Friday, July 15, 2016

My thank you letter to @BernieSanders

Mother's Day 2016, Rutgers University Rally

Dear Senator Sanders,

I am so sorry that you will not be the Democratic candidate for President, but I wanted to personally thank you for all you did. Your efforts were not in vain. Sadly, our nation is not yet ready for a leader who doesn't just talk the talk, but also walks the walk. Your profound and honest commitment to speaking out against the grave social injustices heaped on far too many Americans got many in Washington and on Wall St. squirming—and that's a good thing. 

Someone once said that candidates campaign with poetry and lead with prose, but you did just the opposite. Your direct, no-nonsense approach left no doubt where your priorities would be as president.

Thank you for raising the consciousness of the American people and engaging millions of our youth in the political process. You spoke to them and for them. It will be interesting to see if they remain engaged enough to actually vote in November. We need them now more than ever. 

Thank you for speaking directly to me. In the almost 40 years that I have been voting, no other candidate's words resonated like yours. Every time I turned on the news you were speaking about issues that are directly affecting my quality of life every single day. You didn't give lip service. Instead you offered real, reasonable solutions.  

Thank you for forcing this nation to look at its shame of poverty and income inequality, and for airing the dirty laundry of those who want to keep it that way.

Thank you for being the voice of the poor, the working poor and the middle class—all of whom have, over the past 40 years, been forced several more rungs down the already rickety ladder of success at the hands of the super wealthy and the politicians whom they have purchased. 

Thank you for staying in the race when many talking heads said you should get out. By staying in as long as you did you forced the Democratic Party and Hillary Clinton to adopt parts of your platform they shied away from. Universal healthcare, free college tuition, everyone paying their fare share in taxes, and a real living wage are not fantasies. They are a reality in many industrialized countries, and they should be so in the wealthiest nation on earth. They help give everyone a a chance to achieve their dreams.

Thank you for shining a light on the rusted, antiquated two-party system that simply does not give independent thinkers a legitimate shot at state and local races. As President Obama's achievements have shattered the glass ceiling for minority leaders, so too has your campaign for those who think outside the box.

It's deeply saddening that for millions of Americans, this race is not about voting for the best candidate, but voting for the least objectionable. But I am an eternal optimist. The revolution you champion cannot and will not be forced back into a bottle. Our next president will be forced to listen to our demands because they are our needs

America cannot continue on its collision course with inequity, but I know that, no matter who our next president is, you will continue to fight for those who have been unfairly blamed for our country's malaise. 

Like you, I will be supporting Hillary Clinton. Not to do so would be handing a vote to Donald Trump, and I simply will not do that. I am deeply disappointed at how the national Democratic Party handled this primary, but as you are doing, I have to put aside my personal feelings and work to make sure Trump is defeated. 

It was an honor and a pleasure to meet you in person at the Rutgers University rally on Mothers Day. I brought my 16 year old daughter with me because she will be voting in two years, and I wanted her to experience a piece of the political revolution that has started in this country and to hear from someone on its forefront. I want her to know that there really are elected officials who follow words with deeds; that there really are some who are fighting for us.

Even though your campaign is over, I know that you will continue to fight for the majority of Americans as you have done throughout your entire career.

I wish you good health, happiness and some much-needed rest. And I look forward to your continued efforts on behalf of all Americans.