“Together, we create our own WE-ality.” — Swami Beyondananda
After Bernie Sanders’ big win in New Hampshire last week and the debate that followed, I received two emails — one from the Bernie Sanders campaign, and the other from Hillary’s team. In comparing the two, I saw the stark contrast between who and what each candidate is about. First, here is the Bernie message:
Bernie just had the breakout moment at the Democratic debate tonight.
The moderator asked both the candidates about the influence big money donors — the kind of donors who dump millions into super PACs — have on politicians in the Democratic Party.
In response, Hillary Clinton claimed that the fact that many Democratic politicians took money from big banks — and voted in favor of bills like Dodd Frank — somehow proved they were not influenced by big money.
But Bernie wasn’t having it. Here’s what he said:
“Let’s not insult the intelligence of the American people. People aren’t dumb.
“Why in God’s name does Wall Street make huge campaign contributions? I guess for the fun of it? They want to throw money around?
“Why does the pharmaceutical industry make huge campaign contributions? Any connection, maybe, to the fact that our people pay the highest prices in the world for prescription drugs?
“Why does the fossil fuel industry spend huge amounts of money on campaign contributions? Any connection to the fact that not one Republican candidate for president thinks and agrees with the scientific community that climate change is real and that we have got to transform our energy system?”
Bernie is exactly right. Billionaires, and the corporations they control, know exactly what they’re getting for their investment. That’s why it is so incredibly important for us to stand up, right now, and say — as Bernie would say — ENOUGH is ENOUGH.That was Bernie.
Now here is Hillary’s message:
— Ann (for some reason, I am “Ann” to Hillary’s campaign)
Tonight, I worked to show this team and our country what it looks like to get right back up and fight after you’ve been knocked down.
I hope I made you proud — and inspired you to dig a little deeper and do a little more. Will you chip in $1 right now to say you’re with me?
Can you see / feel the difference? In actuality, Hillary’s response to Bernie’s pressing question was condescending and avoided the real issue, the one that impacts every one of us who have been disenfranchised by a pay-to-play political system. And if you compare their post-debate, post-New Hampshire messages the one simple difference is that Bernie’s message is about WE. Hillary’s is about ME. (Not actually “me” as in “you and me”, but about HER.)
Hillary — in writing to this imaginary “Ann” she thinks I am — is about identity issues. As a woman, I might well relate to Hillary’s plight and pluck in being “knocked down” and then standing back up. This is basically what Hillary is offering. Besides the symbolism of being the first woman President, she offers the same thing the Democrats have been offering up since the Reagan years — vote for us, we’re not as bad as those other guys.
Bernie’s message is much more about where he stands on the one key issue that will determine whether we ever have government of the people, or whether we devolve past oligarchy to neo-feudalism. It moves past identity to the IDENTICAL issues Americans face, particularly as we deal with the economic impact of oligarchy and worse.
“Naturally” — unnaturally, actually — the mainstream press continues its drumbeat to diss Bernie, distort his message, and associate supporting Hillary (the lesser of the evils, but way more evil than Bernie) with “being realistic”.
Well, I suppose if we are OK with the current political reality, then being realistic is … realistic. However, if you are ready for a new WE-ality, where we the people actually have some real input into our political reality, you’ll join the awakening young people and jump aboard the Bernie campaign. Oh, and in regards to Bernie being paralyzed by a Republican Congress, Bernie will activate young voters and very likely sweep in a new Congress with him. Hillary will be unable to improve on Obama’s status quo. Which is fine for her, because like Obama, she has “pre-compromised” on all the key issues of governance, foreign policy and who actually rules America.
I’m just sayin’ …
Support Bernie’s campaign here: https://go.berniesanders.com/page/content/splash
March Forth 4 Bernie. Join Swami for a fund-raising event for Bernie Sanders on March 4th in Santa Cruz. Details below.
And … go ahead. PATRONIZE ME!
I’ve recently discovered a crowd-funding site called Patreon that allows fans to support worthy endeavors that are given away rather than sold (like blogs and podcasts). Prior to setting up on that site, I would love to get a sense of how my audience values my contribution. If you feel so moved, you can make a contribution now via PayPal, and if response warrants it, I will set up a Patreon page. And in any case, I love getting your feedback … and feel free to share this post widely.