Bernie Sanders and our coalition of movement and labor organizations should be looking ahead to when we elect him President. He frequently reminds us that our movements have to continue playing a major role once he’s in the Oval Office. To what extent have either Bernie’s campaign staff or movement organizations started this strategic planning process?
- Who is developing strategies for watching Bernie’s back once elected? Even with a landslide vote taking control of Senate and Congress, he will face ruthless opposition from the banks, fossil fuel and military industries, the DNC & RNC establishments, and many career government bureaucrats.
- What movement organizations are exploring the specific roles they could play in realizing his common sense agenda for change ?
- What role should movement organizations play in Bernie’s transition team?
- Who is detailing the job creation opportunities in Bernie’s agenda–Creating Jobs Rebuilding America, Climate Change, and Improving Rural America ?
Economic and financial analysis?
Development of movement strategies for supporting entrepreneurial and employment opportunities?
- Who is creating strategies for conversion of weapons industries and work forces as Bernie achieves major cuts in military spending?
We realize that the focus on getting out the vote in the next states is central to Bernie’s campaign team, unions supporting him, and the other movement organizations. However, another level of forward thinking is essential if Bernie and our movement are to succeed in the long term.
A caution: this event would likely be most powerful if there is no campaign rhetoric at all. Not needed!
Support for veterans recovery and empowerment would be a strong first step in a sequence of celebrations of our innovation and compassion as a people. It builds upon Bernie’s strong record as a Senator making veterans issues a personal and legislative priority. The rally could be broadcast live stream, via youtube, and on network time (make them complete to get it! ) Use network commercials & social media to promote it.
Bernie, Jane Sanders and Tulsi Gabbard come on stage to celebrate a series of veteran empowerment programs– a few of many examples are:
• Legal and action organizations helping veterans to avoid foreclosure.
• Operation Freedom Paws training veterans to train comfort dogs and the PTSD vets who will benefit from their companionship.
• a team of Tripod dogs (3 legged) performing with wondrous capability and ready to start visiting VA hospitals and children’s hospitals. (A seed project to organize and fund. )
• Community support networks for PTSD veterans.
• A program to heal combat dogs home from war with PTSD.
This is change happening now. You tell me, how are we going to multiply these programs? Tell me how I should support this sort of grassroots support for veterans as President. Tulsi Gabbard asks for guidance on legislation she’ll introduce.
With this and other similar events buying time, the campaign can test development of an action campaign organization & funding in parallel with the Campaign organization. (Discussion of Bernie’s long-term agenda is balanced with action now, in order to enlist a broader range of people ready to hear that common sense set of ideas.)
Move on through other realms of grassroots innovation, creative programs in Black & Hispanic Communities; the new wave of labor organizing; social and environmental entrepreneurship; innovative schools in low income communities breaking out of the teach to the exams assembly line unlearning; breakthrough community health care programs . . .
Crewcut hitch-hiker held out his sign,
“My mother worries about me a lot.
If she knew I was hitching
she’d really be upset.”
“It’s okay for you to be a soldier
but not to hitch?”
“Oh, no. she called the President,
told him he shouldn’t take me.
Talked with one of his aides
at midnight. She couldn’t sleep.
She used to call my commanding officer,
you know, was I getting enough to eat?
But she means well.
“When I got out she told me
I should come right home,
my dog has pups and she needs me.”
I said, “She can handle it.”
But she said,
‘She’s emotionally upset,
can’t be a good mother.
The pups will grow up disturbed.”