You so wanted Bernie. I know. I did, too.
But I also wanted Eugene McCarthy and George McGovern.
My generation had the Vietnam War, as seemingly never-ending as Afghanistan is today.
We had the draft, and rich kids got out of it because they could afford college and then grad school and medical deferments.
Today, college is even more expensive — much, much more expensive, actually — giving most of your generation the choice of military service or a lifetime of debt.
The system is even more corrupt and you feel powerless. Bernie was our best hope of fixing it, but the system crushed our hopes. The DNC steam-rolled the primaries, I believe, because Hillary was promised the nomination this time for stepping aside last time. The media, which worked hand-in-hand with Wall Street and Big Money, ignored Bernie and focused on the circus that is Trump.
I do get it.
And I’m not going to tell you that you HAVE to vote for Hillary, even though I believe we can’t allow Trump anywhere near the White House, nor can we allow any Republican to appoint justices to the Supreme Court.
But you have thought about that, and your attitude is NOT that of a spoiled child. Don’t let anyone tell you it is.
Perhaps we really do need for the current system to crumble before we can build a better one. I hope for your sake that’s not the case.
You’re scared about what’s happening to this country because you have to live in it for the next 50 or 60 years — that is, if you can survive on starvation wages and without access to quality health care.
So what do you do?
Well, we all work together.
Bernie started a movement, and perhaps, like Moses, he won’t lead us into the Promised Land. Perhaps it’s up to the next generation to finish the work he has started. Maybe we need to build on his work at the local, state and Congressional levels.
There are a number of candidates running for offices down-ticket who share Bernie’s views and passions. Vote for them. Get out and work for them. Do phone banking for an hour or two a week. Knock on doors. Donate to their campaigns if you have a spare few bucks.
Don’t let any right-wing candidate run unopposed. Find a candidate, either in an established party or in a third party. Even now, when it’s too late to get on the printed ballot for November, we can — and must — run write-in campaigns for good candidates. Local and state elections are our best hope right now, and the best way to build a viable third party.
The right built its success over many years, quietly winning local elections, then seats in state legislatures and finally taking Congress.
I’m part of the Moral Monday Movement, which is a fusion movement. Together we work on health care, voting rights, common sense gun laws, education, LGBT rights, the campaign for a living wage, safe housing …
The most frustrating thing about the Movement is that it takes time.
It’s important to not listen to elders who tell you that you don’t know how to make these changes, because the phrase, “that’s not how we did it,” is so dangerous.
We did make change, but we didn’t finish the job, obviously. We changed laws and the right wingers gained power and chipped away at the changes we made.
But we are fighting back. Yesterday, I was in Richmond, Va., in federal court, listening to the NC NAACP’s lawyers challenging North Carolina’s voter suppression law. I think it went well. I think we have a good chance of overturning most or all of the provisions.
In fact, most of the worst of the laws these clowns in North Carolina have passed are working their way through the courts, costing taxpayers millions of dollars.
I hate that it takes so much time to do this work, but I will stay in the fight because I’m fighting for your generation more than for my own.
And I want you to know that there are more people of my generation who understand than you think, and we want to work with you.
With our experience and your fresh ideas, this revolution (actually, more of an evolution) can’t fail.