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The Most Powerful Color is Green: Bernie Sanders' Populism Should Cross Racial Divides
Bernie Sanders Must Stick to His Economic Reform Guns
United We Stand, Divided We Fall: Why We Must Remember That Green is More Powerful Than Black or White
The United States is stuck in an economic quagmire. Since the mid-1970s, real wages have eroded, income inequality has increased, and our wealth and income gaps resemble those last seen in...1928. Remember what happened in 1929? Our unstable economy makes us vulnerable to deep, dangerous recessions and makes us more likely to experience future political instability. When the economic wheels stop turning like they should, people tend to get mad.
Whether it is the decline in demand for less-educated workers, the increasing incentives for CEOs to minimize employee compensation in order to boost stock prices, or America's refusal to link the federal minimum wage to inflation that is at fault for our nation's soaring income and wealth inequality, it is clear that something must be done.
What must be done must be substantial. It must be bold. It must be comprehensive. It must be inclusive. The only 2016 presidential candidate who is advocating these necessary economic reforms is Bernie Sanders. This self-proclaimed Democratic Socialist wants America to experience the biggest economic reforms since the New Deal, and countless voters have responded with excitement. Those of us who feel the Bern know that sweeping change is necessary to avoid devastating economic, infrastructural, and climate-related problems in future decades. We are thrilled that a politician is brave enough to be real, to say what needs saying, and defy the school-age brainwashing that equates the word "socialism" with "Stalinism."
America needs Bernie Sanders. The other candidates are ignoring the flashing lights on the economic dashboard. They say what they think Middle America wants to hear. They are more interested in garnering votes than proposing solutions to current and future problems. Among the crowd of 2016 presidential candidates, Bernie Sanders is the realest. He marched for Civil Rights. He voted against the Iraq War in 2002. He has always supported same-sex marriage. His fellow Democratic challenger, Hillary Clinton, voted in favor of the Iraq War in 2002 and, until recently, did not support same-sex marriage.
Bernie Sanders has always been a fighter, being real instead of saying what the polls suggest he should say. He sticks to his guns. His biggest gun is economic populism. And, unfortunately, some people seem to want Bernie Sanders to stray from his front-and-center message. According to The Daily Beast, "Black Twitter" has just "turned" on Bernie Sanders. Apparently, when protesters interrupted at the Netroots Nation conference in Phoenix, Sanders stayed on topic and refused to get drawn into a debate about recent police brutality against African Americans. Sanders instead reiterated his support for civil rights and how he has fought for such rights for fifty years.
That was not good enough for many Twitter users, who began mocking the U.S. Senator (I-VT) with the hashtag #BernieSoBlack. Pundits have seized on the news and reiterated that Bernie Sanders, who comes from a state that is 95 percent white, has little experience connecting with nonwhite voters. Political strategists warn that Sanders must connect with black voters, where he trails Hillary Clinton by a wide margin.
It hurts me that Bernie Sanders, who has always been a uniter, is being attacked in such a manner. While partisan attacks against Sanders may feel good in the moment, they will hurt the Democratic Party tremendously in the long run. You see, it is actually Bernie Sanders, rather than Hillary Clinton, who has the best shot against the Republicans in the general election. Sanders is running on issues, not rhetoric. While Clinton's rhetoric may be more appealing to certain blocs of voters, they will get her labeled as divisive by the Republicans. Ironically, by trying to stay away from divisive rhetoric and focus on improving economic, educational, and infrastructural conditions for all Americans, Sanders has been criticized.
I appeal to all voters to keep in mind that the most powerful color in politics is not black or white, but rather green. Money talks. Money is power. Bernie Sanders is the candidate who passionately wants to give all Americans a better shot at getting enough green to live stable, middle-class lives. Trying to draw Sanders off message and divert his focus will jeopardize this goal. Sanders supporters need to be unified around a common goal - that of improving the economy.
Foes and opponents will seize on division in one's ranks and seek to drive wedges. In the U.S. Civil War, the Confederacy suffered because its states, being a confederation rather than a union, had trouble cooperating. In the First World War, Germany almost won on the Western Front after Russia sought a separate peace in 1917, breaking the union of Allied Powers and freeing up thousands of German troops. In the Second World War, Germany conducted its Ardennes Offensive in December 1944 specifically to divide U.S. and British forces, hoping that the physical wedge would become a political wedge that would drive both nations to seek a separate peace with the Nazis. In 1968, the Democratic Party was horribly divided and Republican Richard Nixon easily won the White House.
Bernie Sanders cannot afford to divide his powerful message of economic reform. He has been a tireless champion of equality and civil rights and should let his record speak for itself. Giving in to those who yell loudest will threaten the potency of his campaign. Bernie Sanders is real and does not cave, and he should not cave now. I support you, Senator!