Hindsight is 2020?

There is so much propaganda peddled today in the mainstream media about “Bernie Bros” brought to you by establishment interests and their fear of loosing their stranglehold on the people and planet. It’s about as logical as claiming Bernie condones sexual harassment (because of a staff member conflict), pedophilia (because he supports voter rights of prisoners), that he is not a feminist and racial justice warrior (because he is a white man). Enough of this nonsense, look at his policies, look at his record, and look at his unwavering integrity under the most insane pressure undoubtedly.

WE MUST overcome this narrative (and others) because there is so little difference between the DNC and RNC candidates, beyond slight and varying degree of harm promised. Trump and Biden are both business as usual, brought to you by different billionaires who are terrified of a Bernie presidency and it’s impact on their bottom line. The establishment, both Republican and Democratic arms are doing everything in their immense power to stop this rEvolution for The People and by The People. We mustn’t let them.

I am proud to be a “Bernie bro” because I am a Mother without access to childcare or paternity leave, in one of only a few countries that do not offer it worldwide. It’s not the 50’s folks. Women do not get to choose to work we HAVE TO work outside the home (while care-taking for our families) in addition to our partner’s work, just to afford the basics for our families. This means that in 2020, without subsidized childcare or any government safety nets you are essentially guaranteed to live in poverty if you choose to have a family in America, and you do not come from some amount of wealth. These are not appropriate or sustainable options for people doing the most natural thing a human can do, and in the richest country in the world.

I am proud to be a “Bernie Bro” because I am the wife of an incredible, hardworking and talented man who migrated here due to US foreign policies that caused immense violence and disenfranchising his country’s economy and so his  prospects of staying there. My husband and myself have been stuck in the impossible and expensive “legal immigration” process that not only doesn’t allow you to work legally sometimes for years, but also leaves one with constant fear of deportations and ICE raids, yes even if you are married to a citizen. We are supposedly the lucky ones and I am here to say from experience that the “legal immigration” system doesn’t really exist for the majority of people. Did you know that you cannot sponsor your own spouse unless you make over a certain amount of taxed income? This means that much of the population doesn’t have the right to fall in love with someone from another country. This is a complete violation of our basic human right to love.

I am a proud “Bernie Bro” because I am a feminist /environmentalist (for me it is but a different manifestation of the same) without equal rights under the law, still. I also know well of the legal issues surrounding this destructive legal system, which alleges corporations are people and therefore mother earth has no rights and neither do her communities of people who try to protect her. If aspiring to see our species (and others) survive is radical, well you can call me a radical. I prefer progressive.

I am a proud “Bernie Bro” because I am friends with the most wonderful prisoners who are victimized by the criminalization injustice institution and have been for their entire lives because of the color of their skin, corrupt policies, three strikes laws, enduring solitary confinement and more. This for profit prison system has to stop.

I am a proud “Bernie Bro” because I am a friend to several teachers who, even with graduate degrees, do not make livable wages doing some of the most important work shaping society and serving our children with a quality education.

I am a proud “Bernie Bro” because I am a student debt victim, wracking up interest daily that will  exceed the original loan amount any day now for a largely questionable education, by underpaid teachers and I have no quality jobs waiting for me to pay the debt off with.

I am a proud “Bernie Bro” because I am a victim of medical insurance companies and medical debt resulting from an accident when I was 19 years old that was the fault of an uninsured driver (she had 4 kids and borrowed her mothers car so it’s not like anyone could logically blame her). This medical debt I wracked up in intensive care, not only cost me the normal use of my foot, the pain of arthritis for the rest of my life, but I had to deal with so many headaches just trying to get basic treatment to hope to walk again. This medical debt also means I essentially cannot obtain credit for a car, a home/land etc. and renting is even a challenge.

I am a Proud “Bernie Bro” because I live in a rural community with little if any access to basic things like dentists, therapists and doctors especially those who are qualified or available or covered by Medical in a timely manner. I face sickening walls of medical insurance bureaucracy each time I try to see a doctor when I am ill. It makes any illness worse just trying to wade through this health-preventing, imbalance-inducing system. Luckily I have alternative medicine modalities but many do not.

I am a proud “Bernie Bro” because I worked in the subprime mortgage industry and witnessed the unfolding of bankster’s corruption and greed, seizing immense wealth from the people.

