Why I’m Not Voting For Bernie Sanders, And Instead Preparing For War

That word war, is back in the lexicon again. You heard presidential candidate Ted Cruz mention it in his military strategy against ISIS in the form of overwhelming air strikes, reminiscing on the days of the Persian Gulf War where over 1100 bombs were dropped on middle eastern territories every single day, a strategy known as “carpet bombing.”

 

Donald Trump vows to eliminate the economic back channels of ISIS by destroying the banking systems that fund them as well as “taking” the oil from the ground. Yes, he believes as president he will simply take the oil from them and that will be that.

 

In Flint, several months back, residents were unaware the city government authorized live military training exercises when they were awoken to the sounds of machine guns, grenades, helicopters, and military personnel.

 

Imagine if 1100 bombs were dropped on Baltimore, New Orleans, Ferguson, or Chicago? No need to, when children are being slaughtered in the streets like animals and no one is even indicted, let alone brought to justice. If using the word “carpet bomb” in a public debate isn’t tough talk, then me saying that a war is on the horizon, isn’t either.

What does all this have to do with Bernie Sanders?

The contemporary analysis of Jesus’ “personality” was that he was a “radical”. Is Uncle Bernie a radical? His opponents of the right wing seem to believe so, obviously because if passed, his policy reforms would drastically change the landscape of industries, communities, and lifestyles around the country. And these aren’t just random someone’s who’s livelihoods will be compromised, a lot of these men, believe that white men should stick together, just as every other ethnicity of people believe, and so, to turn your back on an ally, is a declaration of war. So, the nice word is radical, but in reality, when nobody is listening, I’d be surprised if they weren’t shooting .45’s at his head while at the range.

If Bernie Sanders was 22 or 23 years old, he’d be the white guy out at the Black Lives Matter Protests with the long hippy locks, thai dye headband and Nike Roshe runs on, with Deray Mckesson staging die ins and blocking off freeways on the 405 in LA.

He’s directly from the school of Dr. King. However after King was assassinated, he said fuck it, and ran to the suburbs of Burlington Vermont, a city that possessed less than 1% Negroes during the time. Today Burlington has grown, and its Black population has grown to a little less than 4%.

But like I said last week, when you throw words like “radical” around so colloquially, they begin to lose their zest.

Taken from the Latin word radix, which means root, the word radical in reference to politics means to have extremely different or opposing views from most people. It can also be defined as something that’s very new, that veers away from the traditional or a person who favors extreme changes in government.

So, by definition I would say that I can understand why folks would classify Uncle Bernie as a radical. I don’t think he’s all that radical at all. The ideas and issues his campaign are based around are not radical ideas, they are ideas that support a sustainable working class. It’s a favorable position to take because it’s the only logical position to take that will prevent the economy from truly collapsing sending the country into civil war. Let’s just keep it a billion.

To sample from brother Coates, how long will the government allow a community to be plundered before the people who bear the weight of the burden say enough is enough and their behaviors become even more volatile and extremely violent? Look at Baltimore. Look at Ferguson. Look at Watts in 65. Look at LA in 92. Those weren’t only responses to the government sponsored assassination of Dr. King, the acquittal of the police officers who brutalized Rodney King, Michael Brown, and Freddie Gray. Those were responses to conditions the Black community consistently faces in America year after year, decade after decade. And America knows this, that’s why when Black folks get out of pocket, here come the tanks, and the men in army fatigues. We keep asking why the government rides on us this way, as if we’re hoping they say they aren’t preparing to go to war with us, but we know they are. We feel the rumble of those war machines as they occupy our communities like battlefields. We see the look in those soldiers’ eyes that are just waiting for a reason to pull the trigger. We see it.

We’ve seen revolutions throughout history and as of late, for us, it hasn’t ended well. My pops and I used to have this discussion for hours over many nights and he was right in his observation that real revolutions are always bloody. However, I still believe that there can be no revolution before an awakening. A collective “ah ha” moment.

And if you look around, people are “waking up”. Everybody sees how much more “deep” our Facebook feeds have gotten since 2006. It used to be that one friend that would post something thought-provoking, or that interesting quote that everybody appreciated, and now, everybody got knowledge.

Bernie Sanders, in my opinion, is someone who’s sensitive to the climate of the country and knows that if we do not do something to significantly impact the communities that are the most affected by corporate greed and elite exploitation, then America won’t have to worry about climate change destabilizing the country, because the poor and working class people will do that long before that happens. As Chairman of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, Sanders knows far too well the affects that war has on the thousands of young men and women who give their life to fighting on the front lines for the US abroad in places like the Middle East. He’s admitted, “Here’s where I am, we have been at war for 12 years, we have spent trillions of dollars, I’m Chairman of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, we have 5000 men and women who have come with PTSD, and PTI, and what I do not want, and I fear very much, is the United States getting sucked into a quagmire and being involved in perpetual warfare, year after year after year, that is my fear.”

