Monday, March 14, 2016

Team Bernie Brings America Together

This week on The Bernie Blog we take a look at some intriguing opposites in the "Berniverse". We have a male's perspective and a female's perspective. We have the perspective of a Big Ten college rivalry tradition.  We have the heartfelt commentary and photo of those who heard Bernie speak in Toledo this past Friday. The Ides of March are upon us... Come on Team Bernie, we can do it! We can bring America together for a future to believe in!

Why America Should Elect Sanders 
 by Dirk Droll 

Note: The original and far longer article appeared on Beantock's World.

Bernie Sanders has stood for what is right throughout his 34 years in elected office and even before. He knows the system inside and out and doesn’t in the slightest seem to have been corrupted by it. Now, as America desperately needs a true people’s candidate for its presidency, he makes the sacrifice to run for the office instead of taking a well deserved retirement. He has lived a full life and may not even survive his presidency. Thus, he can boldly stay his course on the issues.

 Sanders has little reason to be as timid as Obama has been, a man who promised us so much but delivered so little. Obama had huge popular support. He was our first black president; his very existence improved our record of racism in the eyes of the entire world. He also had promised real health care reform and vowed to close the great shame of our nation, Guantanamo Bay. On neither of these he delivered. Instead of wheeling and dealing and giving in, Obama could surely have shamed his opponents, named them publicly every time they were blocking him. We would have supported him. His opponents would have felt our anger. We loved Obama then and would have done much at his behest.  But he didn’t have the guts to challenge the establishment. He didn’t dare.

 Sanders is known to dare, and he can afford to dare greatly – having little left to lose at his age. Bernie Sanders was an independent most of his years in public office. This alone takes balls in the American political system where the two big parties monopolize access and rising to national political office without party support is nearly impossible. This fact speaks for an enormous dedication to the people’s issues and an adamant resilience against being bought by the establishment. It also speaks for Bernie's loyal voters who knew what they had in him. Only for this presidential race, so as not to be blocked by the monopoly, nor to risk ushering in an outlier from the far right by splitting our vote, has Bernie Sanders joined forces with the Democratic Party. It used to marshal common people’s issues in the past but needs renewal like our whole system does. 

This move proves Sander’s political acumen. He knows what he’s doing and when to do it. I can’t believe our luck that we have one like him stepping up to the plate at this critical time. We better take advantage. It may be a while before another like him comes along.

Bio: Dirk Droll, aka Beanstock, has had a long string of careers and writes in his spare time about life, the universe, and everything, both seriously and in jest, sometimes even both.

This  week's  "This Woman is Bernie Strong!" takes a look at how women have been unnecessarily polarized in our current political discussion.

This is Not Progress
Generational Polarization of Women 
in the Political Debate
A perspective
by Suki Liebow

I have recently read about, and personally experienced, women from older generations, prior Secretaries of State and acclaimed feminists alike, attacking younger women for their choice to support Bernie Sanders over Hillary Clinton in the upcoming election. 

"There’s a special place in hell for women who don’t support Hillary,” said Madeleine Albright. Gloria Steinem stated (and later apologized for saying) that “Young women support Bernie Sanders because they want attention from boys”. 

I have been accused of being unsupportive of women and ignorant to the history that made it possible for women to vote because of my choice to support Sanders over Clinton.

In light of these recent disturbing attacks on women of younger generations by (some) self-proclaimed feminists, let’s visit the meaning of the word feminist, shall we?
 Feminist: advocating social, political, legal, and economic rights for women equal to those of men
Interesting that “feminist” does not, in fact, mean "anti-man." Nor does it mean voting exclusively for women. 
The statement, “Young women support Bernie Sanders because they want attention from boys,” implies that young women aren’t smart enough to think for themselves when it comes to politics, and that their political motivations are not based on information and education but on their desire to have sex. It is a sexist and demeaning statement to all women of younger generations, and it seems remarkably similar to the despicable arguments used to keep women from having equal rights in the first place.

If there is, in fact, a “special place in hell for women who don’t support women,” wouldn’t there be one for you, Madeleine? Isn’t your statement expressing a blatant lack of support for young women to exercise the very rights that you fought for them to have? In an attempt to understand why older women would attack younger women in this way, I came up with this speculation. 

It seems the older generation feminists feel invalidated by younger women in their fight for equal rights. Perhaps the older generation, having fought for the right of a woman to even run for president, take offense to the choices of younger women to vote for anyone other than the woman who made it on the ballot. The fact that there is a woman on the ballot being enough reason to gain the vote of the generation who fought specifically for her right to be there.
I can see why things could get a little heated.

While the mere thought of a female candidate was seen as a far cry from reality in generations past, in current times, many of us have surpassed the novelty stage of "a woman in office." Therefore younger generations have the luxury of focusing on the issues, character, and agenda of the candidates without regard to gender. Believe it or not, this is progress!

