Bernie Sanders and the Rebirth of Political Integrity

By now you have heard the name Bernie Sanders, unless of course you’re living without access to social media, or Television, or Radio, or Newspapers, or Magazines, or people for that matter.

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The American Presidential election cycle never disappoints, always providing a healthy debate that furthers our dialogue as citizens, party members, and self anointed experts on the complex and chaotic political atmosphere here in the United States.

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Every so often, during these volatile political times, we are given competitors so captivating, so unimaginably engrossing, that we cannot tear our eyes and ears away from the melee. Even less often do we get to bear witness to a veritable tantrum-between-toddlers-dubbed Republican primary candidates on the one side, and the rise of the underdog from once inconceivable to currently the most electable, viable, and trusted candidate on the Democratic side of the isle.

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At least that’s what the poll numbers suggest.

We sure do live in strange times don’t we?

On January 12, 2015 Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders was polling nationally at 4.0%. At that very same time Hillary Clinton was polling 60.8% nationally. Fast forward to February 15, 2016 and the tides have shifted quite a bit with Sanders at 40.5% to Clintons 49.5%.

How could a Senator who was virtually unknown in the beginning of 2015 be within striking distance of the most recognizable Democrat of this election?

I think the answer is a simple one. People trust him. His speaking points remain consistent. His track record shows the validity of his position on the issues, and of course for those who care to do the research, his unwavering dedication to equality and justice lend him an air of authenticity long thought dead by many regarding American politics.

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Bernie Sanders is the real-deal.

So why are so many people quick to dismiss him? Why are so many Americans quick to buy into the baseless attacks leveled against him?

Again, I believe the answer to this question is very simple. People trust their news sources. Isn’t that the crux of it all? People are being fed opinionated rhetoric in place of hard facts, numbers and statistical information. The average American is forming views based on the opinionated and biased reporting of the so called ‘news’.

People are going to believe the news sources that they’ve come to know and love over the years. I get it. People do not expect it to be this way. People don’t want to believe that their trusted ‘journalists’, who once regarded their professions akin to sacred harbingers of truth, and vested protectors of our First Amendment’s right to freedom of speech, as having become nothing more than a cast of glorified soap operas.

 

The truth about the American mainstream media is that it has been quietly overtaken by the very same moneyed interests that have infiltrated the political and legislative processes that steer this great nation.


The fact that corporate titans own the American mainstream media and have grown to enormous wealth and prestige is irrefutable. The fact that they can use their substantial coffers to influence politics and legislation is similarly undeniable. The problem isn’t in their ability’s to do so but in our inability to know whether or not they have. The realty is that if you want to find the truth these days, you need to listen to all of the ‘news’. Listen with a grain of salt. Take it all in with a sarcastic demeanor brimming with a healthy dose of skepticism.

Because the question isn’t whether or not you are being lied to, you are. Let’s get that out of the way right now. You are most definitely being lied to on all fronts to varying degrees. The trick is to stop believing what you are being told and start doing research regarding the issues and talking points at hand.

Take the medias most recent attack on Bernie Sanders for example. CNN, in their stylized manipulation of the truth, have been reporting on a statement he made during the Democratic debate in Flint Michigan.

Here is the statement they feel is so important of mass-media-coverage; “when you’re white you don’t know what it is like to be living in the ghetto…when you’re white you don’t know what its like to be poor…”

At first glance this statement sounds as though he is implying that white people have never experienced financial despair, that skin color alone exclude whites from experiencing any financial distress whatsoever. It also implies that all blacks in America are automatically living in a ghetto… awkward… and more utter nonsense.

The real issue here is that these statements have been cherry picked, intentionally excluded from the entirety of his speech. Here is the statements once again, but within the complete context of the narrative he was speaking on at the Flint debate;

LEMON: Thank you, Secretary. Senator Sanders, on a personal front, what racial blind spots do you have?
SANDERS: Well, let me just very briefly tell you a story. When I was in one of my first years in Congress, I went to a meeting downtown in Washington, D.C. And I went there with another congressman, an African-American congressman. And then we kind of separated during the meeting. And then I saw him out later on. And he was sitting there waiting and I said, well, let’s go out and get a cab. How come you didn’t go out and get a cab?

