I felt the Bern! Even in Canada, a few miles North of America! Like millions of Americans, poor and struggling or even middle class. Or an entire generation of young Americans excited to face a whole new world with a hope that Bernie brought. I too was alive, again.
But alas, since New York threw cold water on our nascent dreams, the Bern seems to be fading and a scar remains. Ugly. Raw. Untreated.
Bernie Sanders and his vision of a new America was just not an utopian dream. It seemed possible. A minimum wage which could actually make thousands of lives, livable. A universal working health care for all, as good as what a country like America can provide. Free tuition for all in public colleges. Putting an end to Fracking and other abusive oil company technologies. Reversing the process of destructive man made climate change. Putting a lid on corporate greed and enabling better corporate governance especially ensuring that the sizes of monolithic corporations including banks are controlled.
These were measures which went beyond socialism and envisioned a world where humanity could live not just for itself but leave a better world for the future generations to follow. It amounted to hope. To love. To dream. Not just for America but for the whole world. Today America is the fountainhead of ideas and innovation. What America does, the world follows.
And America dares to dream! Last time that dream resulted in a change which completely altered the way the world accepted race. A Black man became the President of a White America! A visible minority was democratically accepted by the majority as their own. This time alas, that dream is dissipating fast!
As reality sinks in and as we are made to realize yet again that politics is just another dirty business where chameleons rule and relationships matter more than moralities and ideas, not just Bernie Sanders but millions of Americans and world citizens are disappointed. Some of them permanently. Especially the youth.
The Primaries in USA, a process of electing the leader for the Republic and the Democratic parties is a long drawn process and this journey will continue till June. In the Democratic Primary in the beginning it was was supposed to be a cakewalk for the Queen designate, Hillary Clinton to be the Presidential nominee. But Bernie’s ideas and the support he got from millions of ordinary Americans converted this into a mass movement. His ‘Political revolution’ completely changed the contours of the game.
Yet an electoral system where party regulars have voting rights and most of the independents go unrepresented , an entrenched political system of favors and relationships, money power of the rich and staunch support of entire corporate media is taking the wind out of Bernie’s sails.
What are the options left? Hillary, Trump and Cruz- Three figures who are literally just fighting to be the least hated one. Hillary is not just mistrusted and disliked by a large section of the American population but is the biggest symbol of the much despised political establishment. As for Trump and Cruz, the prospective Republican nominees, the less said the better and I am not going to waste time on such hate mongers and fascists in this column.
Time is a game changer and Americans may forget Bernie and his ideas and move on. While it will be difficult for most but some of them may just accept to vote for Hillary in this election too so as to ensure that at least America does not fall into a dark age with Republican Presidency.
Yet that zeal, that fire is gone! Thousands and thousands have travelled miles just to listen to him and see him in person in this day and era of direct and instant telecast.
Whether it was in Washington Square Park in New York city where a record crowd waited for him and lined his entire route or in Universities and colleges throughout the nation. Bernie has been treated like a rock star by the American people. And he too has responded as one of their own.
At a University function in a New York state university when the auditorium could hold less than three thousand inside, almost half the crowd, three thousand more of them waited outside amidst heavy downpour just to be able to feel the Bern! When Bernie came to know of that, he came out and spoke to them outside in pouring rain as he wanted to convey how he and his vision belonged to each one of them!
The end seems to be near for his valiant fight as few states remain and the delegate count and the political system is up against him. Not all revolutions are won. Not every time do the Jedis rule and the Empire does strikes back!
But thank you Bernie for bringing that dream alive again when we could imagine a more compassionate America and a better world for all.
At least it made us realize that the youth favors you and your vision and that is something! Our future is in safe hands and these fresh minds want the world to be more receptive to one and all, more caring for Mother Earth and more liberated and free from the dogmas of the powerful political system and giant corporations.
And you my friend, the common one like me out on the streets, don’t you extinguish the fire and lie down! Not now! Maybe Bernie may still win and carry on! We must fight till the last minute. And if that does not happen this time, in a not so distant future there will be a Political revolution and the world will become a better place to live as the youth is not afraid to look ahead and build a better world. Another Bernie will come and will lead the way. Perhaps a younger Obama look alike! One from amongst you and I. Till then. Keep walking!
Printed in Times of India on 25th April 2016. Link below-