DISCLAIMER: It has been my goal to use this space for abstract ideas and my thoughts about the future, but I will, from time to time, use this space for more concrete political ideas. This post is about the 2016 election.
Last night Bernie Sanders made a statement. He completely owned Secretary Clinton in New Hampshire, winning by over 20 points. During his speech, for the first time in his political life, all eyes were on him. He had the entire nation tuned in and listening. At a little after 9 P.M., he read from just a few pieces of paper words that have become so familiar in the past few months, even those that don't support him can recite his message by heart. A more important note is that Bernie has been pounding these messages for nearly 30 years. He has been fighting for you and for me for most of his life. The only difference now, is that we are finally paying attention.
Below are 4 arguments Bernie has paid to congress. I could have linked 12 or 20, but I picked my favorite 4. I will note some key points from the videos, but the most important thing is you see how deep this man holds these principles and how right he has been for a long, long time.
Bernie Sanders Pleads For Peace To An Empty Room
Did your heart sink as you listened to a younger Bernie Sanders plead for America's soul only for the camera to pull back and reveal no ears there to listen? That, while Bernie channeled Nostradamus and predicted the future of America in the Middle East. A truly tragic record of a dark moment in our nations history. Bernie has been knocked for his inexperience in matters of foreign policy, but how could someone believe Sander's is incapable after watching that? They say that hindsight is 20/20, I would posit that this kind of foresight is pretty damn priceless.
0:15: "Today is a tragic day for humanity." Before the first Gulf War, Iraq hadn't been ravaged by American aggression. Bernie knew (IN 1991!) that unnecessary military action would doom generations of innocent civilians in the region.
0:55: Bernie unabashedly decries the necessity of the war. He questions if indiscriminate bombing and killing is worth disposing of one dictator when we are allied with others.
2:13: "Clearly the United States will win this war". Bernie, being so adept and in tune with the human experience, predicted the destabilization of the area and the 3rd world turning against American aggression. Which absolutely has happened.
2:42: "I fear... that we are laying the ground work for more and more wars in that region in years to come." No comment necessary from me. Right again.
2:55-End: Bernie brings it home by talking about how the American people will not win this war. That in the end American homeless and blue collar workers are being forgotten in the pursuit of this war. He then says how foolish it is to put our troops at risk unnecessarily. Its actually a really powerful statement... to bad no one was there to hear it.
Bernie Challenges The Notion Of Mass Incarceration... In 1994!
This video is great because he touches on a lot of problems that he still harps on today. Bernie's movement has only taken root today because his peers in congress have been ignoring his cries for help for 20 years. If congress would have done it's job and addressed the problems that Bernie saw at the time, we would be in a much better place now.
Think about it. 20 years ago Bernie Sanders was begging his peers to address OUR needs and they covered their ears and shut their eyes. We cannot cover ours now! He is bringing these problems directly to us. We are ready to address them.
0:05: "2+2=4" Bernie starts off with a little sass. He tries to start simple by pointing out the laws congress choses to pass (or not pass) have widespread and real world impacts. This goes on for a while until...
0:55: "A society which neglects, which oppresses, which disdains a very significant part of it's population, which leaves them hungry, impoverished, unemployed, uneducated and utterly without hope, will, through cause and effect, create a population which is bitter, which is angry, which is violent and society which is crime ridden."
When Bernie talks about creating a revolution today that isn't hyperbole. He is very serious. He believes what he is saying and he is in tune with the feelings of the American people. They weren't listening in 1994, now the people must rise up... 22 years after Bernie warned them of the way we would eventually feel.
2:00: After being flabbergasted about how impoverished American children are ignored, Bernie points out that the country was (at the time) spending 11 x more on the military than education. That is a horrific number. Sounds like a post I wrote here recently.
Bernie Again Pleads For America To Choose Peace
Here we are again, back on the topic of foreign policy. By now everyone knows that Bernie opposed the GWB war in Iraq, but do you know why? Listen to Senator Sanders as he rattles off reason after reason. This speech is dense and packed important moments. I am not going to give you highlights, just watch the whole thing and realize if we listened to him in 2003 America would be much healthier today. This speech, of all the ones I have watched ( I have watched a lot), makes me the most sorrowful for the direction we took as a nation.
Bernie talks about the middle class and poverty and our veterans and our manufacturing, then he lists more reasons he opposes the war, all while questioning the priorities our nation holds. If you ever doubted his foreign policy acumen, I just gave you two A+ examples of his capability in this one post.
Bernie Still Fighting For The Middle Class... in 2010
I mean, here we are getting at Bernie's core platform today. WE need to protect the middle class. WE need the government to start fighting for US. WE need to start fighting for OURSELVES. Bernie is a genuine person, if you take anything away from watching these videos, I hope it's that he has been working so hard FOR US for so long, but no one has listened to him. Now that he has so much of our support, it is about time we started to really hear him. His message needs to resonate with all of us. The people have been ignored by congress for far too long, let's show them that we are force to be reckoned with. By putting a champion of the people in the White House, we will send a message that we are not deaf any longer, we know that we have been trampled on by those we entrusted to protect us and they have to answer to us now. Bernie has more than earned our support, the least we can do is really take the time and hear what he has to say.
2:08: Again, the whole video is worth watching, but the moment he shouts "We should be embarrassed," is enough to bring me to tears. This man carries the burden of our struggle with him and he has everyday he goes to work for 25 years. Profound that it has taken until now to get attention, while the rest of congress chose inaction.