The stars have aligned for a massive revolution in the summer of 2016. A Bernie Sanders defeat at a rigged ballot box may actually turn out to be the catalyst we need for the system change we seek.
Without mass protest, the most powerful expression of the people is through voting. Democracy, after all, depends on the participation of people. The 2016 primary elections have shown that the Democratic Party does not want people to participate. Through willful negligence, manipulation of debates, superdelegates, support of Citizens United, media supplicants, party apparatchiks, and voter suppression, the party has done all it can to throw the election to their annointed CEO, Hillary Clinton.
Long lines at polling stations – some requiring people to wait for as much as six hours to vote – and hundreds of thousands of citizens purged from voter rolls have made a mockery of our democracy. Some voters have seen their registration flipped from Democrat to Independent, thus denying them the ability to vote. Others have been hoodwinked through hasty changes to election rules or disenfranchised through voter ID laws. The whole election process seems to operate with the goal of screwing those with the least political power. To consider that the most celebrated free nation on Earth can’t manage its own elections would be lunacy.
It’s no secret that corporate powers get their bribed politicians elected when they limit access to the ballot box. Suppression of the people’s voice ensures that we get a Congress stuffed with corporate lackeys that actually vote against the will of the people. As a recent Princeton University study points out, the opinions of middle-income and poor Americans (a dominant majority in the U.S. population) have little or no independent impact on policy while rich people and organizations have a powerful grip on U.S. government policy.
Our sacred belief of one person, one vote has devolved into no dollars, no voice. Never has this been more clear than the current election cycle. We live in the land of oligarchy rule.
The year 2016 also happens to represent a convergence of voices across the activist spectrum uniting for campaign finance reform. With the fossil fuel industry flooding elections with campaign cash, environmental activists know they must join with those demanding money out of politics to save our planet from climate chaos. The “Fight for $15” movement draws its power through those very people disenfranchised at the polls. The millions of Americans crying for affordable education and health care see their path to reform through an end to Citizens United.
Bernie Sanders has done an outstanding job of uniting our cry for system change. When he rallies against the billionaire class, he speaks for us. When he lambasts politicians for running their campaigns with Super PAC money, he shouts for us. When he demands that we convert to 100% renewable energy, he speaks for our children. More than any other politician, Bernie Sanders is the voice of the overwhelming majority of Americans left out of the political process.
That is why we will converge on the Democratic National Convention in July of 2016 when they throw the election to Hillary Clinton. Those of us fighting for racial, social and environmental justice will be there to denounce a political system rigged for the 1%. Where else in the developed world do you see people waiting six hours in line to vote, and that on a working day? Where else do you see a government so dedicated to pay-to-play politics? What other democracy purges millions of its citizens from voter rolls?
We will be had no more. When the party apparatchiks crown Hillary our queen, we will not go away. Our frustration will explode through the streets of Philadelphia in the summer of 2016. When we are denied our vote, our last hope for change is through a citizens’ revolt. Let the revolution begin.