2016 has already been a year of tumultuous changes, some good and some bad, but there is a chance to experience a change we haven't dared in a long time. I mean Democrats that are relevant and meaningful to American workers and voters, and I say that because at present the Democrats are of little or no consequence in most states and make little difference in our everyday lives except when they rubberstamp the kinds of things we generally think of as associated with conservatism and neo-con globalist business requests.
Most of America's legislatures are heavily tinged toward a reddish purple, to the great detriment of those states, and to the detriment of the people living in them. A democrat in the Oval Office has not reduced the suffering and diminished hopes in those states by much at all, because state legislatures and governors have enormous influence over local affairs, while congresspersons have clout over national issues (assuming they choose to wield it.)
Unionism is scarcely relevant in the United States political world, save for a few hold out donors in major races, and with red states locking down voting polls in new and innovative ways every year it becomes challenging to break out of the gerrymandered status quo that dominates the U.S. landscape. This is especially hard in an era where voter participation is only modest at the best of times, and dismal at all others. The doldrums of political life in the U.S. are well documented, and contempt for our Congress and all associated entities, state and local alike, is at an all time high.
2016 has brought a fairly obvious game changer into the mix, one that has been denied and ignored for entirely transparent reasons. The status quo works. It gets congresspersons paid and paid well, gives them a pipeline to the private sector after time in office that ensures their financial well being, and pumps cash into their re-election while garnering support from their party as long as they toe the line. Losing ground for America and relevance as a party is profitable as hell, and even if its hard to stay elected to office, who cares as long the checks are good, right?
The game changer is Bernie Sanders. I didn't start off as a fan, and in truth I grossly underestimated his abilities and his draw. I thought he was unrealistic, I was concerned that he lacked the clout to make good on any of his intentions, and I was genuinely looking for a possible Republican in the vast field of would be candidates that better suited my tastes, because I have no faith in the Clinton brand and can't ethically support her candidacy. Not because of Benghazi or any of the other micro scandals cooked up over trivia and spewed by right wing media, but because her stances and voting record speak for themselves, and because her powerful connections to Wall Street make it very clear that she may not BE 'the problem', but she certainly has a friendly relationship with it. You can scarcely find a person more dedicated to faux-centrism and capitulation to high finance in current American politics. This isn't news...since she holds the remarkable distinction of being the most disliked candidate ever shored up by her party. Her chief selling point is the threat of a Republican victory, and I strongly suspect that only reason we saw a herd of Republicans lining up to battle for the chance to run against is because they already understand her vulnerability as a candidate, but we have another option. A better option, and surprisingly, a more viable and genuinely more electable choice. We have Sanders.
His support is largely from a younger crowd, and a very large younger crowd at that. These are people new to politics, likely only having voted in one or two presidential elections prior to this, and in many cases, this their first major election cycle. That millennial or post millennial bulge in population has a value beyond just their immediate presence at rallies, filling stadiums that have never seen a political event of such size or scope before. They represent a more politically active, more engaged, more socially connected generation, with attitudes and norms that almost automatically place them far from the existing GOP and its stance on social issues.
This is a one time gold mine of an opportunity to brand a generation with a sense of connection to a single party, but there's only one candidate that can make that happen...and that is Sanders. Even if Clinton takes the nomination, and even if she wins a divisive battle for the presidency with only a portion of Sander's fans capitulating for the sake of a win against the GOP, the rest of the surge of youth will vanish into the woodwork, accepting as law that politics is meaningless and their votes count for nothing against an establishment that is entrenched to serve interests wildly divergent from their lives. That opportunity to revitalize the DNC is lost, gone until some new candidate arrives who knows how far into the future. The local races will go on with few participants, with vote suppression by Republicans and apathy by Democrats deciding that most states will remain mostly red and slowly sliding into ignominious failure and irrelevance.
Or you can use those superdelegate votes to tie the party wagon to the excitement and vigor that is Sanders' campaign and its supporters, and hand Democrats all over the country a surge of new voters that can actually overcome the gerrymandering, the suppression tactics and every other dirty trick being used by Republicans to cling to power. The GOP has never been weaker or more vulnerable. So fractured that an outsider can topple all the party stalwarts. Likewise the DNC has never been so firmly rebuffed by constituents, with an independent who has actually walked the walk pulling in arena rock numbers at rallies...and this from the kids that ostensibly love their iPhones and Xboxes more than sunshine and air and real life!
This is your chance to capitalize on a generation that is aching to support someone and something better than conservative values. Discard and ignore them and you discard the generation that can make you relevant once again, and sustain you while the GOP slowly collapses in on itself. Or vote for Clinton. Vote for the machine politics and the dirty tricks and the same rackets that have made most Americans left of center turn away in disgust and repulsion. You can do that if you wish, but history is being written, and your names can be among those lauded as visionaries...or they can become synonymous with treason, ineptitude and graft. The decision is yours.