“This planet has – or rather had – a problem, which was this: most of the people living on it were unhappy for pretty much of the time. Many solutions were suggested for this problem, but most of these were largely concerned with the movement of small green pieces of paper, which was odd because on the whole it wasn’t the small green pieces of paper that were unhappy. And so the problem remained; lots of the people were mean, and most of them were miserable, even the ones with digital watches.”
― Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
I’m not a particularly remarkable person. Like you, I’ve strengths and flaws, hopes and dreams as well as kindness and cruelty, depending on the moment. I am often a lone wolf who probably could play well with others, but doesn’t trust enough to do so regularly. I am stubborn, especially when it comes to my values of right, wrong and how to treat others. I cherish petty things like etiquette far too much to truly fit into modern society, both online and offline. It is odd that a creature the likes of me would find politics and music, two things that are best when achieved in groups, to be my favorite areas to endeavor in. These are simultaneously strengths and flaws, but important for today’s story, so that you know exactly the sort of human being telling it.
The 2016 Presidential Primaries have challenged me, as the effort has involved trusting strangers more than I’m inclined to. I worked on issues of criminal justice reform in the year leading up to supporting Bernie Sanders for President, and was challenged similarly there as well. Both movements have struggled with coalescing assorted grassroots activists with different agendas along with new activists still figuring out how to use their newfound voices. I am hard headed and often forget that people may not share the same ethics and objectives as me.
However, moving forward, right now, I know that I must step outside of my comfort zone, and even more uncomfortably, ask you, dear reader, to join me.
In just one year, since Senator Bernard Sanders of Vermont announced that he was willing to step up and take on the oligarchy, running against modern history’s most powerful political machine, a rag-tag coalition of activists, unions and regular American patriots have banded together both online and in real life to create an honest to Pete political movement. I don’t know this Pete fellow, but I’ve gotten to know an awful lot of you, and I’m proud of both what we’ve built and willing to share in the work that lies ahead of us.
In many communities and States it was “we the people” who built the foundation of Bernie’s campaign. We held meetings in people’s houses, met in YouTube chat rooms while watching independent broadcasters who took up our fight too and organized on the internet to march together in real life. We felt an incredible high of coming together as empathetic people who wanted to restore Democracy while valuing the lives of all people as we gathered for political rallies that seemed more like rock concerts than lectures. Together we started a revolution.
We hopefully all knew in the beginning that this wouldn’t be easy. We certainly all know it now. The fact of the matter is that the establishment has fought us at every turn, as they will continue to do. The weeds of oligarchy in America are so rooted that it is difficult to replant Democracy in the same fields again.
There have been many challenges that we have risen to. There will be many more. The corporate media has been against us, lied about our candidate, movement and issues, and has denied us equal airtime. In response, many of us have used the internet to create our own media outlets. We have dominated social media. We have fought the corporate propaganda machines at every turn, and in this battle, I believe we are winning.
We have proven that the Democratic Party is corruptly financed and influenced by big business.