Wednesday, June 8, 2016

The Sanders Revolution Must Survive...

Ken O’Brien

Bernie Sanders improbable campaign for the Presidency has reached its end.

His quest to reform the American political scene must not.

The hope and goodwill that Senator Sanders generated among so many must not be allowed to go silently into that good night.

It must not be forgotten that the unique nature of his campaign was its growth from the bottom up. It was and is unlike virtually all modern Presidential campaigns that have been the product of wealth and privilege directed from the top down. 

The revolution he sought to engender must continue – and it must continue to strive to change the political process from the bottom up.

True and lasting change will not be delivered by the mere allegiance to the quadrennial passing of Presidential hopefuls.

It will come from the devotion to changing the makeup of legislative bodies from the base. It will consist of electing Progressive candidates in state legislatures. It will come from electing forward-looking candidates to the U.S. House and Senate. And it will come through the same mechanism that underwrote the Sanders campaign. It will come from allowing such candidates to divorce their allegiance to big money interests and by being able to rely upon the donations of millions of small contributors.

Take a look at any chart of the growth in the disparity between the rich and poor in America. It is inescapable that the income inequality which we now recognize began during the administration of Ronald Reagan.

Senator Sanders has created a template to break that trend. It must not merely survive – it must grow and flourish.

As his Presidential campaign comes to a close, Senator Sanders would do well to remember, and learn, from the words of Edward Kennedy in ending his own Presidential quest the year before America embarked on its path that has given rise to the new American plutocracy.

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