Storm is coming...
Or so says the hashtag we've seen online in recent weeks. The storm officially arrived on Wednesday night, August 24, just as we arrived at the IBEW Union Local 8 Hall in Rossford, Ohio, to watch the Our Revolution live stream. The sky turned opaque black-green with ominous wall clouds, the rain poured down in buckets, and then the tornado sirens sounded. We promptly took our live stream event away from the large glass windows of the foyer down to the hall's basement where we shared a meaningful discussion.
We were eager to hear Senator Bernie Sanders address us, the faithful who braved the elements, but in reality we've known our marching orders for over a year now: We're to take the political revolution to the streets, to the internet, to the airwaves, to our state houses and Congress. The only thing that's different is now we have an organization backed by Bernie to help us reach our goals and build a future to believe in.
If there's anything we've learned this past year, it's this: The establishment doesn't like us. They want us "progressive do-gooders" to go away so they can continue making their obscene profits and taking corporate billions into their Super PACs to run their crooked campaigns. The establishment is willing to steal our election by any means necessary. Don't the New York and California Democratic primaries prove that?
Now more than ever, we need to stick together and gather ourselves into the "storm"... The storm that is going to blow through every local, state and federal office and clean house, ridding ourselves of the corruption, greed and injustice perpetrated upon the 99% by the 1%.
In other words, now is not the time to whine and complain and fight among ourselves. Now is the time to get to work raising the issues and supporting progressive candidates. Whatever group or organization helps you and your fellow progressives get things done use it and don't lose it.
Bernie says we should focus our energies on local, state and regional government--as these are the entities which directly effect our everyday existence. Whether it's our water being contaminated by fracking or prescription medicine prices going sky-high, statewide initiatives currently on the ballots of many states are worthy of our attention and assistance. Once a precedent is set (such as in Vermont's GMO labeling law) it encourages other states to follow suit. Bernie gave examples of ballot initiatives to regulate drug prices in California and ColoradoCare to enact universal health care for Coloradans as worthy issues for progressives to support with our money, time and voices.
Electing progressive candidates from school boards to city councils to state houses is imperative to give any progressive governor (and any future progressive president) the proper support to enact progressive legislation. Bernie stated Our Revolution will support "Berniecrats" running for office at all levels and gave the names of several candidates, from Vernon Miller, a Native America school teacher running for school board in Nebraska, to Jane Kim, running for the state senate in California, to Zephyr Teachout, running for Congress in New York state.
Of course, there are many, many more progressive candidates running or hoping to run for office out there. One organization can't possibly help them all, but there are also other groups supporting candidates, such as Brand New Congress. Together with Our Revolution, progressive activists have more resources than ever before.
Our live stream gathering agreed that most of us have been wasting valuable time and emotions recently over worrying about the remaining presidential candidates. In the grand scheme of things, the presidential race is a drop in the bucket. Our planet can't wait--and it won't make a difference who is sits in the top seat of the Executive Branch if there's nothing and nobody left to govern.
We talked about issues that are important for us in Northwest Ohio--the TPP taking even more jobs from our area, the quality of our water and the perilous condition of Lake Erie due to excessive agribusiness chemicals run-off, and the lack of support for alternative energies in Ohio because of the fracking lobby.
Tackling these challenges, we can make the most impact by working locally and regionally. As a local group, we can be flexible in our approaches and can choose specific options that will work best for us to obtain our objectives. Our failures and successes will stand as examples to others across the country and help them devise stronger attempts to tackle similar issues. Together we'll eventually bring about positive change for all.
And isn't that what the political revolution is all about?
We are the storm. We are sounding the sirens and spiraling in on our targets. We will level corruption in our wake and blow away the filth of our government. Establishment beware.
We don't have to take things lying down--we should speak out, tell the truth, and "correct the record" every time we come across a false narrative about the political revolution. Read Bern Notice's example below. He makes his point well in a thorough and respectful manner. Do likewise.
A Reply to Amber Phillips of the Washington Post
by Bern Notice
I disagree with you on two key points. First is on your premise that, "There doesn't seem to be a Sanders political revolution happening, at least not yet. Sanders's endorsements seem to have come too little, too late in many cases."
I disagree with your premise that this is Bernie Sanders' political revolution. It is not. It is our political revolt. While Bernie did serve as the mechanism that united us, many of us have been fighting individual level against the corruption in politics years before Bernie decided to run for president. This is not a new phenomenon; rather it is the first time that people in power have been forced to take notice. We united behind Bernie because he gave voice to our real world concerns, unlike other previous major party politicians.
Second, just because we haven't voted out every single member of Congress we are targeting this term does not mean the political revolt isn't happening. Nothing worth fighting for happens over night. Rare is the case where a movement for justice won out the first time they stood up.
The measurement of a movement isn't about it bringing reform the first time up. It's measured by how long it persists, and if it has staying power until the day is won. An example of this is the Civil Rights movement of the mid-twentieth century. It did not end segregation in 1954. It took fourteen long years of struggle, and the loss of several leaders before segregation was ended.
In other words, it's not about how you start. It's about how you finish.
Lastly, You quoted President Obama saying, "Don't boo, vote." For the record, the majority of us intend to do exactly that--just not for Clinton or Trump. Honestly, to some degree, I can't fault people who opt not to vote. Considering all of the shenanigans that went on in the DNC Primary up to the DNC convention that benefited Hillary Clinton, it gives the impression that people's votes don't count.
It also gives the impression that you're not interested in hearing opinions that differ or point out the deficiencies of your own. I hope people do vote, but if they don't, you need to understand that the DNC had a big hand in why people vote third party, write in a candidate, or opt to stay home instead.
Bio: Bern Notice is a busy activist in the political revolution, writing opinion pieces and rallying the troops.
Read this article (link below) and see what's what about the staff resignation controversy at Our Revolution. It will ease your mind immensely: https://medium.com/@pplswar/how-not-to-resign-from-our-revolution-6dd5953e2290#.7xksu4mz3
I think the lesson to learn from this mainstream media smear is to not jump to conclusions and to always act professional in all your dealings. We're running a political revolution--not a gossip club. Use both your heart and your head before engaging your mouth/keyboard.
We'll see you in the streets, online, on the picket lines--at the Dakota Pipeline on the Standing Rock Reservation. Get involved in Our Revolution. The planet you save may be your own.
Update 8-29-16 6PM:
Our Revolution announces its board of directors:
Fmr. Ohio State Senator
Native American Leader
Civil Rights Leader
Political Leader, National Radio Commentator & Writer
Arab American Human Rights Leader
Former Chief of Staff for Senator Bernie Sanders
Fmr. Nevada Assemblywoman
Immigration, Reproductive Justice and Trans Queer Liberation Activist
Actress and Environmental Activist