Progressive Voice

By Yezdyar “Yez” Kaoosji

The uncertainty that surrounds the outcome of the Democratic Party Convention this July reflects the uniqueness of the 2016 Presidential elections.

While the Democratic Party Presidential Primary elections are over and the last votes have been cast, the counting and recounting are far from completed. At this time, Mrs. Clinton has declared victory, and President Obama’s pre-recorded endorsement video was broadcast immediately after her speech on national television. All this while final ballot results in California and other states are awaited. Moreover, much to the chagrin of the party establishment and the corporate media, Sen. Sanders has not conceded. Instead, in a national broadcast, he has presented a clear plan to take the issues and his candidacy into and beyond the Democratic Party convention.

What happens at the Republican Convention in Cleveland, at the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia, and finally in the November general elections, will be the harbinger of the direction in which our nation is headed.

At this time, the current custodians of the Democratic and Republican parties are desperately trying to hold on to their reins and attempting to tame if not to combat the forces that their own self-serving actions have engendered. The long and arduous process of transforming America has been launched, and the fight will continue beyond and despite the outcome of the November elections.

Key points of Sen. Bernie Sanders’ post-election broadcast are quoted below:

…Election days come and go. But political and social revolutions that attempt to transform our society never end. They continue every day, every week and every month in the fight to create a nation of social and economic justice….

…And that’s what this campaign has been about over the past year. That’s what the political revolution is about and that’s why the political revolution must continue into the future…

…Real change never takes place from the top down, or in the living rooms of wealthy campaign contributors. It always occurs from the bottom on up – when tens of millions of people say “enough is enough” and become engaged in the fight for justice. That’s what the political revolution we helped start is all about. That’s why the political revolution must continue…

…When we began this campaign a little over a year ago, we had no political organization, no money, and very little name recognition. The media determined that we were a fringe campaign. Nobody thought we were going anywhere… Well, a lot has changed over a year… In other words, our vision for the future of this country is not some kind of fringe idea. It is not a radical idea. It is mainstream. It is what millions of Americans believe in and want to see happen…

…This campaign is also about defeating Donald Trump, the Republican candidate for president… But defeating Donald Trump cannot be our only goal. We must continue our grassroots efforts to create the America that we know we can become…

…This campaign has never been about any single candidate. It is always about transforming America… And we must take that energy into the Democratic National Convention on July 25 in Philadelphia where we will have more than 1,900 delegates…

…But the political revolution means much more than fighting for our ideals at the Democratic National Convention and defeating Donald Trump. ..

  • It means that, at every level, we continue the fight to make our society a nation of economic, social, racial and environmental justice.
  • It means that we can no longer ignore the fact that, sadly, the current Democratic Party leadership has turned its back on dozens of states in this country and has allowed right-wing politicians to win elections in some states with virtually no opposition.
  • Most importantly, the Democratic Party needs leadership which is prepared to open its doors and welcome into its ranks working people and young people.

…Here is a cold, hard fact that must be addressed. Since 2009, some 900 legislative seats have been lost to Republicans in state after state throughout this country. In fact, the Republican Party now controls 31 state legislatures and controls both the governors’ mansions and statehouses in 23 states. That is unacceptable…

…We need to start engaging at the local and state level in an unprecedented way. Hundreds of thousands of volunteers helped us make political history during the last year. These are people deeply concerned about the future of our country and their own communities. Now we need many of them to start running for school boards, city councils, county commissions, state legislatures and governorships. State and local governments make enormously important decisions and we cannot allow right-wing Republicans to increasingly control them…

…In other words, we need a new generation of people actively involved in public service who are prepared to provide the quality of life the American people deserve…

“My hope is that when future historians look back and describe how our country moved forward into reversing the drift toward oligarchy and created a government which represents all the people and not just the few, they will note that, to a significant degree, that effort began with the political revolution of 2016.”

Sen. Bernie Sanders, June 16, 2016

Complete text of Sen. Sanders’ broadcast: https://berniesanders.com/political-revolution-continues/

*****

Yezdyar Kaoosji is a progressive activist and writes an occasional column “Progressive Voice” for the Community Alliance. He can be reached at yezdyk@comcast.net.

  • The Community Alliance is a monthly newspaper that has been published in Fresno, California, since 1996. The purpose of the newspaper is to help build a progressive movement for social and economic justice.

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