Edited by Misty Esparza
After licking my wounds from the great injustice of the 2016 “Democratic” election and watching my country be dealt a possibly fatal blow, as a White Supremacist manipulated social media, the electoral college and “the poorly educated” into putting him in charge of the country, I said repeatedly, to anyone who would listen
“I really hope Bernie Sanders runs again in 2020.”
I was pretty active in the 2016 election. I literally contacted his campaign the week he announced his candidacy and was actually in a meeting later that evening. I learned what grassroots truly meant. There were only 12 of us at the first meeting and we all left with multiple jobs. My 13 year old daughter was in charge of social media.
It was an exciting time. I would listen to Bernie’s speeches around the clock and then find ways that I could immerse myself into large groups of people where I could pass out fliers and pamphlets (printed on my home computer, because the campaign was so new they did not have official materials yet) that educated others about the exciting policies of this great man. My excitement was so great that I actually began driving to other states to canvass for Bernie. My partner Carrie and our two kids went to Iowa, Ohio, Georgia, Florida, Pennsylvania, Alabama, North and South Carolina and several other states, visiting 57 cities in total, spreading the gospel of Bernie Sanders. Everywhere we went we met new friends who were making great sacrifices to spread the word about this exciting campaign. We killed two cars and collected lots of speeding tickets and in the end a lot of people asked me to write a book about our experiences volunteering, and I did. It was an incredibly exciting time.
So when Bernie announced that he was running again in 2020, I expected to be ecstatic. After all, our country needs Bernie’s message and policies now more than ever, as we find ourselves under tyrannical rule of a Nazi who threatens to completely piss on The Constitution and become emperor for life.
So why do I feel so empty?
For me the answer is obvious, I simply have untreated election PTSD from the atrocities that occurred in 2016, where the “Democratic” party lied, stole and cheated to elevate both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton into position so that Clinton would be the next president, only to have the whole thing blow up in their face with an explosion so huge that our entire country continues to pay the price to this day and will continue to pay for many more decades.
As much as I desire to put this behind me and move on, something has been taken from me, from my family – and I know that there are millions of hardworking Americans who made similar and even greater sacrifices who are feeling the same way. Collectively Bernie’s supporters are feeling this. We know that we must go out and volunteer and donate our money and make this happen again, just like we did in 2016. But how can we, now that we know what we know?
We know that there is no room for democracy in the “Democratic” party.
“A house divided cannot stand.” they say, and ours is split right down the middle. While Sanders supporters see themselves as victims of the party, party loyalists point their fingers at us, blaming us for the rise of fascism in America and the fallout of the 2016 election. And while both sides blame each other, The Right remains united as always, rallying around antiquated notions, believing they can actually turn back the clock and Make America White Again.
As much as I know that I MUST achieve an even higher level of political activism this time around, I struggle. If there’s one thing I’ve learned it’s that it’s a lot easier to get excited about a message of hope and prosperity than it is to get excited about fighting evil.
Of course there are those who have fallen victim to the “Democratic” party’s propaganda and believe that Sanders is a sellout because he refused to call out the party for it’s rampant cheating in the 2016 election. These people don’t just lack excitement about Sanders’ candidacy, they are downright furious at him, feeling betrayed by his refusal to break off from the party. Their ignorance and vitriol contaminates the movement and further splinters it into factions. This very loud and extremely vocal minority is The Left’s equivalent of the alt-right. They are the kind of people who vote for Jill Stein and then think of themselves as revolutionaries, instead of seeing themselves for what they truly are, a distraction to a once-great movement. If you look closely at a Jill Stein supporter and a Donald Trump supporter, you will see there are far more similarities than differences. Both are convinced of their superiority. They think everyone who disagrees with them is stupid. And they are incredibly misinformed about how our government works and what their candidates true motivations are. Even though I struggle to find my motivation this time around, I am, at least, grateful that I have not disappeared into complete obscurity and self-defeating rage engulfing those who have completely turned against Sanders.
So it’s not the same this time. We already know that the “Democratic” party will not give us a fair chance to play the game. We already know that we can donate every last penny we have and knock on every last door in America and they will cheat us out of the presidency. This time around, sadly, we know, beyond any shadow of a doubt, that the game is rigged.
But there’s something that we might have missed…
As I listen to the plethora of other “Democratic” candidates in 2020, it’s kind of funny, because they are all saying basically the same things that Bernie was saying in 2016. Bernie’s message was so incredibly powerful that all of the other candidates have adopted it. This is literally the definition of progress and as Progressives this is literally more than we could have dreamed of. THEY are actually speaking OUR views and policies and that is no small victory. That is something WE made happen by screaming our message from every rooftop in America. That is something that Bernie made happen by giving the same damned speech every day for forty years.
So yeah, it’s not the same, but that doesn’t mean that it can’t be absolutely phenomenal. People with PTSD have to be ten times as brave just to do simple things that other people take for granted. So those of us with election PTSD must do the same. We must be ten times as brave as we were in 2016 and shout our message ten times as loud.
Maybe this time, facing the very real possibility of four more years of White Supremacist leadership, enough people in power will actually listen and we can get Bernie Sanders elected President of the United States.
I don’t know, but I’d never forgive myself if I didn’t try.
After all, the fate of the world is hanging in the balance.