[note from Stephen Fox: Editorial page endorsements are incredibly important, and to citizen readers, so are letter to the editor. I learned this ex post facto from the Obama 2008 campaign. For the New Mexico Sun News, we put together the best 38 endorsements from all over the nation, and then we did a front page headline of Obama with the US Capitol in the background, and the Headline OBAMA WINS! (This came out 10 days before the election: the media went bonkers and it was a lead story on CNN for quite a few hours) This wasn't a stunt: it is just the way it worked out: either declare your candidate a winner before the election, or wait till after when it was stale news....
This is what I have been working on as a volunteer for the Sanders campaign, and I have seen some extraordinary well thought out and well written efforts, a few of which I would like to share here with opednews readers in an exclusive, to encourage you to write your own, as your part of the massive effort that will be necessary for him to win in June and November.
From Connie Niemeyer of Kansas City
Reasons I will not vote for Hillary Clinton:
She is Pro Death Penalty.
She voted for the Iraq War.
She promoted Fracking around the world.
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The Goldman Sach's Speeches we are NOT allowed to read.
The high fee speeches to charitable organizations like the Boys & Girls club where she kept the fee instead of donating it back
Her enthusiastic embrace of Corporate America running the government because that's where the money is.
She helped write and promoted the TPP, and now is against it as a campaign talking point.
She supported NAFTA.
Big Banks and Big Pharma are both big contributors to her Campaign coffers. What are they getting in return? Wait.. I know...
She does not support single payer because the insurance companies would lose money while being unable to make money from cancer and diabetes" Same with Big Pharma.
She treated the primary process like a coronation and didn't believe the American people would be able to ask any questions.
Debbie Wassermann Schultz!!!
She lies about Bernie and claims victim status for a smear campaign that does not exist.
She does not support a living wage for all Americans.
She does not believe universal college is possible for all Americans even though it's established and common in other countries.
She opposes the reinstatement of the Glass Steagall Act and the
regulation of the derivatives markets.
She is supported by the private for-profit prison industry.
She helped establish the laws that led to mass incarceration.
She received $21+ million in speaking fees since 2013, while saying that she hadn't yet decided to run for President. She hadn't announced, but she decided in 2008.
Her campaign is pressuring people to accept that she deserves to be President because she's a woman.
Her campaign is pressuring people to believe she should be President because it's "her turn" like this is about children being polite on a playground.
She campaigned for Goldwater!! Goldwater wanted to do away with the Civil Rights Act and racially re-segregate the nation. I know Hillary now says she eventually "saw the light" and turned into a "liberal" democrat, but dude, c'mon. I'm not OK with anyone who EVER supported racism leading my country.
Willow Tomeo, published in Navajo Times
'Bernie has always defended civil rights for all people'
As a Yakama registered Colville Native who grew up in Spokane, Wash., and now going to the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, my perspective is that Bernie has, throughout his 40-year career, always defended civil rights for all people of color. He recently hired Ojibwe Tara Houska as his advisor. She is an activist and his hiring her proves a genuine empathy for Native concerns. His stance on the environment and his unprecedented stances against the corporate stranglehold on most government processes: these are vital to Native peoples. As the word gets out on him, huge pluralities in our tribal voting in the primaries are becoming very clear. Certainly, this is one of the reasons he won Oklahoma.
Having grown up in the Pacific Northwest and Great Plateau area, protecting one of the few pristine environments left in the U.S., this would be inconceivable with both Trump and Clinton and their proven kowtowing to every corporate desire, especially the Wall Street Bailout, which Americans will have to pay for the next three decades.
Clinton supported one of the opponents of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, Barry Goldwater, back when she was a young Republican.
Bernie, on the other hand, got arrested in Chicago protesting segregation, and a recent photo of Martin Luther King in Selma, clearly includes Bernie Sanders as a very young man, only 20 feet behind King in the photo.
For all Native peoples, there is so much at stake that I am impelled to not only share my views with your readers but also more vitally to ask that you, like the Seattle Times did recently, give an early endorsement to Bernie Sanders for the Democrat nomination. The Republicans are in such a disarray and need your guidance more than Democrats do, so you could also endorse whomever you want for the Republican nomination.
Natives in general lack representation in both politics and the media, and so we have a profound faith that having Bernie in the White House for eight years could bring new Native elected officials at all levels. We trust him, above all, and that is the most important criterion for us after centuries of abuse, neglect, racism, broken treaties, stolen land, and a litany of other injustices.
My friends from many tribes, plus my family and I, all recognize that this is a great chance for us to have a Vermont senator who descends from Polish Jews as president, and when we look at Trump's and Hillary's record, how can there be any choice?
Santa Fe, N.M., hometown is Spokane, Wash.
