The Vermont Senator’s substance and pragmatism, along with his denouncement of oligarchies, has me more excited about his campaign than I was when Mr. Barack Obama ran in 2008.
Given America’s acceptance of the idea that the Black race is a monolith, I wasn’t sure how many would react to this proclamation: I’m more excited about Mr. Bernie Sanders’ run for President of the United States of America than I was during Mr. Barack Obama’s initial run for the office.
Mr. Obama’s road to triumph and, more importantly, what it represented – hope and change – isn’t now, nor has it ever been, lost on me. However, what Mr. Sanders’ campaign represents – challenging the status quo in the quest for change – has also captivated me, but due to its substance and pragmatism, not celebrity and pomp and circumstance, I’m more excited now than I was in 2008, when I lived in Texas.
I didn’t think others in my inner circle would share in my favorable view of the Vermont Senator, but they did, and their excitement may have eclipsed mine.
Mrs. Andrea Lawful Sanders (formerly Andrea Lawful Trainer), a woman of color who’s a member of Techbook Online’s Board of Leaders and Doers, calls the presidential candidate “Uncle Bernie” because he’s like “the wise sage in the family.”
“If the election were today,” said Mrs. Sanders, a mother and businesswoman, “I would strongly consider voting for him,” adding “he’s more impressive than anything I’ve seen in decades.”
Among the things that leave Mrs. Sanders’ in awe of the 73 year-old socialist is his authenticity, particularly when discussing racism and racial justice, which is a cornerstone of his campaign, whereas, for Mr. Obama, it was, for the most part, just a moment in 2008 in Philadelphia at the National Constitution Center.
Mr. Sanders’ recently released a policy paper, entitled “Racial Justice,” that many have said raised the bar in the campaign due to its clear identification of social problems and the systemic causes of them.
More impressive is the assertiveness of the paper: Mr. Sanders claims black and brown Americans are the victims of political, legal, economic and physical violence at the hands of the state.
“There’s something very powerful about a White man speaking openly and correctly on the issues of race,” said 22 year-old award-winning scholar, Mr. Juwan Z. Bennett, a member of Techbook Online’s Board of Leaders and Doers and a criminal justice teaching assistant at Temple University, a famed Philadelphia institution.
While a strong platform on racial justice from a white candidate in the #BlackLivesMatter era is critical and, as Mrs. Sanders repeatedly noted, impressive, equally dynamic is the entire canvas upon which his presidential platform is painted.
The New York Times, referencing Mr. Sanders, published:
“Legislation that he intends to propose or already has would automatically register anyone older than 18 to vote, kick private corporations out of the prison business, make public college tuition free, guarantee sick and paid family leave and a ‘couple of weeks paid vacation’ to workers.”
Mr. Sanders also gained cool points with me due to his acknowledgement of America as an oligarchy portrayed as a democracy, a statement which validated an argument recently presented to the public by Philadelphia City Commissioner, Ms. Stephanie Singer, who was elected in 2011 to oversee fair and free elections.
Ms. Singer a few weeks ago told Techbook Online exclusively that, due to a number of maladies, including voter suppression by the Board of Election, Philadelphia “doesn’t have a functioning democracy.”
Hearing Mr. Sanders, a man with more than twenty years of interaction with the bureaucracy, echo her sentiment on a national stage was both, in her words, “tragic and heartening.”
“It’s tragic because it means it’s really true. But given that its true, it’s heartening to hear it said out loud,” remarked Ms. Singer, who tonight is giving a talk about the future of the Voting Rights Act in front an audience of millennials. “This is not an isolated thing; restoring democracy is one of the greatest challenges of our time. But to hear a presidential candidate say it means it’s possible to break away from oligarchic way of doings things.”
The first step towards corrective democracy, said Ms. Singer, isn’t a legal battle like the one in 1965 that gave African-Americans the right to vote.
“The impediments to democracy today are cultural. We need leadership to change that culture. And that’s what’s so exciting about Sanders’ candidacy: he’s offering to lead us and move us forward.”
If Mr. Sanders’ is offering, there sure are a lot of people accepting. Mr. Sanders is overtaking Hillary Rodham Clinton in New Hampshire in some polls, reported the New York Times, and he’s attracting tens of thousands of people to his events.
“He’s driven by the pulse of the people,” said Mrs. Sanders, who warned me – and by proxy, millions of readers – not to underestimate him.
“Barack Obama was an underdog, too,” she said.
Ms. Singer said Mr. Sanders’ trajectory is “starting to look like that of Mr. Obama’s in 2008.”
“He’s giving Hillary Clinton a worthy challenge. She’s no longer a shoo-in,” said Ms. Singer, who noted that his rising star is also due to his ability to challenge the system with candor.
Though many similarities, if one pontificated long enough, could be drawn in comparing Mr. Sanders’ and Mr. Obama’s campaign, Mr. Sanders’ denouncement of the status quo and oligarchies have created the greatest contrast and is the reason why his campaign excites me more than that of Mr. Obama’s 2008 run for the highest office in the land.
* Tune into 900amWURD or 900amWURD.com every Friday evening during the 6 o’clock hour to hear me relive #TheWeekThatWas*
Thanks for reading. Until next time, I’m Flood the Drummer® & I’m Drumming for JUSTICE!™