“But he cannot win,” you say? Allow me to walk you to the light.

I won’t use the word brainwashed, at least hopefully for most of us. But conditioned? Yes. I would definitely say that we are conditioned. We don’t have to go down the entire garden path of social sciences to recognize the more in-your-face factors of this. Times are hectic. We have plenty on our plates just schlepping through our days. We are in-un-da-ted beyond sane belief with sound bytes and images. Everyone and their mustachiod aunt is trying to sell us something. Their wares, their services, their woes, their opinions. Their interests. We can barely defend against all of the pitches. Defending against incessant onslaught takes time, focus, and energy. And so we end up getting our information from the sound bytes, many of which we don’t seek out, and many that we are not even consciously aware of — let alone question. Whatever is the loudest, the most obnoxious, the smoothest, most ubiquitous, subliminally manipulative, the catchiest phrase… whatever tailors best to a given demographic. People study this shit. It is out there and incessantly talking at us.

The only reason I am writing this against my will (because, frankly, it would be really nice to zone out) is because what has been seen cannot be unseen, and ignoring it is more uncomfortable than not. What I have seen is that many of you are what I call ‘dead wrong with conviction’, people. And to paraphrase The Dude: this cannot stand.

Once upon a July 2015, Bernie Sanders was not well known. Not that he has not been present and worth knowing for a long, long time; but his views have not been much appreciated by the mainstream media. Now — before you start muttering about conspiracy theories, you know well enough that the mainstream media is full of it. They may put the occasional quasi-critical piece out there, sort of like your local “Bring Back the Confederate Flag Club” likes their token person of color — and you really don’t know whether they would like to convince you or themselves that they are not racist. You have to venture a look at the broader picture. Spend, for example, even a bit of time on late night television with Stephen Colbert, The Daily Show (I still weep for Jon Stewart’s departure), Bill Maher, or John Oliver, and you will hear them called out and see them put to shame — with the pertinent video footage — on any number of things. If that is too frivolous for you, then I suggest NPR, Democracy Now, Bill Moyers — respected and not filled with hyperbole… or advertising. That should always tip you off. Or, for the more cutting edge: Frontline, VICE on HBO, Thom Hartman. Those are off the top of my head. Tune in. You will be blown away by what is out there, and what you haven’t been hearing; or only hearing dumbed-down, slanted versions of. Don’t believe me: see for yourself. It’s a trip.

And then (aside from journalism as mentioned above) we have the Internet. It can totally be used for more than stalking exes or sharing (much beloved by me) cat videos. You can enrich yourself with bits of important information if you just ‘Like’ the right pages — so find the ones you trust!- all in the time it takes to upload a picture of your burrito or weird toe fungus. And you know, people have caught on to that. This is part of the reason why we are becoming aware of things, and part of the reason why I feel compelled to share what I cannot unsee.

It is December of 2015. Our planet is still hurtling toward destruction, GMO’s have not eradicated world hunger or bad hair (we have proof), we are still at war, terrorism is not a thing of the dark ages, we are under-educated, over-indebted, racked by health cares (see what I did there), nauseated by politicians and corporate greed, and pretty fucking unhappy about it all. These things have not changed. What has changed is that Bernie has become electable. This is because he is becoming known — which is really all it ever needed. Yes, you heard right. This is not my pipe dream, you just may not be tuned in to the right places.

CNN likes to report on polls that make them happy. They have, along with other mainstream media outlets, invested heavily in HRC, and have no interest in their investment tanking. It is up to you to know that many of these established polls are not in line with the times. They draw their data, say, from people who have voted in the last two elections and who have landlines. Those demographics are not representative in a world of millenials who don’t have landlines and have never voted. I have news for you, the people who have never voted, or have never voted as democrats, or do not have landlines, are not all in their 20s, either. Or 30s. Or even 40s. In fact, albeit I have a landline, I don’t know who the hell these demographics are actually representative of. Certainly not the world I live in. They may not be ‘accepted’, but I find online polls conducted by the same media outlets (but never mentioned in their published articles or mainstream reporting) far more telling. Because everyone on social media — a quite diverse group — can participate in them. It’s kind of more democratic overall. You know, like our elections are supposed to be. On those I have never seen Bernie Sanders get less than 80% of the vote. I have heard arguments — from Bernie supporters, too — that some of them can be voted on more than once, that we may be skewing them. True. But the same is true for every other listed candidate and his or her supporters. And, lo, the level playing field. It may not be indicative of 1:1 votes cast, but it can be seen as a measure of something that is arguably just as important, as I will shortly try to make clear.

