Saturday, September 5, 2015

The Secret to Bernie's Campaign

Robert Reich. (photo: Richard Morgenstein)

By Robert Reich, Robert Reich's Facebook Page

04 September 15

hat's the secret of the @berniesanders campaign, beyond Bernie himself? Today I counted another 14 groups that have sprung to life over the last several months -- all appearing in my email or phone mail, or I discover from friends or former students. And all are engaged in one way or another in building support for Bernie around the country.

I'm always wary of "astroturf" groups designed to resemble grass roots, but these are the real thing. I've spoken with several organizers who hadn't had any contact with the official campaign but felt they "had to help organize" for Bernie, as several of them told me.

I have no idea whether all this grass-roots activity will take Bernie all the way to the White House, but I do know it's real and it's important -- and it's under the radar of Washington insiders and pundits who look only at how many organizers are on a campaign's payroll or how many dollars a campaign has raised.

The Sanders campaign isn't like any other campaign I've witnessed since Eugene McCarthy's anti-Vietnam War presidential insurgency -- which didn't get McCarthy elected but gave birth to a national grass-roots movement that ultimately ended the war. Peaceful change of the magnitude we need can come about only when millions or people are organized and mobilized to demand it. Bernie's presidential run is catalyzing such a movement.
+87 # Radscal 2015-09-04 12:42
Yep. I've seen grass roots organizing rise up even in the VERY conservative area I now live.

Of course, not only is that exactly what Sanders is calling for, but is also the only way he has a chance. With not much cash and little to no positive corporate media coverage, if we're going to nominate and the elect Sanders, it will be because we, the people make it happen.

+30 # Inspired Citizen 2015-09-04 14:24
The revolution behind the revolution is the grassroots campaign being waged by Revolt Against Plutocracy. We are creating a write-in campaign to serve as leverage against #CorporateClint on. Take the #BernieOrBust pledge today.
+16 # jcdav 2015-09-04 20:15
Lead, follow or get the hell out of the way.

+43 # davidr 2015-09-04 12:44
Strictly in terms of grass roots support, the McCarthy/Sander s analogy makes sense. But so does a McCarthy/Trump analogy. And taking the trope further, of the two major party conventions in 2016, it seems likelier that the GOP convention will be the one that more nearly resembles Chicago '68. The GOP is broken & prone to shatter in ways that the Dems are not. Bernie chose to run as a Dem because, as he's said, it's instrumentally useful — i.e., it is a vehicle sufficiently strong to carry him to office. Trump chose to run as a Rep for a nearly opposite reason — a clown car suits him better than anyone. In the final analysis, he doesn't care that it runs poorly, because for him it's just a plaything.

+55 # reiverpacific 2015-09-04 13:17
Actually, in tens of $ donated, I'd like to see the figures of what Sanders has raised from the mass of grassroots donations -last I saw it was $35.00 per head on average -we gave him $50.00-, as against Clinton the Second's total from courting socio-political elites and corporate "Moderate" or "Liberal" sources.
It might be closer than we are led to think.
The selective media can't ignore him for ever, in spite of the attempts to bury Bernie's populist stances -the LAST thing that THEY want!

+60 # dheiser41 2015-09-04 13:17
Bernie's campaign is also well covered in the September/Octob er issue of Mother Jones. The article is titled "We're not Crazy" and subtitled "Maybe a wild-haired socialist from Vermont won't win the presidency, but Bernie Sanders' run just might change politics forever." This progressive San Diegan is hopeful. Run, Bernie, Run! Keep biting at their heels and it keeps them paying attention!

+7 # Radscal 2015-09-04 16:09
I haven't read that article yet, but it's been disappointing to me that MoJo - once a proudly lefty publication - has been promoting HRC and marginalizing Sanders. Your quote suggests this one may be more of the same.
+55 # Carol R 2015-09-04 13:28
This is a quote from a headline {"Legion of Tech Volunteers Lead a Charge for Bernie Sanders"} in the Sept. 4, 2015 New York times:

"Throughout the summer, a largely unseen legion of technology professionals across the country — software developers and designers, product managers and more — have been moonlighting online on Mr. Sanders’s behalf. They have been applying their initiative, creativity, organizational skills and, above all, technical prowess in their off hours to support an underdog candidate who has been more than grateful for the help....Like so many online minutemen, they have given Mr. Sanders an enormous lift in his campaign for the Democratic nomination. But this is no ragtag militia: The people who have enlisted include top-flight digital talent."

+7 # Saberoff 2015-09-04 18:29
I LIKE it!

+49 # Street Level 2015-09-04 13:49
People are fed up with what's been ignored and washed over. Even in Silicon Valley where the complacent tech job holders usually sit with their thumbs up their Starbuck's are getting involved and coming out to engage the public.
I co-lead a table at markets 3x a week and the numbers keep growing. Teens drag their parents over to learn about Bernie, College students are fired up now and starting Bernie clubs on campus. Our volunteer demographic is not limited to the white-retired voters, it's everyone.
People are demanding change and leadership that we all "hoped" for in Obama.
Get on board, go to berniesanders.c om and search "events" near you

+5 # Saberoff 2015-09-04 18:30
I LIKE it again!

-3 # lewagner 2015-09-04 19:41
What's being ignored and washed over is America's subservience to Israel, the ONLY country that is profiting and even EXPANDING from the War on Terror that America is financing.
Has no one even noticed that so-called "Muslim" ISIS has attacked almost every country in the Middle East EXCEPT for Israel? That the 19 Arab hijackers who managed to penetrate New York City and Washington D.C.'s most heavily guarded airspace in the world and even hit the Pentagon smack in the Budget Office have never even tried to fly any Boeings into Tel Aviv (which would be a little closer, seems to me).
Yet every candidate, including Grass-roots Bernie nonchalantly "believes" that ISIS is really Muslim, that airplanes CAN meld right into buildings, that 9 people can be shot and killed in a church and the church be open for business the next day -- and even the "alternative" sites like RSN and its sophisticated readers who don't accept the MSM (even though that's about all that's linked to on this site) don't notice anything wrong with the picture either.
It's a little beyond belief, sorry, Robert Reich, Rhodes Scholar and CFR member.

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