When you think of a curmudgeon what image comes to mind? Perhaps it is an old man with greying hair pointing and complaining about the state of the world. To the casual observer, Bernie Sanders might be the picture perfect definition of a curmudgeon. Do not be fooled. Senator Bernie Sanders emerged this past year on the political landscape, seemingly from nowhere. Bernie Sanders was first elected to Congress in 1990 and was elected to the US Senate in 2006. He has tirelessly worked for progressive causes since 1990 as the first “socialist” elected to the US Congress. While I don’t like that label, his politics really don’t fall within the Democratic Party with whom he caucuses in Congress. Sanders has been true to his political compass since the very beginning of his political career advocating issues like income equality, parental leave, access to healthcare, student loan debt, Wall Street greed and corruption and LGBTQ rights. Sander’s ideas may not yet be main stream but if nothing else, they are just a few years ahead of their time. Sander’s bid for the Democratic nomination for President fell just short so I don’t think it is a stretch to say that by the next election, many of those ideas will be in the main stream and will receive serious debate.
We live in a country with a binary political system. Democrat or Republican; that’s pretty much it. Yes, we have had third party candidates but none have really challenged for the Presidency. If you are paying close attention, that may be about to change. Bernie Sanders is an exceptionally bright guy and he knows that the only way to challenge our political system is from the bottom up, not from the top down and that is exactly where his efforts are headed. This year especially when the voters have the choice between bad and worse, the time is right for the emergence of a viable third party in this country.
If you have not year heard of “Our Revolution” chances are you soon will. Our Revolution is a 501(c)(4) organization started by Sen. Sanders and launched on August 24 of this year. Our Revolution is an organization set up to educate voters on political issues, encourage people to get involved in the political process and identify and recruit individuals to run for office at all levels of government from school board right up to US Senate. It sounds exactly like the way a new political party would begin in this country. Our Revolution will initially focus on supporting progressive ballot issues all over the country and begin to identify individuals to run for office on the progressive agenda. If the initiative is successful, by the next Presidential election cycle, a third party progressive candidate might just be a force to be reckoned with.
To see what Bernie is up to these days or better yet, to get involved, visit the website at www.ourrevolution.com