Bernie Sanders

We Must Become the Change That We Seek

As a lifelong independent living in a swing state who just registered as a democrat a month ago, I can honestly say there is no way I will vote for Hillary Clinton. I don’t care who her opponent is. If Bernie Sanders gets the Democratic nomination, he has my vote in November. If he is not on the ballot than my vote will be for Jill Stein of the Green Party. If I had to have a plan C it would be Gary Johnson.

The lesser of two evils voting method is the reason this country is such a wreck. For years people have said that the problems in this country stem from our bipartisan government. It is often said that we need several major political parties for democracy to work. Yet the powers that shouldn’t be continue doing whatever they want. Nothing changes. I will not continue to be part of the problem by voting for the lesser of two evils. As a true progressive I would never support or even vote for Hillary.

Evil is evil, no matter what the degree. The only moral choice is not to vote for evil. The generations before me let the establishment bully them into sticking within those two party lines. People became convinced that their only choice was to elect our leaders contingent on which candidate was the least malevolent, which allowed evil to propagate unchecked for decades. Had our nation been willing to stand together and refuse when the government began using these tactics, our country, economy, and election system would never have gotten to the horrible broken down place it is now. But now there is a generation able and willing to stand up against their lies and bullying to rectify this, and begin the process of restoration. But many still cower, still intimidated by the fear etched into society by years of abuse. We must not stand for it. We must not watch the decline of our nation through one more generation. We must not ignore the rampant corruption. We must not tremble as corporations are allowed to pollute, destroy, and disparage its citizens, while refusing to pay them a decent wage. We must not continue to accept the status quo. It ends now, with us. You can stand up with us, or you can continue to bury your head in the sand as so many have done before.

Hillary is no better than Rubio, Cruz, or Trump. Well maybe she is better than Trump, but is that really saying much. If you think there is a major difference between the parties you are mistaken. Other than social issues and rhetoric they are nearly identical. Hillary is to the right of where President Regan once stood. The democrats have allowed multinational corporations and Wall Street to take control of their party. I, for one, will not continue to support politicians who represent the current plutocracy/oligarchy.

hill v bern

Some so Hillary is Obama’s protégé, I am not exactly sure that is a good thing. I voted for President Obama twice. Unfortunately, his time in office has almost mirrored that of George W. Bush.  At best his presidency was an unimaginable disappointment, at worse a disaster. We are still fighting pointless wars in the Middle East. The big banks are still out of control. Race relations are still deplorable. GMOs still are not labeled. Lobbyists still have way to much control over our political establishment. Police brutality continues. The NSA still stomps on my constitutional right to privacy, as Snowden has shown us. Our jobs still continue to be shipped overseas at alarming rates. I could go on and on, but the point is there is very little difference between the Democrats or Republicans when it comes to important matters. The difference is mainly an illusion, built on social issues like gun control, abortion, minority rights and immigration. When it comes down to real policy, there is very little difference. After 2012 I promised myself I would stop being part of the problem by voting for the lesser of two evils and only vote for a candidate, 3rd party or not, that has values I support.

Fast forward to 2016 and I find myself registering with a political party for the first time ever, just so I can support Bernie. Regardless of the outcome of this election, I won’t be fooled into thinking that either party actually cares about working Americans. When it comes to Hillary versus Sanders. Hillary’s positions almost mirror that of the republicans on all issues that do not involve minorities and women’s rights.

Bernie: credit rating agencies Moody’s, S&P, and Fitch will become non-profit so they can’t lie with bogus ratings to win over Wall Street clients, like they did in the 07/08 mortgage crisis. Hillary gives paid speeches to Wall Street and private equity firms for fundraising.

Bernie: universal healthcare for all, as a right, not a privilege. Hillary: strengthen Obamacare, which serves some, but is unaffordable for many. She actually says universal health care is an unrealistic option. How can that be since almost every industrialized country offers it as a universal right to their citizens?

Bernie: make for-profit prisons illegal and abolish private prisons. Supports demilitarizing police. Hillary accepted $130,000 in donations from prison lobbyists. In 1996 Bill Clinton signed a bill containing the 1033 program that allowed our police force to militarize, Hillary supports the decision.

Bernie: resurrect the Glass-Steagall Act that separated commercial from investment banking. Hillary doesn’t think it’s necessary to go that far. Bill Clinton joined Republicans in repealing Glass-Steagall after 70 years of protecting the American people, Hillary supports the decision.

Bernie: voted against the Telecommunications act of 1996, which Bill Clinton helped write and signed into law. This removed antimonopoly protections and allowed 98% of ALL the media in the country to be bought out by just 6 mega corporations. Hillary: supports the law, she has gone so far as saying, it was good for business. Without antimonopoly media laws it will keep or media from being fair, balanced and impartial. It allows the media the serve the interests of the wealthy and not the people.

Bernie: allow states to legalize marijuana and remove marijuana as a federally classified drug to help those affected most, minorities and all taxpayers. Hillary: put marijuana on a lower drug enforcement classification but don’t legalize it. i.e. continue to allow the disproportionate imprisonment of minors, support for-profit prisons, and stymie needed tax revenue from legalized marijuana sales.

 Bernie: opposed NAFTA trade deal, it passed and has allowed a countless number of jobs to leave the US. Hillary: President Clinton signed NAFTA in 1993, Hillary supports the decision.

Bernie vehemently opposes TPP (Transpacific Partnership. During her time as Secretary of State Hillary helped write the TPP and calls it, the gold standard of trade agreements. Most experts say the TPP is like NAFTA on steroids and will cause jobs all across America to be shipped overseas. Much like NAFTA did to Michigan.

Bernie has never and will never take money from Wall Street, multinational corporations or super PACs. Hillary does and is, even while being ‘anti-citizens united’.

Bernie’s top ten donors are unions who represent people and The People. Hillary’s top ten donors are banks, corporations, and media representing the 1%.

Bernie’s 2014 total income $205,617 (from 1040 tax returns). Hillary: 2014 total income $28,336,212 (yes, 28 million dollars).

America is desperate for a paradigm shift. A vast majority of the American people are bleeding. The legacy of the greatest generation, a middle class life, is slowly being strangled by an unquenchable corporate greed. It makes no difference what party is in the white house because the powers that “shouldn’t” be own them both. They figure out ways to screw us, ship our jobs overseas, strap our kids with a lifetime of debt, gouge us with astronomical costs on drugs and healthcare. They patronize us like little children, insulting our intelligence while calling us petulant. Their media, pervasive and insidious, feeds us their vision of reality, telling us who to vote for and what to think.

An awakening is happening, and despite the relentless onslaught of attacks, the people refuse to be beaten down and lied to, they refuse to swallow the bull that the best we can hope for is a lesser evil. You must understand, Bernie Sanders is more than a man, he is an idea, and they cannot kill an idea. This is more important than having a red or blue in the white house. This is more important than having a liberal or conservative on the Supreme Court. This is about taking back our country from the plutocracy that bought.

If Bernie is not on the ballot in November, we must have the courage to walk a different path. If the powers that shouldn’t be no longer represent us, we must no longer vote for them. All the signs are, there the two party system is broken beyond repair. It will be up to us to decide its future. Do we continue to travel down a path that is gilded of gold on the surface but festers with dry rot beneath? Do we veer off the hazardous golden path to a less travel road of a third party that has values, beliefs and ideals we all support? I encourage you to truly look at what Jill Stein has done with the Green Party.

We must become the change that we seek.

Larry Snider, political activist, ASE Master Certified technician, FSCJ graduate, Jacksonville, FL native and the Green Party’s newest member.

#NeverHillary #UnitedWeStand #BernieOrBust

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