I am a proud “Bernie Bro” because I am a small organic farmer disenfranchised by regulations and war. I wrote Bernie a letter about it recently. Immediately and shockingly he not only read it but also reworked his policy’s to reflect my suggestions, expunging records, and giving those disenfranchised by the drug war a seat at the legal table. No other candidate would have even looked at my letter, let alone beefed up their policies.

I am a proud “Bernie Bro” because I am a millennial, who has lost too many friends, including veterans to substance abuse, jail and/or suicide. Suicide and overdoses are some of the top causes of death for my generation and younger. I know how backwards the criminal justice institution is, the war on drugs, how we treat veterans and the poor. I know how the government handles substance issues is completely ineffective and inconsistent with the science. We are criminalizing people who have suffered, are suffering and need help, which only makes things worse.

I am a proud “Bernie Bro” because I am close with a family from Afghanistan (now Pakistan where they were forced to flee) who often shares their horrifying experiences with me resulting from the longest war in American history. Since I befriended them a few years ago, 3 have died in this single family alone as a result of US policies and ongoing war.

I am also a proud “Bernie Bro” because I know firsthand about violence against women, systemic and otherwise. I was the victim of domestic violence who was subsequently made homeless in a single night, while suffering serious injuries and no sense of safety. Contrary to more popular propaganda I had no “boot straps” to “pull up” I lost everything and was totally immobile. There are virtually no safety nets for women who endure violence and it can land them on the streets and often costs them their lives. I am one of the lucky ones alive to speak up about it and so I must.

I am a proud “Bernie Bro” because I am a passionate, hardworking woman eager to make a livable wage doing something that doesn’t harm people or the planet. As a woman (aside from a handful of exceptions) my typical professional options are entirely undervalued in this capitalist system (care work, service, teaching, assisting others in any capacity etc.) and there are always those options that turn women into property for those who are willing. I just wasn’t. When women are lucky and able to shatter that glass ceiling, we get the privilege of making a fraction of what men make doing the same jobs.

I am a proud “Bernie Bro” because I am the daughter of a single teenage mother who grew up in total poverty in the richest country in the world, that also has one of the lowest social mobility rates. This means that if you are born poor you will more than likely stay poor for your entire life. Hence the rEvolution that is upon us. Twentyfive percent of children are homeless in this country.

So yeah, of course I am a #ProudBernieBro because just like the million others like me we have experienced firsthand just how inhumane and unnecessarily destructive this establishment is. I am far from unique and that is what is scary, these experiences are the new norm. My generation and those coming are completely disenfranchised by this establishment, victimized by violence/capitalism in varying forms. Bernie not only has humane solutions to all of these issues, he understands the basic principles of justice underlying them all.

If you have traveled around the world like I have you too are well aware of the vastly better options available for social organization. We can and will do better for all, but only with Bernie leading this movement today and not just for the benefit of America but the entire world. That is incredibly important too because not only are these issues connected, but WE ARE ALL CONNECTED. Power to The People!

As a woman it’s important to point out that I would love to see a female president (like Lani Guinier, AOC, Rashida Tlaib, Angela Davis, etc.) and believe I will very soon. BUT your gender is irrelevant to your ability to form policies that resolve issues of racial, economic and gender inequality.  Where your funding comes from matters much more because one is always beholden to their donor’s interests. This is why no other candidate is of interest to many Bernie supporters and equally why Biden is such a dangerous choice. Bernie is the only candidate for president EVER who has not taken corporate money but small donations from individual donors (like me) in the millions. He raised 45 million in February alone while trump raised 85 million. Sure we are the underdog at an average $18 per donation, that’s to be expected, but that is really incredible when you think of the billionaires and their establishment that we are up against. That is how much people believe in Bernie.

You cannot say this for Biden who would obviously only offer us a replay of the 2016 election. Hindsight is 2020 as they say, lets not make the same mistake again. Before you take the alleged “safe bet” please reconsider making the only safe and sustainable VOTE to insure our species (and others) survive and can dream to finally thrive. Come on elders and non-voters throughout the land, it’s time to see this rEvolution to fruition!

Proud Bernie Bro

Aka Shakti

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