by Senka Huskic
Originally appearing on Occupy.com
When Occupy Wall Street started, many people made fun of the protestors and what they stood for. Those who felt satisfied with the current system, where so few can live comfortably from their wages, told the general public that OWS protesters were just lazy people who wanted to live off the government.
Today, those same people are very surprised at the power of the Bernie Sanders movement – a movement that is finally talking about the most important economic and social issues. Bernie gave people their voices back and inspired many to join and raise their voices against the status quo, believing that only united we can move forward toward a more just system for all.
Bernie is a metaphor for the change this country needs to start, rebuilding its middle class. His supporters are standing up and talking about the demise of the working class in the United States.
Sen. Sanders has already been able to awaken millions of people while reminding them that it’s their right to ask for living wages, for health care, for the closure of offshore tax havens, for a formal and enforced end to financial crimes, for strength and hope to move towards justice and refuse to accept things as they currently stand.
It provides some perspective to recall this article from 2015 when no one in the mainstream took Bernie seriously, when the establishment labeled him as too radical and too crazy to understand their politics. This is because he was never afraid to speak his mind without coloring it to fit the expedient needs of politics, and to please those who want the truth to stay hidden.
Fast forward to mid-2016 and we see that those politicians who sold our democracy to the highest bidder knew nothing about the American people – namely, that we’ve had enough and we were ready to feel the Bern. They didn’t know that this country has been waking up, more every day, with more people joining and realizing what has been done to us and how we can fix it together.
I have written numerous articles for this site about the aftermath of mortgage and foreclosure fraud, and how millions of people lost their homes due to the biggest scam of our generation. Bernie is the only senator (aside from Elizabeth Warren) who has constantly spoken about this crime, never retreating from his position of holding Wall Street accountable for their criminal behavior.
He is the one who has called for uncovering and stopping tax havens so that corporations get off our backs and start paying their fair share of taxes – not to mention paying their workers decent wages so that our country doesn’t have to provide food stamps to people working full time.
Most of all, Sen. Sanders is bringing back people’s confidence, reminding Americans of their power when they unite and stand up for justice. His recent voting record includes votes on bills to: make the Federal Reserve more transparent; prohibit liability immunity for corporations that break user agreements; bring jobs back to America; protect women’s health from corporate interference; and establish a new and more equitable minimum wage.
The American people have been waiting a long time for someone to actually represent them. That means protecting them from the fraud and corruption that is happening in the name of lobbying.
Those with money are sending lobbyists to Congress to change existing laws and make new ones; meanwhile, many representatives who were elected to serve the people are leaving their government positions to go into lobbying careers, or working for those they used to regulate and oversee.
Lost in the shuffle, the people are left to wait the next turn, and then the next, and the next, and one day they realize that life has flown by and nothing has changed except that their kids are now in a worse position that they were – with so much student debt after college that it’s hard to start contemplating even more debt when it comes to buying a house or continuing with higher education.
What happened, and how did we get here, to this point where our kids’ future is no longer promising, where they’re working low-paid jobs with their college degrees while those on the other side – those who perpetrated some of the biggest financial crimes in history – are getting richer and our politicians are still protecting them?
The time has come to give a chance to someone who has fought for this country and its people all his life, who stood by his words and never labeled Wall Street fraud as mere “shenanigans” the way his opponent, Hillary Clinton, has done. The country needs Bernie Sanders more than ever; we need his honesty and his fearlessness when he calls out the deeds committed by bankers by their real name: crime and fraud.
Young people recognize this and that is why they’re supporting Bernie in huge numbers. Young people are aware that this is their future that is on the line and that this is the moment when they still have the time, energy and belief to make this change come. We must be determined to change the status quo because if we give up now, the status quo will only change for the good of corporations, Wall Street and all those who have enough money to influence our politicians.
The people, the working and middle classes, will continue to struggle to keep up with bills, with high health insurance costs, with no health insurance, with helping their kids escape student debt, and doing all this while their retirement comes and they’re left with nothing. Even our social security is in jeopardy of getting privatized and put in the hand of Wall Street gamblers.
It’s hard to bring about major change in any society. It takes years to build a progressive movement and see it in action. Our generation is witnessing history in the making. Now it is up to us to do our part and push forward for a better world.
Here is how: We need to start voting for people who do not profit from every war; people who won’t take contributions from foreign governments and then sell them arms; people whose companies and their friends’ companies won’t profit from oil in countries we “liberate”; people who won’t send bankers to work with corrupt politicians in those countries in order to further in-debt their citizens; people who won’t help dictators come to power.
Privilege is to pick Hillary over Bernie, and to say to Bernie supporters that you must “be with her” since she is better than Trump while forgetting that you once had the option to choose the candidate who is for the people and not the banks, the corporations and the status quo. The decision is now.