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Galindez writes: "In February of 2015, when Bernie Sanders was traveling around Iowa in a Dodge muscle car trying to decide if he should run for president, I asked him what he needed to see to decide to run. His answer was not selfish: it wasn't about his political future, it was about the future of the progressive movement."

Sen. Bernie Sanders. (photo: Reuters)
Sen. Bernie Sanders. (photo: Reuters)

In Bernie We Trust

By Scott Galindez, Reader Supported News

09 June 16


n February of 2015, when Bernie Sanders was traveling around Iowa in a Dodge muscle car trying to decide if he should run for president, I asked him what he needed to see to decide to run. His answer was not selfish: it wasn’t about his political future, it was about the future of the progressive movement. It wasn’t about whether Bernie Sanders could win, but whether a run for president would benefit the progressive movement. He made the right decision. Bernie’s campaign has launched a progressive political revolution.

As Bernie contemplates the next step, we should trust that he will do the right thing for the movement. If he endorses Hillary Clinton for president, we should trust that it is the right thing for our movement. He is not going to come out and say “we lost, I’m going home now, so Hillary Clinton is now your leader.” He will continue to lead the political revolution. So I say to Bernie-or-Busters, trust Bernie and continue to follow his lead. He will not lead us astray.

I will be going to The People’s Summit in Chicago next week. Nina Turner, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, Rep. Raul Grijalva, Chuy Garcia, and RoseAnn DeMoro are the Bernie surrogates who will be there. It will be the start of the discussion on where we go from here. Remember, this campaign has been about us from the beginning. Who we vote for in November is a tactic, not the endgame. If Bernie’s name is not on the ballot, we should vote for the candidate our movement can have the greatest influence on. I’m pretty sure that Bernie Sanders will tell us that is Hillary Clinton.

We have already forced Hillary Clinton to change her position on the TPP and the Keystone XL pipeline. She recently came out in favor of adding a public option to Obamacare that is a back door to single payer. Her debt-free college tuition plan is a step in the right direction. She is for a $12-an-hour national minimum wage, but wouldn’t oppose $15-an-hour if we put it on her desk.

It is not enough, though. Our job will be to keep fighting for the rest. We have to stay united and continue to move forward. Let’s not self-destruct because we don’t think someone is as pure as we think we are. I already hear many being critical of Robert Reich, Cenk Uygur, and people like me for not being Bernie or Bust. We have the same goals, we just disagree on how we get there. So let’s agree that Bernie has our best interests at heart. Let’s trust Bernie to lead us in the right direction.

There is a lot of frustration, anger, and sadness out there. We have likely fallen short of the goal of nominating Bernie Sanders to be President of the United States. But let’s not despair. We have built a movement that will forever transform our country. Progressives have always failed at building a lasting movement. We always self-destruct while we fight over process. This time we have a leader who unites us. When we all realize like Bernie that it is not about ourselves or our organization, but about what is right for the movement as a whole, we can win. It’s not about one election or one piece of legislation.

We have to commit to rolling up our sleeves and doing the work that will be necessary to bring real change. Instead of complaining about the establishment, we have to become the establishment. Go to your local Democratic Party meetings and help progressives take over the apparatus. As I have said in the past, before starting a new party can work, we need one of the two parties to change the rules to allow a level playing field. The system is rigged in favor of the two major parties. They are both in the pockets of corporate America. We have to take control of one of the parties from the bottom up. Bernie has chosen the Democrats for us. Instead of saying the Democrats are corrupt and a lost cause, let’s work hard to clean it up.

I plan to get involved in the Democratic Party here in Iowa and a community group called CCI that is sending a bus to Chicago for The People’s Summit. I don’t have to run for Congress to have an impact, I can just join my county’s party and elect progressives or run for a spot on the central committee. If we take control of the party from the bottom up, we can become the Democratic Party establishment and change the rules.

I hear some of you saying we have been there and done that but it’s a lost cause. Well, we didn’t have a leader like Bernie uniting us in the past. Bernie can keep us focused on the prize and keep us from fighting over the process. The election was one tactic, a tactic that worked. Bernie used it to build our movement. Now let’s use our movement to transform our country. I’ll say it again: Trust Bernie.

Scott Galindez attended Syracuse University, where he first became politically active. The writings of El Salvador's slain archbishop Oscar Romero and the on-campus South Africa divestment movement converted him from a Reagan supporter to an activist for Peace and Justice. Over the years he has been influenced by the likes of Philip Berrigan, William Thomas, Mitch Snyder, Don White, Lisa Fithian, and Paul Wellstone. Scott met Marc Ash while organizing counterinaugural events after George W. Bush's first stolen election. Scott will be spending a year covering the presidential election from Iowa.

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