By: Elle Smith
Bernie Sanders holds a place in my heart reserved for my grandfather and his plain-spoken integrity. On MSNBC and in interviews over the last months, Bernie is led in question to criticize Hilary Clinton. He refuses. In Iowa, August 16, Bernie rebutted a Washington Post reporter by telling him that he would not participate in “that sport you like.”
This is the appeal of Bernie Sanders. When I see and hear Bernie Sanders speak, there is a longing, and a feeling for a time and place when people dealt with each other on a more honest level. I am tired of slick politics. I am sick of the hate-filled double speak and fact-free rhetoric that infects our society and turns us upon each other.
I work with young kids. Often houses built from blocks by a child will be kicked over by another, more aggressive child. I then sit down with them both and we work on how we can rebuild together.
There are many things that need to be rebuilt in this country. Bernie Sanders will spur the creation of jobs to rebuild our roads and bridges. But that is just the physical. There is far more that has to be rebuilt in this country and that is the American spirit.
There is so much that has been kicked over. It is our economic certainty. We now worry if our children can ever afford college and worry if paying for food outweighs paying for heating this month. How did we sink to this?
It is our dignity in the American workplace that has been kicked over. We have lost that can-do American spirit from years of abuse at the hands of corporations who hold the strings to our government. That proud slogan of Made in America? How often do you see that?
Our indignity encompasses low wages and abusive hiring practices. Our abuse encompasses routinely being sent to sign up for food stamps, no paid vacations or sick days, no payment of overtime and workers being locked into workplaces. All this has kicked over our home built of trust, our home built on security, and we see our future turning to rubble of which there is no way to dig ourselves out.
This is America and we are a great country full of great people. We are diverse. We believe different things. Bernie Sanders is the only candidate not bought and paid for by the corporate machine. What Bernie Sanders is doing is bringing us together and bringing our focus back to our basic needs which are not those of giant corporations, but the needs of We the People.
The reason Bernie Sanders is pulling record crowds is that we are realizing It Is Not Our Fault. We have been brainwashed, slowly and effectively to forget the protection in the workplace afforded to our parents and grandparents. We forget, as unions are demonized, the hard won benefits that made this country the most upwardly mobile country in history. As wealth accumulates at the top, our ability to move up the income ladder has degraded considerably, and entire rungs of the ladder are missing as we dangle precariously above a pit called economic despair, and yes, homelessness.
We are told to blame ourselves.
Bernie Sanders speaks to this despair. He does not believe families should work full-time and still have to resort to food stamps. He does not believe families should struggle just to afford childcare costs. He states that it is a moral outrage that any American go without healthcare. He believes a higher education should be within reach of every American.
Healthcare, childcare, education, and a living wage, these are the building blocks of society. We are rebuilding America anew and Bernie Sanders is the voice of each and every one of us.