Monday, March 21, 2016
The youth that are coming out for Bernie Sanders rallies, first hand feedback from March 20, 2016
With my own eyes, I can vouch for this sub-headline.
I'm currently visiting my mother in Portland, OR and the Bernie Sanders rally was across the river yesterday in Vancouver, WA. My mom's a big Bernie supporter so I went with her to the rally, or more accurately, I stood in line in the rain with her for about three hours before we were essentially informed that there is no way we would be getting into the tiny gymnasium of Hudson's Bay High School so we might as well take a hike. The reason we couldn't get in, is because despite showing up more than two hours early, the line was already past capacity for the gym the rally was behind held in. There was a major turnout, as there have been for the last several months for Bernie Sanders events, from major cities to suburban towns such as Vancouver, WA.
Before leaving, in the hours we were in line, I talked to several of the young Bernie supporters about the truth of the election cycle and what the Bernie campaign is truly all about- providing hope for the otherwise hopeless. In the hours of being in line, I made some new friends and was handed a few nugs for my efforts, god bless Washington. Of course, I also ruffled a few feathers as some Bernie supporters just weren't open to the truth and were too caught up in their false optimism. What can you do? It comes with the turf.
Anyhow, it was truly amazing how the youth were coming out for Bernie. It reminded me of when I was 17, and the election was Gore vs Bush, with Ralph Nader also running in the background. In 2000 I attended the Nader rally in Portland, OR and I remember how the youth were out back then too for Nader. If you're not familiar with Ralph Nader, you should become more familiar. He was similar to Bernie Sanders, only even way more on point, a much better speaker and truly funny. He would have made a nation of leaders if his voice was shared with the masses on the daily as other voices in government are shared. I credit a lot of my leadership skills to being exposed to Nader at a young age. Thinking back, it is hard to believe that Nader's 2000 rally was sixteen years ago, and it is even harder to think about what has transpired in this nation in those sixteen years since.
Back to yesterday, in the Bernie Line, there were many high school kids, college students and simply put, youthful faces. I would say that of the 10,000+ people that were standing there in a line that went on for probably a half mile if not longer, 80% were 25 or younger, with a large percentage of those people looking no older than 18, 19, 20. There were some middle aged people as well, and almost no elderly, but a few here and there.
The realization I had from being around the crowd was that the youth are hungry for change and want something different, which is what Bernie presents. But what will these youth do when Bernie is out of the race and it is down to Hillary and Trump? This question needs an answer and it needs a movement and it needs a leader. I couldn't help but think about organizing a way for all of these youth throughout the nation, coming out for Bernie, to instead gather together in D.C., as one, behind a cause that is more than a false illusion of hope, demanding for our elected official to stand down and surrender, for the purpose of installing real leaders who represent the people and the youth, instead of corporations and banker elites that sellout the masses on the daily.
While my mother and I were standing in line, there was a group of twenty-somethings moving through the crowd, interviewing people and recording their interactions. When they came across my path, their spokesman/interviewer got nasty with me after I responded to his question, "Why are you here to support Bernie?" by saying that I was not here to support him because I know the elections are a farce and it's in the bag for Hillary, but was here because I was supporting my mother who likes Bernie. He replied that I watch too much TV to which I laughed and asked him how long he has followed Bernie for and where he learned about Bernie, was it not the television?
He proudly responded that he found out about Bernie six months ago and has supported ever since. I had to chuckle and I let him know that I was a Bernie supporter fifteen year ago, and for the five years that followed that, until I saw his rhetoric start to change around the time Obama began to run for the President, as he moved more towards the mainstream, and acknowledged false threats such as al Qaeda and ISIS. When I brought this up to the young interview crew, they immediately responded, with "Yes, I agree, ISIS is bullshit". And I said you see that, yet you give Bernie a pass for validating the lies? To which they responded, "Well, he is still better than everyone else." To which I replied, but is that good enough?
In this moment, I realized the same conversation would likely transpire with the thousands of other people in the crowd and the millions of other Bernie supporters throughout the nation. It is the conversation that needs to happen. It is the movement that needs to happen. It also needs to happen now.
From yesterday's conversation until the November 8 election is 233-days. Right now I want to figure out how to make this movement happen. All this energy, all these youth, they need to be directed in the right path, instead of having their hope killed, which is coming in the weeks ahead, when Bernie surrenders to Hillary, the corporate fascist with shoulder pads.
Ultimately, I have more faith in the youth than any other voting group. Overwhelmingly, their minds aren't as programmed and poisoned as so many older American minds are, from absorbing the lies, year after year.
I'll be working on my course of action in the coming days. The time is now!