Thursday, January 21, 2016

Bernie Sanders: Destined to be our Next President?

Or should I say "doomed?"

I don't generally rant on this blog. So I won't. What I do want to do is to point out what is becoming increasingly obvious--and to affirm, if not to gloat, that I have been an avid supporter since before he announced his candidacy for the Democratic nomination for President of the United States. Before Bernie, there simply was no real hope.

I recently reread George Orwell's 1984. Chilling it is, and so reverberating with correspondences to what's going on in our world today that I recommend it to anyone. In a way, we've been exercising the practices of the Ministry of Truth for a long, long time. He who holds the history books holds the "truth," yes? The genocide perpetrated upon Native Americans, slavery, what's always been around but is now labelled "income inequality," just to mention a few notable/ignoble events and conditions--these have been glossed over, in some cases almost to proportions in Orwell's book, in our textbooks and history books. We've made some mistakes.

The attention-diversion events Orwell calls Hate Days eerily mirror the (intended or otherwise) effects of both Dancing with the Stars and any Donald Trump speech. Our media actually spends significant time on events like this, elevating them to "news," while pointedly taking a pass or glossing over issues like rampant death by police; Congressional mass nuking of social funding while elimating taxes for the obscenely rich; and public health issues like the Flint, Michigan poisoning of the public water supply in favor of budgetary savings. These decisions reek of conspiracy to some, but I think it's really only the way our nation has declined in dedication to the common good.

Remember the "Me generation?" It was misplaced on baby boomers. It's all of us.

I don't exempt myself. Oh, I'll buy an occasional newspaper from the homeless person at the corner stoplight. I'll give monthly to public radio. I'll dedicate my work life to improving online learning options and experiences for MNPS students (and hopefully, helping develop models that can be replicated all over the world). I'll post on social media until the cows come home, with support for Sanders and disdain for his opponents (I really do like Hillary Clinton but she's so much a part of the problem I cannot support her--of course I'll vote for her if she gains the nomination, which I hope does not happen). I'll contribute small amounts of dollars to his campaign. But go door to door? Attend a meeting? No way.

I'm not sure why that's the case, but I will say that as soon as I heard the first glimmers about Bernie Sanders possibly running, I did some research on the World Wide Webz and sent him my first 5 dollars. I ignored all the "he can't win" talk and I threw in. I'm confident he'll win New Hampshire (the most liberal state in the union, to hear some describe it, after all) and probably Iowa. If that happens, folks have to at least listen.

So to you I say, listen on. Make your own decisions but don't make them based on fear (however "not absolutely groundless"), because if we abandon hope and predicate our American decision on fear alone, we lose. If we elect Bernie, we have a chance at winning. I'm hopeful.



Friday, January 15, 2016