Beware of Bernie’s Army

The revolution will not be televised; it will be streaming…live.

“You turn on the TV and watch politicians talk about unleashing the power of the free market, that’s absurd,” Shaw says. “The American public is being denied a free market, being denied competition.”


Thomas Shaw’s story was finally heard last fall. His struggle with corporate America has shown us the character of what David Dayen referred to as the new predatory era in the country. The real division in the USA is not between race or religion, though some may spin it that way; it is strictly and unfortunately monetary. While some cry ‘class warfare’ we know the problem is more serious and wont be solved by brushing it under the rug with a catchy punch line for a misinformed public. Today there are entities, masquerading as people with a democratic voice (thanks to Citizens United), they are too big to jail or even outspend. Then there are people; real people, being stopped, frisked, and murdered across the country who have yet to see justice. Everybody knows things are bad. They don’t want you to think so.

This mysterious media ‘they’, the men and women behind the static, behind the oblong box in the corner of every room, they have one message; the revolution is not coming, it is time to be pragmatic, it is time to consume ceaselessly. Don’t worry about Burger King moving its HQ to Canada, they have hotdogs now. Don’t be a settler; buy, buy, buy.

It is the same message that is getting Hilary through the nomination against Bernie Sanders. The revolution has been talked down by the political wizards and prophetary pundits. They talk about the magical youth vote and how much impact it will or won’t have. When comparing twitter accounts Sanders had 89% real followers against Hilary Clinton’s 59%. Most Millennials don’t even have a television, so it makes sense that this generation would not stop to believe the nay-sayers. The only option opponents have then is to make Bernie’s message as unrealistic as possible.

For the true blue Democrats, Hilary offers a more viable path, one that adds to Obamas accomplishments and doesn’t rock the boat. But the boat desperately needs to be rocked. Through ridiculous loopholes we have seen our democracy crumble, from gerrymandering to Citizens United. We are no longer a country of equals. Sanders aims to change that. Even if he cannot gain the nomination, his running has brought together an amazing collection of likeminded people who may likely come to shape America in the future. He has inspired a wave of SuperPacless representatives to run for office across the country in an attempt to finally get money out of politics. Some have come to refer to these progressives running for seats in congress as Bernie’s Army, almost reminiscent of Dumbledore’s Army. Now, while I don’t exactly like to throw around the idea of organized armed violence, the movement itself is not a bad idea.

One of the biggest challenges that will face Sanders when he wins will be working with the House and Senate. These are two places where Bernie has a lot of experience. If you are someone who sees this man as unable to deal with a hostile Republican party, how much better do you think Hilary can do? Bernie continues to work for laws even while campaigning. He has continued to fight for his constituents while Hilary is seen as having fought mostly for her career. Robert Reich has pointed out that; “If both house of Congress remain in Republican hands, no Democrat will be able to get much legislation through Congress, and will have to rely instead on executive orders and regulations. But there’s a higher likelihood of kicking Republicans out if Bernie’s “political revolution” continues to surge around America, bringing with it millions of young people and other voters, and keeping them politically engaged.”

Sander’s has laid the ground work for a future where America works for the health and education of people first instead of corporate interests. A decentralized, more local, reactive, and participatory government is not only achievable it is necessary for a healthy democracy. In Maine the democratic caucus broke records this past March and Bernie won it easily 64% to 36%. We need to see more of this kind of involvement around the country. We need people to stop being afraid to talk about politics or our continued misrepresentation is inevitable.

I would point out that I am not trying to attack all corporations; like people some are worse than others. However, it is much easier and more dangerous for an MNC to do bad than it is for a single person. The discrepancy between what a person and what an MNC can get away with is an embarrassment to our country and to human rights. I am sure Clinton will be a fine first female president; and who won’t love our first First Man? But for many Millennials and others, change will be that much less unlikely under Clinton.

So fuck the revolution, this is an intervention, to restructure our corroded democratic institutions.

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