Thursday, March 3, 2016
The Bernie Crowd Is Here To Stay
(Thanks to daughter-in-law Laura for the photos and article by Paul Hilder.)
Not only is the Bernie crowd here to stay but it's enormous! And there's more going on than a presidential campaign, as is described in the remarkable article I quote below by Paul Hilder.
Hilder is a Britsh writer and organiser who dropped in to see what the American cousins are up to and spent time exploring the Bernie Sanders campaign in its startling reach and scale. His resulting article is very well written and his conclusions are ones I agree with wholeheartedly. In his article he first describes the amazing self-starting organization that has sprung up everywhere for Sanders, and he notes "it's not just about one old Jewish guy from New York". The energized young people he encountered are now looking beyond the Democratic primary to future state legislative and Congressional racees. For them it's not just this election. For them there are no boundaries. As Hilder says:
"Volunteers are coordinating in realtime through web tools, social media and Slack chatrooms, contributing their unique skills to the campaign as well as making calls and converting neighbours and friends. They are making millions of calls, sending hundreds of thousands of text messages and knocking on tens of thousands of doors every day. They are organising barnstorming meetings to get others involved, holding benefit concerts and having a whole lot of fun. They are designing their own empowerment, revising their own scripts."
He then goes on with even more glowing praise and astonishment and finally confronts the issue of whether all this can capture the nomination for Sanders or whether it's too late. What he concludes is profound and, I believe, is absolutely right:
"But it’s not all about one old Jewish guy from New York. Can Bernie win? Hell, yes. But it's not inevitable. Not by a long shot. But citizens getting involved is what will decide the outcome, not media talking heads, Washington suits or billionaires’ cash.