Photo Credit: Win McNamee/Getty / SlantNews.com

The Bernie Paradigm is Our Campaign

By Dr. Greg Julian

My democratic political consciousness was ignited for sure in 1956 when I handed out literature for Adlai Stevenson. Next to me was an older boy, handing out “I Like Ike” buttons. At ten years of age, this face-off between the two of us was a monumental assertion that I must challenge the older kid’s beliefs.

Now sixty years later, this subjective desire to move my boomer generation to their idealism of youth is a paramount focus of presidential politics in 2016.

Yesterday in Kingston, New York I joined with activists at a “Bernie Sanders: Rally for Clean Energy.” It is increasingly clearer in my thoughts and actions that Bernie is the latest incarnation of the Woody Guthrie/Pete Seeger brand of politics that so resonates in my soul.

Rallies are for uplifting the spirit and reigniting the fire in our bellies that asserts “we the people” are citizens in a democracy. Old, young, middle-aged, people of all color combinations, sexual preferences, etc. were united in a single message — Bernie Sanders is the essential candidate to forge a green blue democratic alliance.

This campaign cannot be narrowed into one defining theme; however, if I had to pick just one focus I would say with my mind, heart, and soul — this campaign is about my lifetime recognition that we are in a paradigm shift to save the world.

Paradigm shifts are scientifically created. They arise from anomalies that the present paradigms cannot subsume with reasonable answers. I was born into a peace paradigm. A peace paradigm envisions an end to weapons of mass destruction that can destroy the earth. A peace paradigm seeks the wisdom of ancient civilizations that seek to live in harmony with the earth not control it.

My pursuit of knowledge and political acumen drives me on once again to take up the mantel of the underdog and challenge old beliefs. We must be the change we envision.

Our behavior in this election must be inclusive of the diversity of the people that I rallied with yesterday. The decay of nuclear power plants poisoning out water is real. Climate change is real. Delivering to future generations an earth that is inhabitable is undeniably real.

Shifting the economy from a war-based corporate dominated mentality to an economy that is planetary and sustainable is real. Resilience to understand different cultures and religions is strength, not a weakness.

Being an American for me means accepting the vast mosaic of our planet’s people occupying our united states of existence. The tolerance necessary for this is ever challenging but an affirmation I commit to everyday. So on this day of an Internet inspired sibling love-fest day, may I implore all of us to generate an understanding that the Sanders campaign is dedicated to accepting all people as brothers and sisters.

The Boomer paradigm shift to love, peace, and happiness is more than a bumper sticker. It is the mantra of sanity. We must celebrate this core of our inter-generational co-existence. This core is as real as we are willing to make it a reality.

Pessimism, practicality, you can’t change the system negativity — all represses the motivation to put ourselves to work for the change we want to realize. This work now is focused on a multi-decade march to manifest the message that Bernie Sanders has dedicated himself to lead. It is not Bernie’s campaign; rather, it is our campaign for democracy.

We the people must prevail over the mind numbing beat of anger, ego-maniacal narcissism, and ruthlessness that threaten our democracy. Put your money where your mind, heart, and soul are and support the Sanders campaign for a future to believe in.


Dr. Gregory B. Julian is Professor Emeritus at Pace University in New York and Co-Founder of BerniesBoomers.org