Over the past day or so, I posted these photos to Instagram. One is a shirt I bought for myself, and the other is a T-shirt that I bought on Amazon for my teenage son, Kyle.
Since posting, I have received a few e-mails and Facebook messages jokingly asking if I do, in fact, "endorse" Bernie Sanders to be the Democratic nominee for the 2016 Presidential race.
I have to be honest, this made me laugh. I mean, formal endorsements typically come from people in high places. Robert Reich, Nina Turner,Tulsi Gabbard, Killer Mike, Danny Glover, Susan Sarandon, Alan Grayson....These people make endorsements, and their endorsements matter. They have loud, strong voices. Voices that are heard far and wide.
I am just a blogger. A mom. A wife. No one knows my name, for the most part, and I am fairly certain that most people don't give a damn what Brandy Nelson in the Cleveland, OH area thinks.
However....After giving it some thought, I decided I WOULD formally endorse Senator Bernie Sanders to be our next Commander In Chief.
That's right. I said it. We're Feelin' the Bern over here, and have been for several months. We supported Bernie long before most people even knew who he was. I even have a Facebook page, Moms4Bernie, where I post all of my political news. This was done solely to avoid conflict with those who may not be able to have a difference of opinion without getting nasty. I am a pacifist. I don't want to fight with anyone, especially for simply having a difference of opinion.
Why am I wasting my time writing an endorsement that carries absolutely no weight in the political arena? Why should I even bother, since my opinion won't sway anything?
Well, I am writing this because this campaign is different. It matters. The Bernie Sanders campaign is fighting against the establishment, and has suffered massive, massive obstruction.
The corporate-owned, biased media has not offered substantial coverage of Bernie's stances on the issues, and they like to throw around the words "Democratic Socialism" like it's something to fear. The media is counting on the American people to blindly believe what the media tells everyone, and they don't count on anyone doing any real research.
Bernie is counting on US, ordinary citizens, to help fuel this Revolution. Our voices MATTER.
WE, THE PEOPLE, ARE BERNIE'S MEDIA.
So let's be real here. Let's talk about Democratic Socialism.
Democratic Socialism can be summed up in words we should all be familiar with as Americans: By the People, FOR the People. Democratic Socialism would NOT eliminate Capitalism, and it would not cause everyone to magically become poor. The government would NOT control means of production, it would simply close the legal loopholes that allow the rich to become richer while the middle class all but disappears. It would NOT raise taxes substantially for the vast majority of Americans. In fact, most of us would SAVE money if we expanded upon already existing Socialist programs that we know and love here in the USA. Yep. We already have plenty of Socialism, and we enjoy its benefits every single day.
Here's a fantastic video that explains this in more detail:
I personally believe that every American has the RIGHT to a decent standard of living, regardless of things like background, race, orientation, or economic circumstance.
There is no reason why, in the richest country in the world, anyone busting their ass 40+ hours a week should be living in poverty.
There's no reason any of our seniors should have to choose between electricity or food and the medications they need to survive.
There's no reason why a child with a brilliant mind and passion for knowledge should be forced to limit themselves simply because their parents can't afford to send them to college.
There's no reason that the brave men and women who serve in our military should return home from duty and receive poor care. If we can't afford to care for those who protect our freedoms, perhaps we should stay out of corporate-driven, greed-motivated, regime-change wars.
Bernie Sanders understands the true cost of war. He understands the unintended consequences that come with it. Sanders opposed the Iraq war, and voiced concern about what our involvement in the Middle East could mean. Unfortunately, his predictions were correct, and we are dealing with that mess RIGHT NOW.
Can Bernie's plans work? Can we afford these grand plans without breaking the backs of the American people? Yes. We can. Over 170 respected economists, including Robert Reich, agree.
On Social Justice and Equality for ALL :
I am an activist. Yes, I attend protests. I wear a certain mask that the media likes to unfairly demonize. I hold signs and march against corruption. I feed the homeless. I collect signatures for various causes. I try my best to help heal the broken every single day.
I am, truly, a hippie at heart, and I feel very passionately about justice for ALL.
I am also the proud parent of a gay teen, and I will fight for his rights until my dying breath. I will fight for the rights of everyone, actually. Color, religion, ethnicity, orientation....None of that matters because we're all HUMAN.
