We're in the midst of something unprecedented.
The rise of Bernie Sanders as one of the biggest potential political upsets in American history.
And yet, I believe what we're seeing is connected to something much bigger and more global. What began in Tunisia and evolved into the Arab Spring marked the beginning of a people-powered movement saying "enough is enough" to corrupt, self-interested governments making choices that benefit Just A Few People vs The People for which they supposedly stand. By the end of 2012, rulers had been forced from power in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, and Yemen with uprisings also in Bahrain, Syria, Algeria, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Morocco, and Sudan. In addition, protests inspired by these uprisings have taken place on every inhabited continent, numbering in the hundreds.
In an existing democratic society, however, the people-powered effect can be much more peaceful and immediate. Last year we saw Canada elect Justin Trudeau and his progressive party to an absolute majority in a stunning, unexpected rejection of the establishment. "This is what positive politics can do," Trudeau said following the election results.
And now we're seeing the next domino to (hopefully) fall in this movement with the unexpected rise of Bernie Sanders. Poll after poll after poll now show Sanders victorious by a landslide in a general election against the likes of Trump or Cruz. The fact that six months ago Sanders was down over 60% to establishment candidate Hilary Clinton only to have recently won the states of Michigan, Maine, Kansas, Colorado, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Vermont, Minnesota (many of them by a huge margin) is nothing short of amazing. His rallies have become like rock concerts. The universal support across all segments of society is incredible. He's favored by young voters, progressives, and Independents in a way that transcends typical party politics. Bernie Sanders is a new kind of politician. He's genuine, authentic, honest, kind, and has devoted his life to serving the best interests of ALL The People.
And yet one wouldn't know any of it from mainstream media. The dismissive way Bernie Sanders has been / still is being covered / portrayed has done more to turn the lights on to the corruption by Corporate America on our media than anything else in recent history. The bias would be comic if the stakes weren't so high. And yet, when you realize that 6 corporations now control 90% of the media in this country, their coverage of this "progressive" should come as no surprise.
Indeed, what we're seeing is the Establishment in all the harsh light of it's own self-interest.
In our Politics, on Wall Street, in Corporate America, and throughout the mainstream media.
Indeed, the Emperor (of Self-Interest) is naked... there in the spotlight of this primary for all the world to see.
Which is why this election is soooooo enormous.
Not only for the United States, but also for the world.
A few years ago I read an article that made the claim that global transformation would find it's roots in American Democracy because people-power is what ultimately transforms society and the US is still the poster-child of people-powered government. Which is precisely what I believe we're witnessing. Imagine how a Bernie Sanders election to the White House would resonate around the world, especially through a landslide victory against the ever-unraveling GOP? The message that despite all the Establishment forces that were / are against Sanders and what he stands for, in a democracy The People still decide the outcome. And while we do seem to be at the edge of American Democracy not working as a result of corporate corruption and self-interest, this election has the potential to show that it can. And in the process, begin to turn things around in creating one of the best expressions of Democracy this country has yet to see.
Imagine along with electing Sanders as President that this "enough is enough" people-powered movement also votes in a Sanders-supportive Congress. Remember that in addition to the Presidency, a total of 469 seats in Congress (34 in the Senate and 435 in the House) are also up for grabs in November. And to keep the future bright, imagine that following the 2-term Sanders Presidency The People elect a 2-term Elizabeth Warren Presidency! Imagine 16 years of a truly people-powered democracy serving the best interests of all. With politicians like them at the helm, transformation can occur across the board: campaign finance reform, renewable energies, health care, de-militarization, prison / criminal justice reform, eduction, etc., the likes of which would have impacts locally and abroad we can't even imagine. All of which is right now within the grasp of the American People.
Along these lines, I define a "Progressive" as someone who believes in an uncorrupted democratic government committed to a healthy planet in which people everywhere feel safe and meaningful. In this way, I believe that the majority of people in this country (this planet) are "progressives". I believe the majority of us intuitively know that a more beautiful world is possible and that together is how we get there.
Better yet, as this election continues let go of all the labels or stories you may have been told by the mainstream media. Listen to the candidates with your heart and spirit. See which one you feel is the most honest, genuine and sincere, especially in the context of how they've lived their lives and conducted their careers so far. Who has more integrity? Who do you believe really is committing their life to make the world more beautiful? To me, it couldn't be clearer.
When is Now.
Bernie Sanders 2016.
Because together we have the power to change anything.