Berners, keep fighting! You are the brave, the bold, the compassionate, the forward-thinking. You look past the bias of the mainstream media and the Democratic Party establishment and seek a better world for your children, and your children’s children. A hundred years from now, history students will look back and marvel that our great nation once allowed profiteering in the sectors of basic health care and public higher education. The proposals of U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) are right and just, widely enacted in the rest of the industrialized world, and will someday become law.
But the road today is rough, and I know we must all be encouraged to keep fighting. I have exhaustively explained why Bernie Sanders is the best presidential candidate, but I know that my carefully-crafted arguments have largely failed to penetrate the unreceptive ears of Republicans and conservative Democrats. These voters are not yet ready to abandon neoliberalism and the conservative resurgence that has taken root since 1980. Though they love their public schools, Social Security, and government-provided services, they still sneer at the term democratic socialism and mock the idea of “getting free stuff.”
A hundred years from now, nobody will call universal health care and tuition-free public higher education for qualified students “free stuff.” They will call it a good societal investment, a citizens’ birthright. A hundred years from now, historians will sing the praises of those of us who stood with Bernie Sanders while he spoke with more bravery and foresight than any politician since Franklin D. Roosevelt. He will be known as the boldest reformer since Lyndon B. Johnson, but without the baggage of war.
Years from now, fellow Berners, we will undoubtedly be vindicated by history. History has rarely favored pragmatism, caution, and “realistic.” Pragmatism and caution brought us the Tories and Benedict Arnold, Neville Chamberlain, the Vichyites and Quislings, and those who resisted the “radical” changes of the Civil Rights and Women’s Rights movements. The pragmatic, cautious, and “realistic” often cling to corrupt power structures, seeking profit.
Rights were not won through incrementalism, but through revolution. Our nation was founded by revolution, and Bernie Sanders continues that legacy. Mark my words: In a generation, nobody will be praising Hillary Clinton’s incrementalism. I never cease to be astounded by the irony that so many of those who praise the Civil Rights and Women’s Rights revolutions now praise Clinton’s opposition to revolution. Soon, they will come to regret their praise for the Clinton machine and feel guilty. Of this, I have no doubt.
Between now and April 19, the New York primary, we must fight for our political revolution like we have never fought before.