He said, no, I don’t get cabs in Washington, D.C. This was 20 years ago. Because he was humiliated by the fact that cab drivers would go past him because he was black. I couldn’t believe, you know, you just sit there and you say, this man did not take a cab 20 years ago in Washington, D.C. Tell you another story, I was with young people active in the Black Lives Matter movement. A young lady comes up to me and she says, you don’t understand what police do in certain black communities. You don’t understand the degree to which we are terrorized, and I’m not just talking about the horrible shootings that we have seen, which have got to end and we’ve got to hold police officers accountable, I’m just talking about everyday activities where police officers are bullying people.


So to answer your question, I would say, and I think it’s similar to what the secretary said, when you’re white, you don’t know what it’s like to be living in a ghetto. You don’t know what it’s like to be poor. You don’t know what it’s like to be hassled when you walk down the street or you get dragged out of a car.
And I believe that as a nation in the year 2016, we must be firm in making it clear. We will end institutional racism and reform a broken criminal justice system. –Source

Taken in full context it is apparent that he was summarizing what had been relayed to him. It is obvious that the presence of institutionalized racism was already implied and the socio-economic depression of an area already suggested. These statements, in full context, do not intend a generalization of race, whether white or black.

I challenge anyone who believes that Bernie Sanders is unfit to be President of the United States to comment below with their fact based evidence. Provide evidence that contradicts the authenticity and integrity he has shown throughout his long career as a political leader. Please solidify the fear-mongering pundits claims that he is a ‘Socialist’ rather than a ‘Democratic Socialist’. I beg of you, please give me anything of substance among this echo-chamber of blabbering fools and opinionated rhetoric. Please. There have been no shortage of attacks on his character, policies, campaign, or even his supporters. Take your pick!

And to all my fellow Berners out there, KEEP UP THE GOOD FIGHT! #FeelTheBern
Keep spreading the truth faster than they can spread the lies and we can win!

As usual, thanks for stopping by!

 


Why are Babies Beautiful?

When I first thought about this a few days ago, the question felt like it was to simple, to easy, a no-brainer if you will. But the more I thought about it the more revealing the question became as I was forced to ponder everything from our mortality to our progeny as a species.

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Babies are beautiful. They smile and we smile, they laugh and we laugh. We cannot help but become reflections of their emotional outpourings, as we gaze on in awe at the marvelous beginnings of a human life. Newborn children are a sight to behold. The way their skin creases and folds as they wriggle, the spark of light and life that shines behind the eyes, even the apparent strangeness they feel beyond the warm amniotic embrace they’ve become so accustomed to, and their awkward movements in an attempted escape, are flattering. Babies are absolutely beautiful, in every color and shape and size they are beautiful.

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But I ask you this; why are they beautiful? Is it because they represent the very best and purest of us all? Is it because they embody, quite literally, the continuation of life? Is it because they are vulnerable and weak, fully dependent on us for their own survival? Could it be that we are hard-wired to see them as shining beacons of light and life and hope that we as humans seek tirelessly, the stuff inspiration and a joyful existence rely on?




I believe the answer to all of these questions is a simple yes. They are all those things and much, much more. The vastness and complexity of the universe and all the life contained therein is beyond human conception, we cannot fathom the immensity of it all. All we are left with is the awe that fuels our imaginations and the never ending stream of questions we ponder as we mine the depths of information and gain knowledge of this wild-ride called life.

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But just as the universe is beyond our grasp, as the macrocosm of our perceivable reality, so is the newborn child beyond our imaginings. Each new life that arrives represents the infinitesimally small, the microcosm of our perceivable reality, the vastness that extends inward and never-ends.

The beauty we perceive can be attributed to many superfluous things, like symmetry, aesthetics, and personal preferences of all sorts, but the foundation to all beauty is life. Often-times as human beings, with our limited sensory perception, we miss the beauty that is all around us. We fail to recognize it in all the amazing and diverse forms within which it can be found. The cycle of life is everywhere, from the geological depths of Earth all the way to our beloved Sun there are interconnected processes that allow for and incubate life, old and new.

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I believe Babies are beautiful for may reasons, but the most notable is that their beauty represents the improbability of this all. They are the awesome byproducts of everything we cannot truly understand. No matter how scientifically adept, or spiritually enlightened, a baby leaves us awe-struck, forced to acknowledge the limitations within ourselves as we look to the stars and dream.

So next time you visit the smallest and newest among us, stare into their eyes, and ponder just what makes them so beautiful!