By Laura Bonham
In judging this presidential election, the Republican and Democratic Parties have provided little more than spectacle accompanied by tired promises of more inequality. The lumbering old elephant just refuses to acknowledge the historic moment in which we find ourselves, and the stable of Democratic candidates in no way resembles a donkey willing to kick ass except for one--Bernie Sanders. But as far as the party's elite go, an FDR Democrat is a thoroughly unacceptable standard bearer for the DNC.
For those of us organizing in the democracy movement, Sanders campaign has opened an important door to the American psyche, one that we've been banging our heads on for many years. What Sanders has done and is still doing is giving folks permission to envision a different future, inviting them to think big about how different life could be for so many people. And that has proved to be a very hard task in a society nurtured on "You can't," "I can't," and "We can't" until we get to the biggie, "We can't afford it." Finally the electorate is thinking about what we can do together, and about who is the "we" and what togetherness represents.
There is every reason young people, the Sandernistas, are flocking to his campaign: The legacy they are about to inherit is one giant, life-threatening mess, created by the white neo-liberal and neo-conservative policies which began with Reagan's election in 1980, engulfed both major parties, and went on to decimate the civil rights gains made during the apex of the Civil Rights movement. For our own sake, we need them to exercise their political muscles and reinvigorate a civil rights movement for authentic democracy. And then we must follow their lead.
Organizations like Move to Amend, which was the first to respond to the Citizens United decision on January 21, 2010 with the Motion to Amend petition, have been working at the grassroots level to continue the work of the Civil Rights movement by organizing around the systemic issues that allowed slavery and a billionaire class in the first place.
Sandernistas, you are already in tune with the existing deep structural issues in the US Constitution, which are redistributing wealth upward, creating debt slaves, mass incarceration and systemic oppression, a surveillance state, an inhabitable planet, and potential nuclear devastation.
Move to Amend's mission is to build a people's movement on behalf of a U.S. Constitution that makes real the promise of a vibrant, democratic society, and is deeply rooted in social, economic, and ecological justice; a democracy that is genuinely representative and accountable to the people and not corporate interests.
Sounds a lot like Mr. Sanders.