 

I’ve always believed that there is a collective consciousness that we all can glean inspiration and influence from, and at times, when you can peer through the fog, you get that glimpse of where the world may or may not go. For me, I foresee trends in popular culture, not to toot my own horn because I’ve never been able to capitalize on the information. I never too much cared for the affairs of the world, I’ve always been more connected with the matters of nature and the divine. As a father of two, matters of the divine also include ensuring that your kids have a future that’s better than yours, so acting on that ability to see what’s on the horizon is now mandatory.

Bernie being from the 60’s and 70’s I’m sure he puffed a few hits of the bud, and got a taste of Alan Watts. I mean the man is truly and Independent Socialist who’s from the #1 Ranked Hippy state in the country. According to Burlington Press, Vermont is the home state of Phish, and Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream, Vermont is America’s hippie Mecca. It has the most communes (24) and co-ops (16) per capita of any state, and it has highest concentration of Grateful Dead, Bob Dylan and Phish fans.  So, I see why Bernie positions himself the way he does.

War isn’t something I want to see come to fruition although I understand it’s the nature of the world we live in. I live in the country with the most powerful military in the world. America is a war machine! So to expect anything less than, would be silly. Still don’t wanna see it come to fruition though. So on that note I agree with Bernie.

The beautiful thing about being on the cusp of war, is the stakes become crystal clear. And the truth is, America can’t afford an internal crisis like a civil war, and fight continuous wars abroad. It would send such a shockwave of weakness around the world, foreign investors would lessen their positions, relationships would strain, our influence would weaken, and for all we know, somebody might feel froggy and want to attack. Vulnerability is the one thing America absolutely can not showcase to the rest of the world! So, its in our country’s best interest to lean a tad more to the left, and that’s exactly what we’ve seen in it in the last few years, despite all the kicking and screaming of the Right Wing.

In 2011, a Pew Study revealed that although the oldest Americans supported repealing health-care reform by 29 percentage points, Millennials favored expanding it by 17 points. They were also 25 points more likely than those 65 and older to approve of Occupy Wall Street and 36 points more favorable toward socialism, which they preferred over capitalism, 49 percent to 46 percent.

If that’s not enough, marijuana is legal in more and more states as the months go by. Gay marriage is legal around the country now, and Obama pushed for the early release of 6000 prisoners in efforts to provide relief for drug offenders who received harsh sentences over the past three decades, according to U.S. officials. To the rest of the world, these are a radical moves because, only in Uruguay and North Korea can you legally use and sell marijuana, and only 22 countries in the world have legalized gay marriage laws.

So, Bernie Sanders is hitting the right buttons and saying the right things. I commend him for standing up for what more and more Americans believe in, even at his age, that takes a lot of selflessness to do so, knowing you have grand children and children that don’t want the supposed easier part of your life, to become the most challenging part of their families entire life, so I give dude respect for that. But here’s why I won’t be voting for Uncle Bernie in November.

 

His Stance On The Middle East Is Weak

Listening to his ideals on a society where equality prevails and people are paid living wages, have access to free education and medicare, is wonderful, and they ideas to get folks should get behind. But his stance on the conflicts in the Middle East are passive and weak as he he shifts his boisterous political strategy to a “point the finger” blame game strategy.

When asked about ISIS, he admits they are a threat and need to be defeated, however, his plan on how to do so, is not as defined as hus jobs bill or his education plan. He supports air strikes, but also, believes that the US should take a lesser position in the conflict by forcing countries like Saudi Arabia to fight their own fight at home, while we continue to protect our own borders . 

His response is one that weighs heavy on his fear of the aftermath of our veterans. Not the fact that our dependency on foreign oil creates a significant conflict of interests, and withdrawing troops from the Middle East would be an act of betrayal to the companies that live on that oil, which provide essential services to our nation. He knows that, but refuses to say it directly. I agree with his strategy to ask the question why the Saudi’s and the neighboring international community who sees this as a threat doesn’t jump in and defend themselves, but again, he knows that they support what we are doing as long as they get a piece of the pie.

Asking questions we already know the answer to, is not something I want in a president. I want someone who can take what’s known, and make things happen to move us forward. Moving away from the quagmire of perpetual war is the most pressing issue in the world right now, and his position is weak on it because he understands how war has made this country the most powerful nation in the world. There’s no getting away from that. 

 

His magic bullet theory of wealth and income inequalities in poor communities.

