Bernie Sanders has tremendous support and is finally the candidate that progressive Americans have been waiting for. Yes, he’s not perfect, but he’s a huge upgrade from the candidates we usually have to choose from. I really enjoy how Bernie is not paid for by large corporations, is anti-establishment politics and media, and actually cares about the middle and working class. He’s also promotes social justice more than any other politician running for President. That’s all awesome and I’m a huge supporter of him. However, it’s important to keep in mind the Bernie Sanders is not enough.
Let’s pretend that America doesn’t vote against its own interests and actually elects Bernie Sanders. Will this automatically mean that the super wealthy can no longer buy elections, the middle class will grow, and we will all have free college and universal health care? Absolutely not. Bernie can help lead the political revolution, but he can definitely not do it alone. Bernie is super up front about this (an honest politician??) and made that very explicit when I saw him talk last week in Columbia, SC.
Even if Bernie is elected, we must keep the pressure on our legislature to stop passing bills that allow the super wealthy to control our government. Apathy ensures the rich and powerful will continue to have their reign. Thus, I am asking Bernie supporters to keep up their motivation whether Bernie wins or loses. It might be especially important if he wins as he may actually have power to do real change if we work with him on multiple levels.
So how can we all help? Well Bernie has addressed this some of these questions himself on Reddit:”Certainly one of the areas that redditors can help on is in making sure that young people throughout this country understand the importance of politics and government. It is an American tragedy that in the last election, about 80 percent of young people did not vote. That is exactly what the ruling class of this country wants and we have got to change it. So mobilizing, educating and organizing young people is very much at the top of my agenda.”
So of course the first thing we should all remember is to vote! Again, Bernie isn’t perfect, but I don’t believe any perfect politicians can ever exist for everyone. There are so many ways to get involved and I find one of the easiest (and maybe most effective) ways to get involved with politics is to start at the local level. Work with local lobbying groups, they will help you learn what you need to do even if you are clueless (like I was). Contact your local legislators, write op-eds for your local newspapers, share information on social media, volunteer for Bernie’s campaign, volunteer for local politicians who are sympathetic to your concerns. I’ve been dabbling in politics the past few years and I can say, even in South Carolina, there are politicians that will listen to you! It does take time and some self-education, but it’s very doable. Bernie Sanders is an exciting candidate, but it will take us all working together to actually enact his visions into reality.