If there’s one thing to be gleaned from the contentious Democratic race for the nomination, it’s this: Bernie Sanders’ political revolution has sparked a nationwide movement that will not end, even if he loses the nomination to Hillary Clinton.
The American people, and the Democratic Party, can still win in June, and here is how they can do it. During the convention, delegates vote for the party’s political platform for the upcoming general election. If enough progressive delegates attend and vote for the ideologies Bernie has espoused, the political revolution can extend until November and even beyond.
Hillary Clinton and other establishment Democrats will be forced to adopt a platform that will push them further left, a move that would align the party with its own ideals from the past before the Clintons ushered in the era of Republican-Lite Democratic politics.
If voters can force the Democrats to return to its roots of being the party of the “little guy,” it will win more support from disillusioned voters and skeptics just waiting in the wings for a political party that represents them. Sanders’ political revolution isn’t about bringing in new ideas. It’s about bringing back some of the traditional tenets of the old party. It’s about actually supporting working families and forcing national corporations to start paying taxes.
It’s about stepping away from the web of international war and the policy of interventionism that has defined our foreign policy for decades. The revolution is about supporting socially progressive programs and ideas that have become woven into the fabric of American culture. It is about bringing meaning and purpose back into politics.
Wars have cost American taxpayers an exorbitant amount of money, and they are experiencing war fatigue, emotionally and economically.
For example, in the first 16 years of the 21st century alone, the United States has been involved in a total of at least seven nation’s affairs, not including the Haiti hurricane relief debacle. Since 2001, United States citizens have been stuck with a bill totaling nearly $1.7 trillion, and that number is rising, literally, by the second. According to NationalPriorities.org, wars cost Americans $8.36 million every hour.
The fact that our country has so involved itself in foreign affairs and wars causes an undue burden on the populace. Indeed, our Founding Fathers succeeded in their own violent and bloody revolution and explicitly warned against what they called foreign entanglements.
George Washington, most famous for being a leader of the American Revolution and our country’s first president, suggested leaving foreign relations to commercial endeavors and nothing more.
“The great rule of conduct for us in regard to foreign nations is in extending our commercial relations, to have with them as little political connection as possible. So far as we have already formed engagements, let them be fulfilled with perfect good faith. Here let us stop.”
The problem with today’s political climate is that commercial interests often intersect with political, making Sanders’ own brand of revolution a difficult task to achieve. The question we must ask ourselves is, can it be done? Can the United States change its course from becoming a tyrannical plutocracy into one more resembling the kind of nation the Founding Fathers envisioned?
The fourth President of the United States, James Madison, also warned about the cost of war.
“Of all the enemies to public liberty, war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded, because it comprises and develops the germ of every other… No nation could reserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare.”
Madison also believed that war could lead to authoritarianism. He opined that if the United States ever starts to show signs of oppression and tyranny, “it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy.”
“Perhaps it is a universal truth that the loss of liberty at home is to be charged against provisions against danger, real or pretended from abroad.”
And our third President, Thomas Jefferson, advocated for a more noble cause.
“…peace, commerce, and honest friendships with nations, entangling alliances with none.”
It won’t happen overnight, but it is certainly possible. In just one year alone, Bernie Sanders’ political revolution has inspired millions of people to believe that they can change the course of American politics. Many of those are volunteering and running for local and national office, something they might not have done without him. Sander’s call for a political revolution has also shone a spotlight on those candidates, the most visible being Tim Canova, who is running against DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz in Florida.
Sanders and his supporters have proven that it isn’t necessary for a candidate to have the force of big money behind them for a revolution to succeed. Small donations in massive numbers can have a greater affect and create a coalition of voters more powerful than the GOP.
Americans by and large have told the Democratic establishment that they are tired of casting safety votes and hunger for a candidate they can vote for and not against.
Bernie Or Bust?
Victor Tiffany, the creator of Revolt Against Plutocracy website, spoke to the Inquisitr about the Bernie or Bust movement. When asked about what people can do should Bernie lose the Democratic nomination, he suggested people vote for a third party when possible. Jill Stein of the Green Party is his preferred choice.
On social media networks, debates continue on whether to write in Bernie Sanders or to vote for a third party. In order to keep the revolution momentum going, Tiffany says, it’s best to cast a ballot for Stein and the Green Party.
“Write-ins are a protest and only safe in eight to 10 states. [Voting for Stein]… does two things: it sends a message and starts to build a party opposition to corporatism/neo-liberalism.”
Tiffany’s site, also known as “Bernie or Bust,” has partnered with another group called Popular Resistance to build a coalition of voters to send a message to the Democratic Party that they will not vote for Clinton or other establishment politicians.
Bernie’s political revolution is ushering in a new age of political activism and engagement not seen since the 1960s. Whether the Democratic Party ultimately chooses to be a part of it remains to be seen.
[Photo by Charles Krupa/AP Images]