I walk into my local bookstore and see my favorite human, Bernie Sanders, staring at me from directly inside the store window. His book, Our Revolution, is flying off the shelves.
As I bring it to the register the clerk says..
“I read it. I cried. I love Bernie.”
And we are immediately friends…
Leaving the shop, I pull up at the stop-light and start looking for the latest Young Turks podcast on my phone. As I do there is honking from behind and beside me. I look up to see what is going on. The guy to my left gives me a thumbs up. It says “Feel the Bern 2020” on both sides of my car. The girl in the car behind me also gives me the thumbs up and then starts taking pictures of my Bernie-mobile.
This happens almost every time I stop at a light.
Someone told me that Bernie Sanders lost the election, but to say this would be to miss the point.
Bernie Sanders won and we won.
More importantly, we are still winning, because Sanders started something and we will not stop until it is finished.
Everywhere I go, I meet people who believe in Sanders message of compassion. The air is alive with people talking political change. This is the most informed generation in our country’s young history. I can go anywhere in America and find people who believe as I do, that every man, woman and child deserves the right to healthcare, a living wage and an opportunity to pursue higher education.
Bernie Sanders made it okay to be a proud Socialist and taught millions of people what the word actually means.
He woke us up and we aren’t going back to sleep.
He introduced us to each other and we are a powerful force to be reckoned with.
That is the incredible gift that Bernie Sanders gave to all of us.
The revolution is going on right now.
It began the moment Sanders stood up in the backyards of rural areas, where Democrats fear to tread and said what we had all been thinking.
Bernie was clear from the beginning that it was about US. He told US to stand together and we would win. I know that it is hard, right now, with the utter mess that our country’s political system has become, but out of chaos arises opportunity.
The confluence of America’s political system hitting rock bottom at the same time as this great man rising up and becoming a voice of awakening for an entire generation, is exactly what needed to happen for our country to take a giant leap forward into a new Progressive era.
Sanders started a conversation and traveled from town to town sharing these truths that we hold to be self-evident.
Now it is up to US to continue the conversation.
It is up to US to help our neighbor. It is up to US to fight injustice. It is up to US to run for office, to boycott corporations, to push until every one of Bernie’s dreams becomes a reality.
Because Bernie’s dreams are our dreams.
Before Sanders, we were fragmented. We felt alone and powerless.
Now awake, we are an unstoppable force.
As I walk into a local coffee shop, Bernie Sanders is on corporate media. He is applying pressure to Barack Obama to declare Standing Rock a national monument. Later the same day, I walk into the gym and one of the Republican guys yells…
“Boy, Ol Bernie is really lettin em have it, Mike!!”
I look up at the TV and Sanders is on talking about reforming the “Democratic” Party and ridding it of corporate influence.
“Show this guy your Bernie tattoo!!” another one of my Republican friends hollers.
I do and they all laugh and tell me how Bernie is “just what this country needs”.
Bernie has a platform now. People are awake. They are listening. And anyone who knows anything about change, knows that first people have to become aware of what needs to change before change can begin.
For the next few years, things will be hard and we will have many opportunities to band together to fight injustice and if we fight hard enough and make our voices loud enough, we can begin usher in a new age of enlightenment in America.
It is up to US to take this wonderful gift that Bernie has given us and continue to give it to everyone we meet.
After doing some (non-corporate) Christmas shopping, I returned to my car to find a note.
I cringed, thinking that some Trump supporter might have taken umbrage with my First Amendment right to express my Socialist views.
I was wrong.
Instead there was a beautiful letter, from a friend I haven’t met, leaving me warm and fuzzy this holiday season.
This was just the latest in a million reminders that our movement has only just begun.
Happy Holidays to all my amazing Bernie friends everywhere.
2016 brought us together.
In 2017 we will continue the fight.