What It Would Mean to Elect Bernie Sanders
It would mean for honesty to be back in vogue. That someone who has remained true to himself and always for the sake of others for decades and decades and decades would not have to compromise his integrity to win a competition. That winning was solely on earned merit.
It would mean his values, fought for on our behalf, are our values, and that we would know that we are represented by those we choose to put in power. That they would never forget who elected them and what we chose them to do and that we will no longer be misled or herded for ulterior agendas to benefit ulterior-minded ilk. That those we elected are chosen because they can unite us and help us in ways that we cannot help ourselves, and help us help ourselves first.
It would mean that we would see that the path taken by leading an honest life will take longer but will be exactly that — honest — and therefore something everyone can do, at all times, for the benefit of the good and truth and therefore for all of us.
It would mean that to be honest is to at times be outraged — at dishonesty, at the pervasive encouragement, tacit or otherwise, to be dishonest — and to act swiftly and fully to resolve injustice and help those perpetuating it to be better.
It would mean no need to play a shell game to parse what was meant by what was said and under which cup we might find whom it would really benefit. That we learned the issues and saw through pandering and outright lies, that we refused those who created today’s climate to placate us in exchange for allowing ourselves to be completely exploited.
It would mean that we no longer let our once-earnest efforts, which turned us to dejection and apathy, serve as tacit approval for the status quo. That we found our spirit instead of our cynicism and we saw what we could do with it because we saw what another has done with it for all of us.
It would mean that our plight is not acceptable as the cost for doing business, and those negligent with our wellbeing and families are the public service records no longer of interest to us. That those who would do such things should confront themselves and find their better natures before they come back in hopes of serving and representing us again.
It would mean that the only wrong time to do the right thing is any time but the present, and not when it is strategic or less risky or growing suspect. That the legacy we value is one earned from fighting for the messy and necessary, despite how unpopular or premature, over many years and immediately, and not the kind that is earned through name association and nepotism.
It would mean that we made the conscious effort to consider whom we put in power to alter our lives and the planet. That we resisted and rejected the unnecessary tailored lies and manipulation used to convince us that what feels so wrong could be good for us. And that those who seek to perpetuate and benefit from their untruths will see that sincerity works no matter how bent the rules are built, and anything that is insincere can only fail.
It would mean honesty and compassion need only spread for them to win because they come far more naturally to and from us, and relieve us of the coiling tension of lives made to live in such antithetical ways. That we did not know earlier about honest ideas and compassionate proposals because they were intentionally disregarded for the very reason that they were elected — they benefit the people and not the ill-motivated in-betweens and are therefore better than any alternative. That we did not see these ideas elsewhere because no one surmised the truth could work where its absence became tenet.
It would mean the mounds of money contributed by those in power, and those whom the status quo bequeaths, is meaningless. That the selfish unsustainability that governs too much and strips and skins so many of so much in favor of so few can be overcome. That the status quo can be taken apart by the many, many morsels from those whom it indentures and disenfranchises.
It would mean we can unlearn the divisiveness and competitiveness once ingrained as the only way to succeed, and to find the cooperation that was more fitting for us, and the tender gaze that we can give instead of suspicious glare. That we resisted words used only to incite, instill fear, and to promote values that isolate and deadleg us.
It would mean that we saw rehearsed charismatic mime of our most endearing expressions and needs, our smiles and our need to feel listened to and cared for and to have someone behind whom we can rally to lead us with our best interests as mantle, as duplicitous fodder. That true messages do not need glamor, and that false presentation and sheen is necessary only to conceal deceit. It would mean that we did not allow ourselves to be exploited through fear by those who once oversaw us at our tepid behest and great remorse.
It would mean that we would finally admit that we have weaknesses that make us susceptible to influence, sway, and self-compromise. That some of us let our worse nature, though it is a valid part of us, steer. That we do not have to treat ourselves or the others who do so as enemies but rather just as susceptible as we are. It would mean that we who thought success was only through legal loopholes and not through any certain morality can see the clear, the ethical, and the better. That we all have similar needs and we are all capable of being victims of our foibles. That our hamartia can be the source of our strongest rationalizing because we cannot lead our lives if we know that what we do is bad and so we convince ourselves it is good.
It would mean that we have a new symbol of aspiration, and though it may stumble as he is just as human, we will now have a view of greater heights up to which we will gleefully climb instead of the thorny depths into which we thought too long we must regrettably descend.
But that is too much about what it would be, because there is a chance it could not. To bridge the Would and the Chance, to elect Bernie Sanders, means we face our most necessary challenge.
It means that caring for others is the only thing that matters now because we have gone so long without and in so doing we have broken the world and each other.
It means that we can emancipate ourselves from everything we have been taught and everything we have learned about not being enough and that justice is inconvenient and that people are optional and that our differing views or skin colors or orientations or genital apparatus make us inferior.
It means that we wrestle and break from the appeal of choosing certainty over the unknown, the flashy over the substantive, and the unquestioned popular over the worthy risk.
It means that we individually see the immensity of what is wrong, feel what is more right and what is more sincere to our natures, and will tear down whatever supports our division.
It means that those who thought that the only way up was through bad deeds can recover and reorient their aplomb to serving the people with their originally compelling gusto, their consciences unmuted and resensitized.
It means that, finally, we see a role model who reminds us that it is okay to tell the truth and to fight for the truth patiently and then all at once. That we can be honest in our own lives, no matter the effort, because it is right and because it benefits everyone when we are. That we can be ourselves because ourselves is what the world needs and not the everything we are told we are supposed to be long enough that we think it our own idea.
It means that we can accept, with humility, what we have now and still know that we can fight for what we would rather see because, if we are honest and caring for our fellow human beings, we can only do the good and genuine and succeed.
It means that we refuse to be made powerless by giving power to the few because we will band together and fight for each other and therefore for what is right.
It means that we see today as when we could finally begin to change all the things we resigned to believe never would.
It means that we will straighten our shoulders from disaffected postures, become involved, and vote for Bernie Sanders.