From Emmy Koponen of Santa Fe, asking several newspapers to endorse Bernie:
Editors could very soon see the merit in an early endorsement of Bernie Sanders. Doing so would make your newspaper vitally relevant to the country's, deepest political sentiments. I appreciate Bernie because of 1) his positions on climate change and on protecting the Environment, rather than Hillary's capitulation to rampant corporate power, lack of regulations, and degradation of natural resources; and 2) his defense of the Individual and of Justice in general, particularly for poor people, Native Americans, all minorities, and all people of color.
Hillary has been a mega corporate-servant forever; both Clintons have worked toward offshoring of our economy and to create NAFTA, and soon the Trans Pacific Partnership. Clinton traveled the world as SoS promoting fracking; she has always been in servitude to the "oilarchy" (oil monarchy); she voted for the Wall Street bailout and Bernie voted against it. Clinton's steadfast support for Big Pharma, Big Oil, Big Petrochemical, and others (who reward her with obscene speaking fees, up to $675,000 for a one hour speech), all of this is simply nauseating! She almost always voted in line with the Republicans, which tells the whole story. She recently praised Henry Kissinger as her "mentor," and Bernie immediately decried him as "one of the most destructive Secretaries of State in our history."
Clinton is an unmitigated hawk, and continuous corporate profits resulting from endless warfare has plundered our infrastructure, our schools, our roads, our public transportation, etc. Hillary very recently spoke of protecting Main Street and not Wall Street, but how could any informed American even believe such blatant flip-flop and hypocrisy?
Not only could you strongly endorse Bernie, but you also could publish reporting outside the main stream bilge in which Americans are led to believe that we are in the end of the 4th quarter and that Hillary has already been crowned! I'd like to see your paper's editorial about the super delegate system being such an anti-democratic ripoff, so please don't be silent as a newspaper about Hillary's super delegate victories, or the inevitable outrage of millions of Americans about super delegates precipitating the end of our last chance for redemption: Bernie Sanders as President!
Emmy Koponen Santa Fe
From Jerome Martinez of San Ildefonso Pueblo, writing to several New Mexico Editors:
I am one of many from Pueblo Tribes in Northern New Mexico,and I write in support of Bernie Sanders. I don't get into politics, not even on the tribal level, but Donald Trump scares the hell out of me. Newspapers truly may be the last place to find political truth, because so much of television could be bought for Trump ad with money from the supporters that are lining up for him. The vast majority of Native Americans are appalled at the thought of such an inhuman creature being given more power by the voters, to degrade, belittle, and even demise our cultures.
This is very, very scary. His evil person's values are not the values our elders went to such pains to teach us, and we shake our heads in disbelief as his supporters wave their banners proudly. We really need to come together and go all out to make the strong effort necessary to get Bernie the nomination and then choose him over Donald Trump. I hope that will include your newspaper endorsing him enthusiastically long before we New Mexicans cast our votes in June; endorsing Bernie should be a joy for you and not a difficult challenge, especially if you consider how far back the many generations of Pueblo natives actually go in human history. We recognize Trump's danger, and for us, Bernie Sanders is the solution.
Sincerely, Jerome Martinez
A very moving new short letter to the editor from Sarah Danielle Stephens of Spokane Valley, Washington, for some more editorial pages up in Washington:
I am going to make a confession.
This election is a significant turning point in my life, as it is yours.
Since the day I was born, I knew I was born into economic slavery. My grandparents were blind and impoverished and never taught my mother how to hate. I saw my mother work two jobs with holes In her shoes and half a days wages went to daycare, but she still refused government help.
I never understood hate. Now that I'm seeing so much of it in this country from prominent community members, preachers, businessmen, celebrities, I'm getting a little hopeless for our future.
This movement is not just about us: it's about our children who have to see hate and violence on television like the country is being ran like a reality show. It's about our grandchildren who inherit this dirty and diseased planet. Its about our children who's very halls of learning are crumbling. The infrastructure of yesteryear is falling apart.
Bernie Sanders and I share similar characteristics and I feel like I can relate to him. He truly gets it, and so do so many of us.
Regardless of religion, politics, ideology, this is the planet we share. Letting large corporations run wild with no regulations is an economic model that will self destruct. Predatory capitalism and corporate money in elections must be stopped and if we can't do it together as a civilized nation, then perhaps we should henceforth stop calling ourselves "civilized."
Every country has problems; however, ours are at the boiling point. We need a progressive and productive government to make this country work, and that means big changes in the Congress, not just the White House.
With our infrastructure crumbling, inequality at record levels, pollution and climate change, and homeless population growing, you would think there are more important things to worry about than the celebrity sideshow. I'm giving my vote to Bernie Sanders, a man who has a history of working for the people who elect him, not the power hungry egomaniacs who are out to prey on people.
Sarah Danielle Stephenson