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Joseph Kaminski

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November 21, 2019

Thank You, Bernie

Consider this an open letter to anyone who may be reading this. Whether you be a progressive, a centrist, or a radical…I direct this towards not only Bernie Sanders, but towards any active political member of American democracy. Keep this message in mind as we exit the last stages of the primary season and head full speed into the most unfavorable general election in history.

To whom it may concern,

I’d like to start off by saying the progressive movement in America is far from the “bitter last moments” that Politico has recently reported about. Progressivism is a style of politics with a heavy hand towards those within its ranks, especially in a centrist country like the United States of America — where the political representations are at question over two hundred and forty years after the creation of the original thirteen colonies. It’s not easy getting progressive policies past a government that is controlled by centrist Democrats and radical Republicans, all controlled by the strings which can be led back to the one-per-centers in our economy.

I don’t preach radicalism. I’m far from what should be considered a radical. I’m a progressive Democrat; someone who — like the Bernie movement — believes political ideologies and concepts should be implemented into established political parties rather than becoming the foundation of floundering third parties which, as history has proven, fall apart after a generation. I’m a pacifist, harmless to those who think otherwise of “commie politics”.

Let me wake up the audience that believes Bernie Sanders is a “Stalin” or “Mao”. You’re wrong. You’re trapped in politics which dominated the fearful American domain from the end of the Second World War all the way through the end of The Cold War itself. Communism is not socialism, socialism is not Democratic socialism. It’s not that hard to figure it out, and if you’re interested in more you should read up on the differences between the political ideologies you are so fearful of.

I knew from the beginning democratic socialism, the so called political revolution, wasn’t going to be the grand finale for the movement it created. Bernie Sanders is the first of many steps towards a victory, and I fully believe he understands that his place is as such. Despite what he’s doing, running until the very end, I believe he knows his campaign is done — even though it’s gone farther than anyone ever thought it would. He’s laid off more than half his staff, and he’s began targeting his funds to progressive candidates running to be representatives and senators throughout the country.

What Bernie Sanders has done is create the millennial mindset. The greatest of men are those who plant trees they won’t live to see grow, and that’s exactly what the Sanders campaign has done this past year: it’s planted the seed for political energy to blossom. It’s taken political passion and merged it with progressivism fueled by populist rage to create the message that “the American people have had enough of corruption”.

For those of you who believe a “socialist” won’t ever make it to a general election in the future, please realize the word socialist is losing its commie flare that it’s had since the good ole Reagan days of evangelical racism and centrist Republicanism. For those of the progressive base that’s been active in American politics since the very beginning, it’s been a long fifty years or so of political oppression. This year, 2016, marks history as the highest peak progressives have ever seen. It won’t be a long fifty years in the future, if you ask me.

I believe progressivism, real progressivism and not the fauxgressive concepts of leaning left before running right, will make its way to the Oval Office before this half-century comes to a close. We cannot let progressivism be crushed by a Trump presidency, which it very well would. Say what you wish about Clinton, but she’s a party pleaser — a well-oiled political machine for the Democratic Party, wherever those political favors align.

Take the election of 1912, where Woodrow Wilson — as establishment as he was — was forced to become the staple of Democratic progressivism to keep his favor in his own party. Thus, Clinton is our 21st century Wilson: better than nothing, and most certainly better than Donald Trump. Wilson’s downfall was that progressivism died with him, leading America to a path of conservatism and laissez-faire which developed throughout the Roaring Twenties and began the Great Depression. Clinton wouldn’t necessarily preach progressivism, but she would throw a bone to the party’s increasingly growing progressive foundation to keep her favor. Even four years of Hillary would be more progressive than eight years of Trump, and that is why #ImWithHer this election cycle once Sanders gracefully steps down at the Democratic Convention — which will not be contested thanks to super delegates.

Don’t take me as a progressive that’s giving up. I’m not. I’m looking forward to what would benefit the political ideology. I’ve criticized Clinton more than just about any Republican candidate, and I can say for certain she hasn’t done much to “earn” my vote. But I live in a swing state — Florida — which needs every bipartisan vote it can get to swing whatever way the political wind wishes to blow. I disagree with the bipartisan way of governing things, but the election of 2016 is not the place to fuck everything up through childish games such as #BernieOrBust or through voting for Trump to shun Clinton.

Speaking to that note, if you claim yourself to be a progressive and you’re thinking of running to Trump in an attempt to shun Clinton? You’re not a true progressive. A true progressive wouldn’t vote for such bigotry, such hatred, such violence, such racism — just to flip off Hillary Clinton. A true progressive wouldn’t vote for radicalism to avoid centralism. A true progressive will understand, comprehend even, that Clinton is in fact the “lesser of two evils” present within the choices given to us within the established political party ballots.

In American bipartisanship, where two political parties run the Senate and House, it is dangerous to look towards the Greens or Libertarians or Independents for political partnership. A vote can be easily wasted, with the final say coming from the corrupted parties which currently — and most likely will forever — dominate the political landscape. A vote for a third party or a write-in is, in this sense, a vote for Donald Trump. Don’t let the 2016 Democrats turn into the 1912 Republicans, people. Don’t idolize someone as Bull Moose of the 1910s idolized Theodore Roosevelt. It won’t work out for you, guaranteed.

I take the stance that the Democratic Socialists of America have towards electing Hillary Clinton: get her into office to keep Donald Trump from taking presidential power. Then we critique. Heavily. We, as progressives, place that party pressure upon her to keep leftist politics in and dangerous conservative politics out.

I don’t believe Bernie Sanders was never in this race to completely win it all. He was in it to wake up the progressive generation, and he’s done what he set himself out to do. Bernie Sanders has created a fantastic movement — a political revolution that men like Ralph Nader and women like Jill Stein only dream of. If the Sanders campaign can be credited with anything at all, it wouldn’t be winning…or sexism if you’re one of the politically ignorant voters who are voting for Clinton completely for her gender. We need to credit Sanders for what he’s actually done: raising concern about the state of our political setup and crashing a door through what we once assumed was “radicalism” which, this entire time, was merely progressivism.

It’s time to unite. We, as progressives, need to drop emotional investment and adopt political reasoning,

Thank you, Bernie Sanders, for everything you’ve done this election cycle. We’ll see you in the Senate, and you’ll stand among us as the movement you’ve grandfathered moves forward.

Thank You Bernie

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