By Hank Jirousek
Shortly after the last Democratic debate of the year, the Bernie Sanders campaign announced that it had surpassed Mr. Obama’s record number of contributions at over 2.2 million, with an average donation size of $25. This statistic alone says so many different things, maybe most importantly that Bernie is not an outsider like the media portrays him as.
The odds still do not stack up in his favor, however. Money is power, and Hillary Clinton still has the most of it, raised by Super Pacs and $1,000 a plate events. It is not idealistic to believe that campaigns for the presidency, the office that represents all of us, should be funded by the people, and gather financial support based on their popularity with the people.
Where the donation comes from and how large they are absolutely says a lot about what that for which a candidate stands. Again, Bernie’s average donation size is $25, which comes entirely from people like you and me while the vast majority of Mrs. Clinton’s funds are from CEO’s, hedge funds, and super PACs.
There should be no doubt that we are looking at another bought politician who owes a debt to the same top 1% against whom they claim to be a champion. You can’t look out for Wall Street’s interests and that of the middle class at the same time. Yes, the odds stack up against Bernie, but only because he runs a campaign on principles that all campaigns should follow.
Hillary is well established, but not invincible. Let’s not forget why she’s running for president in 2016: because she lost in 2008. For a while, the battle seemed to be won, and all sources predicted Hillary as the next Commander in Chief, until a young Illinois senator, Barack Obama swept the nomination from her. Bernie Sanders is actually doing better in the polls right now than Obama was at this time in ‘07. There is still time to do this, but it’s going to take all of us doing our part as individuals right now before primary election season rolls around.
We will be choosing our president in the Democratic primary elections. That may sound crazy, but the truth is that both Hillary and Bernie are already killing every Republican candidate in head-to-head polling, including the Donald. If Bernie can make it through the primaries, it’s smooth sailing from there on out. Small victories like these don’t mean that we can take a break; they mean that we need to fight harder than ever to the finish line to make sure that our efforts so far are not in vain.
When you think of political campaigning, what probably comes to mind is going door to door talking to people you don’t know, or standing on the street handing out fliers. These sorts of group-organized events are great and are central to getting Bernie’s name where it needs to be. If you’re like many people, myself included, you that don’t always have that sort of extra time to commit, you may find yourself most effective by working within your own day-to-day circle to do some good. Liberals are notorious for now getting our numbers out to the ballot box, and is one of the biggest reasons why we get pushed around in elections.
Print out some voter registration forms from your board of elections website and have people you see day to day fill one out. There are so many people who like Bernie’s message and either don’t know how to vote or shy away from it because they think their vote will not matter.
Every vote counts. Register everyone you can, even those whose political views are not the same as yours. This isn’t even a matter of just doing good for Bernie Sanders. More registered voters are good for America, and it brings us closer to what we like to think of America as a land of equal representation and opportunity. We aren’t there now, but this is how we get there. As Bernie has said time-and-again, this campaign isn’t about getting him into office; it’s about changing the way that American’s approach politics. Making it accessible. Making it a game for ‘We the People’ instead of ‘We the Few.’
Editor’s Note: This article was published before the Progressive Army Editorial Board had formed and has not been reviewed at this time for adherence to current Progressive Army Editorial Standards.