Why This Sanders Supporter is Looking Past the Presidential Primary and Onto Our Revolution.
By David Fredrick.
I still firmly believe that I supported the better candidate, but in my opinion that isn’t relevant anymore. I know that sounds like treason to some of my fellow Bernie supporters, but it is true. At least moving forward. Who I think was the better presidential hopeful doesn’t really matter when it comes to the next step of the political revolution, and it certainly isn’t what this article is about.
What is article is about is what the real message has always been: rebuilding an interested and active electorate to work for progressive change in America.
That means reaching out to people around the country and seeing if candidates, groups, and issues appeal to them. It isn’t just about trying to make sure Sanders supporters remain active, it is about trying to get more than just Sanders supporters get and remain involved. His campaign was an extension of his ongoing career, and a fantastic jumping off point for this new progressive agenda.
We must reach out to everyone who has an interest in creating a more progressive country: Independents who couldn’t bring themselves to vote for a Democrat, not even Bernie; Hillary supporters who identified with Bernie’s goals, but not with him as a candidate; Greens and other Alt-Lefters who however briefly aligned themselves with Bernie’s message; the voters who weren’t old enough yet or didn’t register in time; and those that have not voted out of protest. Liberals and progressives need to see each other as teammates and fellow citizens who see brighter future for the United States. We can be united by politics and mission, even if we are divided by party.
This movement has to be the catalyst to motivate Americans to be more aware of, and more informed about, American politics. It is imperative that a growing number of citizens participate in the governance of this great country. From local to national to everything in between. If we fail in this mission we will continue to see our lives, families, country, and world destroyed for the enrichment of those who exploit everything around them for nothing more than pathological greed.
If we waste our energy bitterly fighting the primary results and making accusations about what went wrong, we are going to completely miss the bigger picture: Right now there is a huge upswell in deeply passionate liberals and progressives who seek to be the engine of giant leaps in economic, racial, and environmental justice. Now is the time to capture that energy, before we get drowned out by nothing more than fury on the part of some, and apathy on whole lot of others.
So instead of digging deep into Wikileaks to find fatal weaknesses in the Clinton Library of Misdeeds, we must continue what we have been doing: Seeking out progressives running for office and introducing them to the national community. If we can work together, we will do something that only The Parties and the very wealthy have been able to do: make local politics national. Instead of wringing our hands over our local long-shots, we can pool our resources and passion and apply it to so many more people that we never even knew existed, running in places we have never even heard of, can succeed.
Pramila’s exposure by Bernie and the grassroots community is a strong example of how this will work. Tim’s insurgency among other show exactly what the power of interested people can do with the ability to connect and work with one another.
I hope that progressive Hillary and Jill (and others) supporters can agree with my message and do the same. That they can look past my own personal presidential primary prejudices to find a similar ally in the pursuit of a more fair and progressive United States. And before you say it: Not all Hillary supporters are progressives, but some are. I consider those people my allies, and often times my friends.
We have to look beyond what has happened in one race, in order to continue to make sure that we are productive and positive in so many other races. In this election, and the next, and the next.
David Fredrick is the co-founder of Grassroots for Sanders, one of the largest all-volunteer groups of the 2016 primary season.