Friday, July 03, 2015

Memo to billionaires: you can't have it all.

I just saw an amazing video last night. The star of this video is Bernie Sanders. For those of you who are familiar with his politics, I won't bore you with the details of his speech. For those who don't know Bernie Sanders, you can find out more about him here, here and here. If you would like to donate to his campaign, go to berniesanders.com.

The video below is more than an hour, including a brief introduction. The speech is all Bernie. For those familiar with Bernie, you are going to hear familiar talking points. The overarching message is this: To the Billionaires and millionaires, you can't have it all.


Now take a look at that audience (this assumes that the picture in the video stays the same after I post this blog). The entire stadium is packed with 10,000 people. Before the event, there were more than 9,000 RSVPs from people in Wisconsin just to see him on July 1st, 2015. This is from a state that somehow managed to elect Scott Walker to the office of governor. Note to the GOP clown car: none of these people were paid to attend.

If anyone still thinks that Bernie doesn't have a chance of winning the Democratic nomination and the White House, they haven't seen this video. The audience is absolutely fanatical. Near the beginning of the speech, someone yells, "We love you, Bernie!", and he laughs a little to acknowledge what he heard, and smiles. In that audience there is genuine affection for Bernie. I've never seen anything like it for any politician. Note that this just one of many examples of fervently excited crowds where Bernie gives a speech, with many more to come.

Some will say that Bernie is outgunned by Hilary's money. Sure, that's true if you want this election to be about money in politics. But Bernie is not about money in politics. He's about taking money out of politics and replacing it with character, substance and ideas that can stand on their merits.

Bernie is outgunned by money in politics if we expect voters to passively accept what is being advertised on TV, radio, the papers and on the internet. Bernie Sanders for president is not just about getting one man into the highest office in the land. This is a movement far bigger than Bernie. This is a movement to remind the billionaires that they can't have it all. This country and its government belongs to all of us, not just a handful of billionaires and millionaires.

It would seem fitting then to be writing this post on the eve of Independence Day. Bernie notes in his speech that the Walton Family, owners of Wal-Mart, own more wealth than the bottom 130 million Americans. That family, and others like them, have fostered a dependence upon them and their near-monopoly power in the American market. That monopoly power is not possible without relentless influence in public policy. That is what we want independence from.

Bernie Sanders for President is a movement to declare independence from the billionaires and millionaires singular influence in government. It is a movement to wrest enough political power from the monied interests to restore our system of government to a state where it can work for all of us. As Bernie said in the video, "When the people stand together, we can win!"
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