Bernie Sanders is a good man, brave, kind, compassionate, courageous, insightful, thoughtful, and honest. He is a friend to all living things. Bernie Sanders is the kind of candidate who comes along only once in a lifetime. We shall not see his like again. Vote your hopes and not your fears. Vote SANDERS FOR PRESIDENT!
If you want to understand why there are so many die-hard Bernie supporters such as myself, I offer this. It isn’t because we hate Hillary Clinton. It isn’t because we are all democratic socialists. It isn’t because we all hate all of the rich.
We support this good man because he is kind, he is compassionate, he is a real person who has always had the same message, who doesn’t bend and blow with the breezes of popularity or the outcomes of focus groups.
We support Bernie Sanders because he is the last, best hope of leading us by the angels of our better nature, to making the aspirational America with ‘freedom and justice for all’ real, to restoring the character and standing of America to where the people of the world will thank us for our brother and sisterhood, and not hide their children in fear and curse us whenever they hear a plane overhead.
Bernie’s America is our America is the America of “This Land is Your Land.” Our America is the America of “America the Beautiful.” Our America is the America of “We Shall Overcome.” Ours is the America of “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.”
Our America is the America of Abraham Lincoln and Sojourner Truth and Emma Goldman and Paul Robeson. Our America is the America of Joe Hill and Eugene V Debs and Norman Thomas. Our America is the America of Michael Harrington and Kwame Ture. Our America is the America of Malcolm X and Upton Sinclair. Our America is the America of Teddy Roosevelt and Franklin Roosevelt. Our America is the America of Smedley Butler and Abbie Hoffman.
Copyright © 2016 Henry Edward Hardy
The greatest ideological weapon the US used to have is that we could point to the material and ethical benefits of our free, liberal society.
*We* had freedom of speech. *We* had a free press. *We* had full employment. *We* had the right to public education, including affordable or free college education. *We* did not spy on our citizens. *We* did not engage in torture. *We* obeyed and enforced the laws of war. *We* founded the United Nations. *We* had a democratic, pluralistic society in which everyone had a voice. *We* had separation of church and state. *We* had the right to organize and form unions, to bargain collectively, and to strike. *We* had the right to peaceably organize and protest against our government. *We* had free enterprise, where monopolies and cartels were neither tolerated nor legal. *We* had banks which were regulated in the public interest to prevent another economic crash. *We* had an open form of government where the people were in charge and the government did neither fear the people nor did the people fear the government. We had so much leisure time people didn’t always know what to do.
Our people were the wealthiest, freeest, healthiest and happiest in the world.
I am not talking about some never-neverland utopia. I remember this time in America. So does anyone my age if they think back.
What the fuck happened to us?
Copyright © 2013 Henry Edward Hardy
The year after Kent State (which was about 40 miles from my house) I was in 6th grade and a group of us refused to rise for or say the Pledge of Allegience on the basis that the US did not have “liberty and justice for all” and that we would not pledge allegiance to a rogue nation state which itself did not obey the laws of war or tell the truth to its people.
It was agreed with the school officials that we would stand respectfully and silently but would not have to say anything or make any worshipful gesture. And so it was for the rest of 6th grade. I wore black or white with red speckles arm bands to school most days that year (which my Mom helped me to make and safety-pinned onto my shirt). But I was also a safety patrol kid and put up and took down the flag and folded it properly and treated it with respect.
Americans each have a complex relationship with the flag and other national symbols. They have every right to express, or not to express their sentiments, without being accused of being unpatriotic or disloyal. We have the right to salute the flag, and we have the right to burn it. That is what freedom is.
Copyright © 2012 Henry Edward Hardy