Friday, June 03, 2016

Target fixation in the presidential primaries

Target fixation is a well known concept among cyclists. Those who ride a bicycle for exercise know what this is. The rider is humming along and someone or something catches his eye. He turns to look and his hands turn the bike into the direction of where he was looking. Only by returning his view to his desired direction of travel can he avert a collision.

This is the task before us. We can spend a lot of our time focused on the misdeeds of Hillary Clinton, or Donald Trump, or we can focus our minds on getting Bernie into the White House. I have been guilty of this as much as any of my peers. I have been too focused on the adversaries and not focused enough on the protagonist, Bernie Sanders.

This is a testament to his success. By running a positive campaign, he keeps the focus on himself, the positive attributes he brings to office and the work he promises to do while in office. His campaign strategy has worked over and over again for 14 elections. His consistency is a model of achievement unmatched by few other politicians of our time.

He has said over and over again, that he needs our help to win the White House and that this is not about him, it's about us. Let me show you an example of why I think this is about us:

Our major media is completely focused on ensuring that Hillary or Trump wins. They love Trump for the ratings. They love Hillary because they know she will keep the gravy train going without betraying their motives for their support of her. They have the money and the resources to do it.

So we have to be the media. We do it on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Reddit and Pinterest. Wherever there is social media, we have to be the media. We have to repeat it over and over again, Bernie is filling stadiums and getting no coverage for his efforts, except by the people. If there was ever freedom of the press, it's in social media. Bernie beat the money primaries where Clinton begged for money from the wealthiest people in the country and Trump can finance himself.

Where there are conflicts of interest of immense scale for either Trump or Clinton, there is no conflict of interest for Sanders. Sanders has no foundation taking money for political favors. He has no business empire that might giddily profit from decisions he would make in office. He's worth $500k tops, enough for a decent retirement, but I have to wonder if that guy would ever retire. I just don't think so.

Clinton is worth millions on her own, between her and her husband, they have a personal net worth better than $100 million. The Clinton Foundation has taken in $3 billion over 40 years. Trump is a billionaire, on paper at least. His extensive empire will go on long after he is gone to support his heirs. Either of the other candidates are beyond the normal means of living and could stop working right now. Clinton and Trump have extraordinary conflicts of interest that no one can deny. Yet, the mainstream media insists that they are the best candidates.

We must focus on the message. Bernie's message is our message. Our message is to reallocate our tax dollars to support the people that the government is supposed to represent. We must stop loading up our children with debts just to get an ordinary education. We must stop driving people into bankruptcy when they get ill. We must stop sending our kids to prison and send them to school. We must stop sending our kids to war and send them to school again. We must stop spending money on wars and spend it on plumbing, roads, bridges and optical fiber.

None of this is free. That's why we say we're redirecting our money to something more constructive. We want to build a life in this country that works for all of us, not just for some of us. To go the way of Clinton or Trump, is to accept the social class essentialism they so tirelessly represent. To go the way Sanders, we recognize, at long last, that we are each other's keeper.

We must fixate on the target. Spend about 30 seconds a day, eyes closed, just to imagine Sanders winning a landslide in California and in the remaining states. Imagine a million people surrounding the site of the convention in July. Imagine Sanders winning the nomination. I can see the confetti filling the convention hall already. Imagine Sanders taking an oath of office for the presidency with his wife, Jane, at his side. All the while, breathing peacefully. 

For the rest of the day, let your actions take their course. With that target well in mind, the change will be automatic. The target is the White House, the projectile is our media, and the payload is Bernie Sanders. The motive force is us.

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