From New Hampshire: Why Bernie gives me hope for Democracy

NH for Bernie button (600x523)In two days, we will be casting our votes in the first in the nation primary. It’s a responsibility and privilege we take seriously here though I’m sure the postal carriers will be happy to have a lighter mailbag on Wednesday!

Rarely, do I decide on a presidential candidate early in the process, but my VW Jetta has been sporting a Bernie 2016 sticker since August (the only bumper sticker I have put on any of my cars . . . ever).  And I joined Bernie’s small donor “superpac” ponying up a few bucks every month to support his campaign.

Why? Watching the consequences of Citizens United take root at a national level then spill into our state elections, I began to seriously question whether democracy’s core value – one person, one vote was still valid. After voting in every election since I turned 18, I was struggling with a depressing emerging belief that my vote did not matter anymore in a world where some elections and policy decisions are for sale to the highest bidder; and political marketing to get one’s way increasingly takes the place of facts and integrity.

Then, along came Bernie who lived his values and turned toward his fellow citizens and away from corporate dollars and huge donations from the super wealthy. He gives me hope that together we can overturn Citizens United and return some balance to the political process. He gives me hope that we can rebuild the foundation that has eroded from underneath the middle class and return to a time of more shared prosperity so that my young adult kids and my someday grandchildren can have a shot at the American Dream.

Supporting Bernie early aligned with my own values of standing beside and supporting people who are willing to challenge the status quo and work to include more Americans in the economy.

Flash forward to February in New Hampshire and I am excited to see the number of young people Bernie has inspired to get involved with the political process. I was pleased to see Hillary’s act of grace welcoming young people to the democratic process even though they are overwhelmingly supporting Bernie. Yesterday I went door to door with another volunteer encouraging people to get out and vote and I was very encouraged to hear how thoughtful people are being to carefully think through who they are going to vote for. In two days, the months of advertising and politicking for the primaries will be over in New Hampshire, we will have heard from the voters and pass on the baton to the group of states who will be voting next. But for today, my heart is light with hope.

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