It seems obvious to me that most Americans who are employees, which is the majority of Americans, would gain a vastly improved quality of life under the leadership of Bernie Sanders. And it is exciting to think that perhaps Americans will finally stop being so passive and begin once again to speak up for freedom and for equality in income, opportunity, and rights.
It is both fascinating and encouraging that young Americans of voting age of both sexes and all ethnic and racial backgrounds are attracted to Bernie’s ideas for change. While the ideas themselves are not new, they are new to the younger generations. The Millennials (ages 20-34) have grown up in a world in which the values of narcissism, excessive competition and individual greed have overtaken any sense of community building or collective values. In fact, America has traveled so far on the road of greed and status seeking that a convention has been created and widely accepted that it is good business to take advantage of people, to have no feelings or empathy for animals, and to completely disregard climate change and environmental concerns.
Today, a new coworker explained how she and many of her fellow workers were fired from their jobs (intentionally terminated so that they could not receive their retirement benefits) at ATT after being a loyal employee for 20 years, because of their high levels of experience and qualification, and how this was an accepted policy at this corporation. Yet another young coworker explained how, when she was an intern in his office, the current Governor of my state used and abused taxpayer dollars to take himself and his staff on golf vacations, while turning away people needing the aid of Family and Children’s services. No one ever speaks up. Everyone is afraid. The value of money in America is far superior to the health and well being of children and adults alike. Human dignity and compassion are stifled, and yet the wealthy dare to claim that they represent freedom and American pride.
Basically, if a child grows up in a single room, and that is all he or she knows, then this is the extent of the entire universe for that child. Abuse can be tolerated if there is no source of comparison. America and its lack of compassion in its policies for workers and families has been that tiny room for the last forty or so years. Yet in our heart of hearts, we all yearn for freedom, for love, for recognition, for belonging. We have been living without a social safety net, alone and without a sense of community. Our children are raised to compete, but not to live, to learn, to create. We have created a society which idolizes money while pretending to be Christian. And we have deprived our young people the voice they deserve. Their own voices.
Many people seem to wonder why more women aren’t supporting Hillary Clinton. From my own perspective, it is because Hillary Clinton does not represent womanhood. She pretends to be a woman, but her femininity feels empty, manipulative, and unconvincing. Having accepted the terms of success in a man’s world, she wants to win on a man’s terms. Perhaps that is what she learned growing up, and perhaps she is still trying to impress her deceased father, but it is clear to me that she does not represent feminine values. Her voice rings hollow, and just the thought that she could win the democratic nomination makes me feel angry, disappointed, and sad inside. It is equally clear to me that Hillary Clinton is just pretending to be a progressive, as flavor of the month, since she covets the attention that the following that Bernie Sanders campaign has created . She is and always has been incredibly ambitious, and winning is her primary goal. So many videos clearly demonstrate how frequently she has lied and contradicted herself over the years, and her credibility, despite her intelligence and experience, is about nil. Progressives don’t support the death penalty, as Bill and Hillary do. Bernie Sanders, on the other hand, is not motivated by glory or power. He simply wants to raise consciousness, and to help the working poor to middle class in America live a better life.
Why do the majority African-Americans support Hillary Clinton? I don’t really understand it myself. It is the hardest to comprehend why the segment of the population hardest hit by the excesses of America’s billionaires continues to support a candidate who is part of that class and who has no intention of moving away from the policies and politics which are continuing to threaten the stability of this nation. Who has the most to gain from a Bernie Sanders presidency? Minorities, low income families, middle income families, young people just starting out in life, retirees…ordinary people of all groups, religious faiths, races (I don’t like that word, because it is wrong – there is only one human race. Based on our DNA, we humans are all the same.)
How will African-Americans specifically benefit from a Bernie Sanders presidency? Breaking up the big banks and changing the values by which our society functions will benefit African-Americans who have suffered from discrimination in banking, whether it be with respect to being granted loans and home mortgages, or the simple act of opening a bank account. So many African-Americans are victims of predatory payday lenders because of our financial system. It is expensive to be poor in America, and our system is designed to benefit the wealthy. In Michael Moore’s latest film, Where to Invade Next, he explains how a concerted effort was made to incarcerate African-Americans for minor drug possession offenses, the goal being to deprive incarcerated African-Americans of their right to vote. He also demonstrates that in many countries, including Norway and Portugal, drug possession is not a crime, and incarcerated individuals maintain their right to vote, no matter what crime was committed. In America, African-Americans are consistently dehumanized and exploited. We have to collectively acknowledge that we live in a country where the prevailing system is one of opportunism and exploitation. In the name of Capitalism, we have been told that profits are more important than people in every instance. Anything can be done to make money, and it does not matter who gets hurt in the process. Bernie Sanders is the man to lead us out of this terrible value system. He is the only candidate who champions human dignity over the quest for money and power. This is why African-Americans should, in my opinion, trust Bernie Sanders. Hillary Clinton does not have the integrity or the desire to change our value system.
I know African-American voters were so very excited to see Barack Obama win the presidency twice over, and while I was excited too, I can only imagine how thrilling it was to see a man with whom black voters could identify, admire, and finally feel like there was a chance that they would be considered as true equals in our society. Because President Obama has faced so much opposition, sometimes it is hard to see how far we have come, because we all know just how much further we need to go. The biggest hope that Bernie Sanders has to offer is to give a voice back to those of us who feel we have no voice. He is telling us that we are the people, we are the voice of democracy. Our country has been hijacked for the last 40 years by large corporations, by the voice of money. This stranglehold on our culture has deprived our country of humanity, and we have all suffered for it. When Bernie Sanders is elected president, you can believe that people, all people, will be valued over money and power. We can create a solid economy and social system based on caring for and about other people. Every child deserves a great education, decent housing, top quality healthcare, access to affordable, safe, and nutritious food, and to live in a world where his or her importance is a top priority.
In any case, if you are a human being and you want to enjoy your life during this short span of time which you are given on this earth, and if you want a good life for your children and for future generations, then you will benefit from a Sanders presidency. If you want to be able to take vacations, have some disposable income, benefit from quality and affordable health care, send your kids to college without going into debt, retire one day at an age where you can still enjoy yourself, and live in a community in which people know and care about one another…then Sanders is your man. You will have to be willing to speak up for what you believe in and to continue to fight for human dignity, to be dedicated to putting people before money and power. If you believe that human lives have value and that we each deserve to be cherished, that our lives are meant to be lived fully and not be consumed in an endless struggle just to survive…then you should vote for Bernie.
America doesn’t have to be a tiny room. And we don’t or shouldn’t have to take drugs to forget how small and painful our lives have become. Together we can build a better place for all of us to have a better life. We’ll just have to teach the 1% that sharing is caring.