Recently I read that the democratic base only makes up 30% of the entire American electorate, and that HRC holds 59% of the vote within those narrow parameters. Which translates to 17.4% among the entire American electorate. This cannot be deemed overwhelming, particularly when you consider the voting blocs (not measured in the kinds of polls CNN and their ilk like to cite) that are quite soundly in Bernie’s corner: there is the small matter of Independents and Millenials, for instance. Another key factor that almost cannot be overstated is the measure of enthusiasm with which people are willing to support their candidate. See above. People who believe in HRC are a range of things; I would not rate ‘passionate about her’ as very high on that list. (Now, the people who do not believe in her tend to be pretty passionate, and they run the gamut of political orientation — very much including democratic, but that is a whole ‘nother Oprah). People who support Bernie, on the other hand, are often very passionate. For better (I think) or for worse, we annoy the living crap out of folk with our enthusiasm at times. HRC supporters seem to be either angry (you could rate that as passionate, I guess), or somewhat jaded and resigned. A somewhat jaded and resigned person is not going to convince non-voters to vote, and a somewhat jaded and resigned person may even have a headache, or shopping to do, or not, when it comes to vote-casting day. So much for some of the HRC versus Bernie part of the story. All you need to do is see footage of his audiences at events versus hers. But how about who can do what is most important: Win the general election, trounce the bad hair-piece (I will not be convinced that nature perpetrated what is on that man’s head), and elect our Supreme Court judges. Along with other sundry tidbits.

The December Quinnipiac poll, just for example, shows that two of the top three Republicans would beat HRC. Sanders is ahead of each and every one. For the hair piece: HRC is 7 points ahead. Sanders leads him by 13 points. Those 13 points in a general election would constitute a landslide of proportions that would significantly affect down ticket races. Some 60 Senate seats and ALL of the House seats are open for reelection in 2016. Might we like ‘enthusiastic’, engaged voters to show up at the polls for those? Hmm?

I am not concerned about Bernie Sanders being unable to win a general election. I am worried about one thing only: the Eeyores. They are the only factor that might lose us the Presidency to a Republican. Nothing will get republican voters out for even candidates they do not like as HRC will. They shouldn’t hate her at all, let alone with such venom. She is a Democrat in name only. But, ohhh, they do. In your mind, picture each of the republican candidates in turn as our president. Don’t you think they make W appear rather tame in hindsight? If you don’t, I submit that you have not looked closely enough. Knowing that Sanders fares better against each Republican running, the point is that you have nothing to lose by voting for him in the primaries — you have everything to gain if he wins.

Some recap: (1) Sanders polls as well or better than Clinton against the leading Republicans in head-to-head match-ups (2) Sanders polls better among Independents: the ‘swing voters’ that Democrats need in order to win (3) Sanders polls much, much better among the young people that Democrats need to turn out in order to win, and in order to carry the momentum forward to the House and Senate elections (4) Clinton has very high negatives in swing states (5) Clinton is running as a “status quo”, “you say centrist like its a bad thing” candidate in an election year when people are yearning for more change

I am asking only one thing of you: vote for what you believe in. Vote for the candidate you feel has integrity. Vote for what you stand for. “If you stand for nothing, you will fall for anything” — isn’t that what they say? Is that what describes you? I am not talking about ‘later’. I am talking about showing up for the primaries. The general election? Yeah — that’s the one I don’t want you to lose for us by not showing up for the primaries. I particularly don’t want you to lose it for us if you are ‘kind of more for Bernie Sanders’. You aren’t for Bernie Sanders if you don’t show up.

Allow me to leave you with this marvelous song by the Housemartins. 
May this not be any of us.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fud...

Sitting on a fence is a man who sees no sense in fighting 
Sitting on a fence is a man who sees no sense at all 
Sitting on a fence is a man who strokes his twenty beards 
Sitting on a fence is a man who drinks real ale

But the real problem with this man Is he says, he can’t when he can 
He’d rather not get his hands dirty He’ll still be there when he’s thirty

I told myself to keep my mouth shut 
But I still end up saying if and but 
I lied to myself right from the start 
And I’ve just worked out that I’m falling apart 
Sitting on a fence

Sitting on a fence is a man who looks up to his guardian 
Sitting on a fence is a man who swings from poll to poll 
Sitting on a fence is a man who sees both sides of both sides 
Sitting on a fence is a man who looks down on opinion

But the real problem with this man 
Is he says, he can’t when he can 
He’d rather not get his hands dirty 
He’ll still be there when he is thirty

I told myself to keep my mouth shut 
But I still end up saying if and but 
I lied to myself right from the start 
And I’ve just worked out that I’m falling apart 
Sitting on a fence