I get it.
You’re angry. You are grasping at anything that might justify the possibility of our candidate winning the nomination from the Democratic Party. You might be holding tightly onto steep math, or even onto some sort of chaos befalling Hillary Clinton and her campaign. You are sourcing any and every article you can find that echoes how you’re feeling and posting it all over any social medium you can find. You and your like-minded people are raging against the machine that you swear up and down has been rigged against us from the start (and maybe it has – my jury is still out on that front). You’re expending so many keystrokes to cut down, to insult, and to scream at anyone you might know who is expressing any sort of support for HRC.
My real question to you is this: Are there better ways you could be expending your energy and passion rather than all that rage?
Believe me, I’m not going to belittle that rage. Living on the edge, or even over the edge, for so damn long has left me feeling jaded, angry, and lost too. Credit card balances way too high, one check away from being swamped, dreading that rent increase notice, all the while attempting to pay down an education that I was promised would bring me economic stability and a rung up on that damned ladder (and I’m a white guy – I can’t even begin to speak for anyone of color or of another gender identity)…I get it, as far as I can.
I have had the opportunity to live abroad, and have experienced a world where a National Healthcare System existed, under Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. I got to experience life where the election process involved so many parties, so many different voices, all racing to be first past the pole in order to win, which was both raucous and definitely a challenge to wrangle, but also allowed for so many different voices and options in terms of governance and legislating. I know we can do better here in America than we already do, especially in terms of governance. Nearly daily, we all read articles of the things that the new government to the north, under Justin Trudeau, is undertaking, and find ourselves lamenting that we should have something similar here. Governments all over the world provide healthcare as a human right, provide economic safety nets that really do help to buffer against all of the economic instability out there, and treat their citizens with dignity and a sense of human decency without explicitly needing to call out to all of the various protected classes that we still have to both write into protection laws, and have yet to write into protection laws. For them, a human is a human in whatever form/shape/color that person exists. To most of us, HRC represents all that keeps us from having that kind of forward-thinking government to support our lives in a variety of ways.
That, however, is the place where I think we as Bernie supporters need to start pivoting. If we want to drive our country forward, to join the ranks of other countries that are light-years ahead of us in terms of social stability and human dignity, then we need to coalesce into something beyond the Bernie campaign. For months, he called for a political revolution, for actual action that demands more than just rants and cross-posts on Facebook. We need to hit streets, write letters, show up, actually shout using our real voices. We need to find the way to enact the actual revolution and make ourselves a voting bloc that demands to be heard and considered.
Much like the right has its Tea Party, we can be that demanding of our political representation. If a member of Congress isn’t pushing hard enough to the left, or is compromising on what we value as those who agreed to Bernie’s campaign platform, and all of its various planks, then we should be able to threaten those representatives with being primaried out of office. I think, truly, we can do something like this, something powerful that will require the DNC to pay attention. I think we can do it without the ugliness that the Tea Party has wrapped itself in, though, and provide a voice of reason and liberalness that includes all of us who demand something greater than what we’ve got. I do think, though, that in order to to that place, we need to do a much better job of organizing, of showing up at *every damn election,* and challenging our politicians at every level, from local school boards and city councils to state and county boards and houses of government, and on up to the federal level. For years, we’ve been labeled as grassroots, but maybe, just maybe, it’s time for our roots to get a little bigger, a little more resilient, and start reaching a bit higher than just grass-height.
If we can put our collective lighting in a jar, I think we really can make a wave of change that would benefit the entire country and bring us truly into the 21st century.