“Given the enormous problems facing our country, the fact that we are moving toward an oligarchic society and the fact that we are not addressing the planetary crisis of climate change, it is unacceptable for anybody to throw their hands up in despair and turn away from the political process. Historically in this country, people have fought and died to end racism and segregation, to fight for women’s rights, gay rights, workers’s rights, and no generation has a right to turn its back on the political process and not participate.”
This challenge came from U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders, a progressive political independent who by all appearances will be running for President in 2016. He offered these words during an open question-and-answer session on Reddit yesterday.
During that discussion, Sanders spoke with the combination of confidence and political realism that have characterized his career. “I am the longest serving independent in the history of the U.S. Congress. In my political career, I have defeated Democrats, defeated Republicans and defeated candidates who had the support of both parties. In Burlington, Vt., we still have a strong third party and Vermont I believe has the strongest Progressive Party in the United States. Having said that, it would be naive to believe that it would be easy to start an effective third party nationally. It would require an enormous amount of work and very difficult obstacles would have to be overcome. It could be done but it’s not easy.”
This enormous amount of work cannot be done alone – especially not with Sanders rejecting assistance from corporate political action committees, as he has always done. Are you in? Will you help build an independent campaign for Sanders in 2016?