern can change the political landscape as never before, it can force politicians to pass legislations which truly benefit The People instead of lobbyists and special interest groups (SIG).
Bernie’s Revolution can reboot the country to what our forefathers intended it to be in the first place, a Republic by The People and for The People.
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