Community vs Hostility
Dear Fellow Bernie Supporters,
The election is just a month away, but as tempting as it may be, you cannot just write him in. It is actually (literally) throwing away your vote, since the only states that allow write-in votes are: Alabama, Iowa, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and Wisconsin. Even if you organize a giant write-in campaign in those eight states, you cannot get him elected. (More information)
But if you remember correctly, this was never about getting him elected. It was about waking us up and starting a revolution. We are the change we want to see in the world, and its about time we stopped grousing over the loss of our leader and create leaders within our ranks.
So what do we do?
Build community. By building community at the lowest level (our neighborhoods and towns), we reduce dependency on the government, because we take the time to care for the people within our reach. This means getting involved in our schools and local programs, attending city council meetings with new ideas and ways to get them done, getting out and *gulp* meeting your neighbors.
Community gives kids who might not have a solid support system within their families a safe place to learn and grow. It helps out single parents and stops stigmatizing single moms. We learn that while, yes, there are people who will try and work the system, they are an acceptable risk to help the people who actually need help.
Accountability. By holding our elected officials accountable to the people who elected them instead of the corporations who aren’t people, regardless of Citizens United, we can get change passed through from our local governments to the state and eventually federally. Getting involved in the minutiae of our governance will change how our government is involved with us.
Also, 469 seats are up for re-election in November. That’s the whole of the US House of Representatives and 34 US Senate seats, according to Ballotpedia. If you’ve been paying any attention to the actual political nuances of our little republic, then you know that Congress is where most things get done (or as has been the case for the last eight years, nothing gets done).
Yes, yes, I’m aware… Presidents and Supreme Court justices… but psssst, the SENATE still has to confirm the selection. Check out this nifty infographic from the Washington Post. Get a Democratic Congress in play in case Trump is elected and voila, no chance of a Scalia getting back into the SCOTUS.
Balance. By balancing free market with appropriate regulation to keep profiteering CEOs and boards from poisoning water, air and earth to grow their bottom line ensures that we will have a planet left for our future generations, not some dystopian society where we all live in tiny apartments and must comply with police by touching ‘deterrent’ pads on our walls.
This means we understand that not all genetically modified foods are bad, but we deserve labels to tell us what is going in them. That seeds should be shared, not horded, and farmers should be encouraged to grow crops without fear of being crushed by companies like Monsanto or bankruptcy.
Respect. Continuing the progress movement that encourages respect regardless of who you are, how you identify, who you love or how many kids you choose to have or not have can only elevate our society as a whole to a more Star Trek-level of co-existence. Can’t get rid of all the bad apples, but we can support the good ones.
This also means understanding that people are allowed to disagree with, well, anything, and protest how they choose when they feel like they’re not being heard. When we get past the labels and see each other as different versions of the same, we can stop fighting and work together to build a world where we all can live.
All of this takes time, people. There is no magic pill that will fix the damage done during our country’s pubescent outrage. You want this to work, think more growing tree and less chia pet.
So if you’re ready to continue the revolution Bernie helped begin, then get involved (do I sound like a broken record yet?) at your local level and encourage others to do the same.
Community vs hostility, folks.
Together, we can’t lose.