The younger generation thinks less about this critical fight for women’s rights, not because it doesn’t matter, or because we’re a bunch of ignorant, uneducated snotbags, but because we now have this right. Since we have the right, we are no longer focused on fighting for it. This is not intended to be dismissive of the very real struggle that took place in order for us to gain this freedom. It is simply the natural progression of taking action on the issues that are present now

The irony is this: The very platform from which the younger generations are speaking from was built by the older generations. Think about it. This fight wasn’t fought so that women would be obligated to vote for women alone. It was fought so that women could partake in the political process. 

Well, We Are! 

As a woman of the younger generation to the older generation, I’m asking you, please stop criticizing us for standing on the platform that you built. Isn’t this why you built it? Stop berating us for speaking our minds and voting our conscience. You taught us to do just that. 

Stop insulting us with sexist comments about our political motivations. All your efforts are wasted if we become our own oppressor. 

Stop accusing us of being unsupportive of women simply because our opinions don’t always agree with yours. We have a different view of the world, and it is valuable, too. Instead of berating us for taking advantage of the liberties that your efforts afforded us, let’s celebrate the significant progress and accomplishment.

This is the freedom you fought for. Not the freedom for all women to have one opinion. Not to dictate whom she should vote for, but to have the freedom to vote in the first place. To be a part of the political process in the way we, as individuals, feel morally compelled to. 

While you had the issues of your time and faced them with determination and steadfast resolve, the younger generations have a whole new set of issues to contend with. Because of the progress you made in the fight for women’s equality, we can now face the fight on the broader issues of the world by educating ourselves and voting our conscience, the way you voted yours by fighting for our rights in the first place. 

Regardless of who we vote for, the point is that we have the freedom to vote. We, as American women of all generations, are standing up to do so.

Bio: Suki Liebow has been writing on the topic of emotional processing for over 20 years, and is preparing the release of her first full length book. Suki founded a unique method of emotional processing that facilitates productive communication leading to more successful relationships.

After a childhood wrought with challenges, Suki’s perseverance and dedication to this development have yielded a great many successes and admirable accomplishments. Through her Emotional Processing method, Suki brought herself from being alone on the streets as a thirteen year old girl, to founding multiple businesses, speaking as an invited guest around the country, and teaching classes. She continues to develop practical tools for personal development.

Suki lives in San Francisco, California.

Ohio Bernin'!

Ohio Bernie Supporters have been issued a challenge--we must turn out in record numbers and beat Michigan's voter turn out. We can't allow this challenge to go unanswered, so answer the call and tell all your friends and family to come out and vote for Bernie in Ohio on March 15. We can't let Team Bernie down! 

Illinois, Missouri, Florida and North Carolina--get out and vote, too. Everyone else--keep phone-banking, Facebanking and canvassing. We can do it! Team Bernie has a can do attitude!

My husband and I volunteered to help run  the extremely last minute Toledo rally for Bernie on Friday. Our photos are coming soon, but here's our friend Tim who got to shake Bernie's hand and snap a photo with our next president. Exciting, isn't it? #FeeltheBern Buckeyes and get out and vote!

And here's a great commentary on the rally by Theresa Williams:

BERNIE SANDERS RALLY, TOLEDO, OH I wanted to say something about the Bernie Rally today to hopefully counteract a lot of the negativity surrounding Bernie's campaign and his supporters. I was so proud of Toledo. 

The rally was supposed to start at 3:30 with doors opening at 1:30. Allen and I got there at 12:30 and the line was already very long. It turned a corner around the building and kept going beyond. Everybody was patient, spending their time in small groups discussing the issues. When we finally rounded the corner, we saw two protesters on the other side of the road holding up signs, one of which said, "Socialism is not the answer." No one jeered or screamed at them. No one made rude gestures. Instead, one of the volunteers crossed the street, smiling, and engaged them in conversation. Both sides were listening to each other. 

We got seated in the bleachers by 2:30. Bernie didn't speak until 5. It was a capacity crowd, but everyone was patient, yet excited. These were attentive, informed people. Bernie's speech was powerful and had all the things in it you've come to expect from Bernie but my take away was a sense of togetherness. Bernie brought us all together in a common cause, to make life better for everyone. He was completely inclusive. 

I have had the pleasure of voting in many elections, but I have not felt so strongly about a candidate since I was 13 and following Bobby Kennedy. This man is authentic. He cares. He will make a great president. #BernieSandersToledo 


  1. "There’s a special place in hell for women who don’t support Hillary." Such sexist crap from someone who should've known better! Is there "a special place in hell for men who don’t support other men?" I think not. I support Bernie Sanders, because he has the policies, the sound judgment and sheer energy needed to make the United States a country that's better for its citizens.

    1. Well said, A J! Thinking voters don't care to be "shamed" by such crazy statements made by the former secretary of state. Thinking voters study the issues and read up about the candidates. They vote using their brains not because of a silly notion that "only girls vote for girls and only boys vote for boys." Nobody can be that short-sighted.


Please feel free to share your thoughts with us. Just one rule: Be polite. This means no profanity or cursing. No shaming or hate speech. No threats or silliness. This is a family friendly blog. Thank you.