Bernie believes that wealth and income inequalities are the result of big corporations and big banks rigging the rules over a period of 40 years. These are the types of things people get away with saying when nobody is willing to check them on it. Do we really have to argue about the rules of America being rigged from inception or can we just agree that this is a more reasonable and rational point of entry to the debate? 

Its true that since the 80’s there has been an enormous transfer of wealth from the middle class and the poor to the wealthiest people in this country. However, having a couple hundred year head start on wealth creation and education, one can’t expect that policy reform alone is going to close the gaps anytime soon. Which is oddly where he and Hilary align. On  most issues, his idea is to make sweeping reforms that make immediate direct impacts, but for bridging the gap between the wealthy, his strategy shifts again to incremental reform. Why is that? 

 

His stance on reparations.

This wasn’t a deal breaker for me, but it was definitely revelatory. He went on TV and said that he wouldn’t support reparations for Black people because it would be too divisive. Yet, he supported reparations claims for the Native Americans and the Jews? That’s not divisive?

To say that supporting the atonement for one of the most atrocious acts of genocide in the history of mankind is divisive, is alarming, especially for a radical progressive and hiding from that critical point stretches him further to the right. 

 

His age.

The man is on pace to be the oldest president in the history of the United States, which may or may not be a goal of his, but I just can’t understand why a man his age, would use the last few good years of his life, to fight with a Republican congress on ideas he knows good and damn well, are going to be met with extreme scrutiny.

Feels more like his campaign is a brilliant legacy play. He’ll concede late in the race, once his funds dry up, and he’ll go down as one of the great what if presidents, kind of like Al Gore.

Even if he wins, the man will be nearly 80 years old by the time his first term concludes, and well into his 80’s in the event that he’s elected a second term. Seeing how fast 8 years aged Obama and George Bush, I can only imagine the impact its going to have on Uncle Bernie. I don’t want to contribute to potentially sending this man to his grave earlier than necessary.

That’s a little weak, but at least I care about the man’s family. 

 

He’s Not The Most Progressive Candidate On The Trail

Too often I think we think in two colors politically, red and blue. When in fact, there are other parties out there that have ideologies that span from far to the right, to far left, to center left and center right.

In that regard, the Green Party’s candidate Jill Stein, is a solid candidate as well. Similar to Ben Carson, she’s a physician who has plans practically identical with Sanders, however, she takes it a step further in her support for the labeling of GMO’s and the revolution of the food industry.

She’s even gone on record to say that she supports reparations. 

Unfortunately, as a Green Party candidate, she’s significantly underfunded, she doesn’t get the mainstream media opportunities as the other two parties, and therefore most folks don’t even know she’s a candidate, all we know is who the media shows us. To me, we can’t even begin to say we’re having honest open discussions on the direction the country is going , when we’re not hearing all the ideas and solutions. 

Jill Stein to me, is much more progressive, much more radical, much more supportive of legislation that reduces our dependency on fossil fuels, and her stance on the Middle East is more well defined. 

 

Is There Light At The End Of The Tunnel?

Despite the fact that brothers and sisters like Killer Mike, Lil B, Zoe Kravitz, and Dr. Cornell West are rallying behind Uncle Bernie, I can’t support the idea of someone supporting me to an extent and beyond that line, we part ways. That’s a lot like saying “Bro, if anybody jump in, I’m jumping in with you, except if its my brother.” 

There isn’t a candidate on the trail right now that I can actually say I’m 100% behind because they all have demonstrated that although they have great ideas, they are still willing to play bipartisan politics when convenient. That means once they are in the White House, who’s to say these plans become compromised and we end up with little brother versions of the ideas that we  supported? Its exactly what happened to Obama. His claim to fame was that he was going to withdraw the troops from Iraq, which he did, but he also sent troops into Afghanistan immediately, so the idea that we were withdrawing from the Middle East, sounded good, but was never going to happen to begin with.

I think the good of this election is that more and more of us are becoming awakened and the political discourse in our communities is rising, and in the event we spark more and more dialogues around political issues, I think the time will come when we begin to contemplate the formulation of a new political party, one that best represents the ideas that we deem worth fighting wholeheartedly for.

Even though I like Jill Stein and the Green Party as representatives for ideas that I value, I understand its going to take a while before they can truly make some noise, because our consciousness is so red/blue oriented. Rosa Clemente is going to have to get on Love and Hip Hop New York and slap a chick, or get an interview on the Breakfast Club before folks can start taking them seriously, even though, they are the most progressive and radical party on the trail.

Here is a link to Jill Stein’s campaign page. Notice the similarities in her and Bernie’s positions on the issues.

In the meantime, I’ll be watching The Spook Who Sat By The Door as Hilary makes history or as Ted Cruz declares World War III.