Bernie 2020 officially launched
And what NOT to do this time to help Sanders win presidency
By Yvonne C. Claes
It’s about time.
Bernie Sanders finally made it official Tuesday morning, less than 24 hours after Presidents’ Day: He announced he is indeed running for President of the United States for a second time.
And Berners and true Progressives everywhere — anxiously watching the parade of corporate stooges the Democratic Party has pranced before them (with Tulsi Gabbard being the exception) — pumped their arms and said, “Hell yeah!”
And then they immediately reached for their debit and credit cards, or their checkbooks, and donated the requisite $27. Then the establishment media scratched its collective head and uttered a nervous giggle when Bernie’s campaign announced it had raised more than one million dollars in less than four hours, dwarfing the take of Hillary Clinton clone Kamala Harris, who raised a now-piddly 1.5 million in 24 hours.
Bernie’ ability to raise cash from average Americans always has given corporate candidates conniptions, just like it did in 2016. Clinton donors must be wary as well, especially after losing about one billion dollars when Hillary ran and lost her White House bid.
After all, they have thrown their substantial cash behind Harris, and the establishment media has done everything in its power to make her appear like a frontrunner. She isn’t. She’s just an unrecognizable, unfamiliar face in the crowd, one that on any given day claims she’s a Progressive, then on the next walks back her support of Progressive issues like Single Payer.
With all of this in mind, and especially with the way the corporate media and the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and party elites previously treated Bernie and his supporters, I think it’s safe to say we have learned some valuable lessons from 2016.
In fact, here are the Top 6 Lessons I have learned as a diehard Berner and want to pass along. Feel free to add to them:
1. Do not engage with trolls on social media.
They waste your time, drain your energy, frustrate you, and make you believe a huge number of people actually oppose Bernie and his Progressive vision. In other words, they do the job they were intended to do: wreak havoc on you psychologically. Instead, spend your time having an online discussion with someone who is more open-minded, and therefore, a potential ally. I can’t tell you the time I wasted with these emotional and mental vampires the last time Bernie ran. David Brock’s internet army can piss off in 2019 and beyond.
2. Block anyone who craps on Bernie, whether it’s on your Facebook wall, via a Tweet, etc.
This suggestion goes with Number One. Again, I used to allow debate when it came to Bernie on my FB wall. I figured I could hold my own, so why not? Blocking was a sign of weakness, of not being able to support and defend my political convictions, I told myself. Well, I’m much wiser now. No, blocking helps me keep my sanity and keeps me focused on what matters: doing tasks that will help get Bernie elected. And don’t forget to delete the person’s comment. Why? Because 10 out of 10 times the information they posted is incorrect, and you do not want visitors to your wall to read inaccuracies about Bernie.
3. Get rid of cable. In fact, get rid of your television.
I have been cable- and television-free for more than three years, and I’ve never been better informed. Now, that’s saying something about the state of our media when a person can get rid of their TV and say they are better informed. Today’s corporate press rarely talk with any depth about real issues — such as healthcare, rising college costs, income inequality, retirement insecurity, justice system reform — affecting regular Americans.
Instead, they jabber away about who they think can get the most corporate donations, who can win the most black votes because they themselves are black, and how Starbucks billionaire Howard Schultz has entered the race to block “far left” candidates like Sanders should the latter win the Democratic Party nomination. The media, in a nutshell, is rich people working for rich people reporting the threats of rich people if they don’t get their way.
4. Don’t be afraid to have political conversations with co-workers and neighbors.
While this sounds contrary to previous suggestions, it’s not. I’m talking about having real, meaningful, in-person conversations with people in your life.
We have been taught (conditioned and indoctrinated) not to discuss politics. I have been told by colleagues before I even open my mouth but who know I am politically active, “I don’t want to discuss politics.”
This, my friends, I find extremely sad, especially when the people saying this are parents.
What a convenient system for the oligarchy that runs this country. The people self-censor themselves! Excellent!
Even better, the people never will realize how much they have in common, and with the media constantly telling them America is a divided country, they will be none the wiser.
Divide and conquer is how those in charge keep their power. Unite and realize our common enemy is how we the people wrest the power away from those who oppress us.
5. Take no more than 24 hours to recover from a setback.
Ask yourself: Is what I’m doing right now (outside of work, sleep, working out, or family time) helping to get Bernie elected? Or, am I engaging in wasteful, mind-numbing activities because I’m feeling overwhelmed, because I know the entire system is set against us?
Trust me, I’ve been there. If you are a Bernie supporter, then you have, too. When Bernie lost a primary, I took it personally. When Jeff Bezos’ Washington Post ran 16 negative stories about Bernie in 16 hours during Bernie’s 2016 contest with Clinton, I was distraught, then angry. But instead of sulking about it for days, this time I’m determined to take at most 24 hours to get over a setback. And then I’m going to come back even stronger, whether it be calling voters in other primary states or walking door-to-door educating people about Bernie’s platform.
6. Be more vigilant at the polls, and even if you don’t consider yourself a writer, be prepared to write about election fraud should it occur again.
We will need to raise our voices much louder — and we will need more of them — should the Dems try to steal the primaries for a pro-corporate candidate like they did last time for Hillary, which led to the party having an extremely weak nominee, which in turn ultimately led to Trump winning the White House.
We must be on guard early on for Democratic Party rigging. Remember, the oligarchy that controls both parties and has its puppets in the House and Senate has a lot to lose if Bernie wins. Trump has been the gift that keeps on giving, even to Democrats. Chuck Schumer’s and Nancy Pelosi’s lobbyist checks haven’t stopped with Trump; they would with Bernie. We need to keep in mind we are fighting the system on two fronts, the Republicans and the corporate Dems, which is sadly most of the latter’s party.
So let’s get ready, Berners. Yes, let’s prepare for the unpleasant: the tired and overused “Russians troll,” “Trumpster,” and “Bernie Bro” labels the opposition is sure to throw around.
But I’m looking forward to hearing and saying something I haven’t in quite some time: “Brothers and Sisters.”
©Yvonne C. Claes, 2019. I own this content. You can share my column, but please make sure my name is left on it. However, if you would like to license this article, please contact me or deal with my copyright attorney. Your choice. Since I do not get paid for my writing, please give my column some claps or some likes. Thanks!