Bernie Sanders has been fighting for ALL of us for DECADES, even before it was "cool" or politically expedient to do so. Sanders has fought for LGBTQ rights, the rights of African Americans, the rights of women, of Muslims, of refugees and immigrants...Bernie supports equal rights and pay for EVERYONE.
Here are a few very impressive videos that show Bernie's view on these important social issues:
Here's Bernie, speaking over a 30 year span. As you can see, his message has remained passionate and consistent. This is a must-watch, in my humble opinion.
This interview with Killer Mike is long, but worth every single minute. This is one of my favorites, and it shows why Bernie Sanders can and does appeal to people from ALL walks of life. Bernie is a HUMANIST. An Activist. A HERO.
ON RELIGION AND MORALITY :
Now this is a touchy subject. Religion is something a lot of people have very deep feelings about. I am personally NOT subscribed to any organized religion, although I do believe that God exists.
You see, I think that people have it all wrong when it comes to God. I don't think God really cares which church, if any, one attends. I don't think ONE way is necessarily the ONLY way. While I think every religion offers something valuable to the world and to human-kind, I do not think that one is somehow better than another, and that God would condemn BILLIONS of people to fire and brimstone for choosing the wrong path to worship.
I think God is far more concerned with how we live our lives here on this Earth. Were we thoughtful? Were we kind? Did we have empathy and compassion for others, or did we turn a blind eye to suffering? What did we do to help? I think these are the things that truly matter.
That's just MY opinion, though, and I have absolutely no problem with anyone who feels differently. That's part of the beauty of America. We are free to practice any religion we choose.
Anyway, Bernie Sanders is a Jew. He's not even a particularly devout Jew. His wife, Jane, is Catholic. However, Bernie Sanders is incredibly Christ-like in both his core beliefs and his actions.
Check out this amazing speech given at Liberty University, a religious college located in VA. As he states: It's easy to talk to people who agree with us, but it's harder to talk to those who disagree. We may disagree on abortion and gay marriage, but let's see what common ground CAN be found. This is brilliance. Absolute brilliance. It's also proof that Bernie Sanders' message can reach people from ALL walks of life.
This is my favorite Sanders video right this moment, as it is beautifully and powerfully made. Here, Bernie answers questions about his own personal, religious beliefs.
And, of course, there's the issue of integrity.
Bernie Sanders is the epitome of integrity. In addition to being a forward-thinking, consistent progressive that is on the side of the common man, he's also a genuinely decent human being. This is evident both in his words and his actions.
Bernie once said that he didn't get into politics because he wanted to be President. He got into politics because he gave a damn, and wanted to make a difference to help people in even the weakest segments of society.
When asked to give one word he'd like people to think of when they remember a possible Sanders presidency, his answer was COMPASSION.
Whether it's chaining himself to a black woman in protest of segregation back in the 60's, standing up for gays in the military at the US House of Representatives, fighting for pay equity for ALL workers, or marching on Washington with MLK, Sanders has never, ever wavered in his vision for our future.
Can we say the same about the other Democratic candidate? Check out the video below and you tell me.
No, I'm not anyone important. I am a 34 year old blogger living in the Cleveland, OH area. I am a mother. I am a wife. I am a hippie at heart, and I am an activist.
No one knows my name. No one knows my face, other than the rare person who recognizes me from the blog. I have no political pull, and when I am gone, I won't go down in history as anyone important.
However, I believe in free-thinking. I believe in questioning the establishment when the current system is horribly, undeniably broken. I believe in accountability. I believe in ending big money in politics so the needs of the 99% are HEARD by our government. Until we end rigged elections and "bought" politicians, our voices will not count!
I also believe in a better future for my children and their children. I believe in equality for ALL. I believe in taking care of those who are vulnerable. I believe in promoting opportunity and education rather than a society of mass incarceration. I believe in preserving our precious resources so we don't destroy the one planet we were given.
We have ONE SHOT here, folks. ONE CHANCE to vote for REAL change. Bernie Sanders has been fighting the good fight, often while standing alone. He's been mocked and ridiculed along the way.
Bernie kept on fighting, anyway.
Well, Bernie. You're no longer alone. You have your revolution, and it's getting stronger by the day.
These are just a few reasons why I will be voting for the Activist rather than the Corporatist.
Want to join me?