By Ray Beckerman
Man's inhumanity to man and other living things threatens the whole human experiment. Let's fight it, and try to build a future.
Monday, December 29, 2014
Sanders for Senate (our @SenSanders)
As this year comes to a close, let me take this opportunity to wish you
and yours a wonderful holiday season and a healthy and happy new year.
I also want to thank you for the ongoing help that you have given me,
and for your efforts in the many struggles that we have waged together.
Today, I ask for your continued support.
I am more than aware that, in the current political climate, many
people feel disillusioned about the future. That is completely
understandable. We have just had a midterm election in which 63 percent
of the people didn’t vote, some very reactionary candidates won
election and Republicans are taking control of the U.S. Senate. But, as
I have said many times, despair is not an option - not if you have kids
or grandchildren and want a decent future for them, not if you love
this country and understand its potential to lead the world in so many
The struggle for economic and social justice, for environmental sanity
and world peace must not be considered an option for
us, it is a necessity
that must be carried forward. It's what we must do.
The future of this country and, in fact, the future of our planet
depend upon that.
Please don't forget. Real change does not occur without struggle, and
real change does not happen overnight. As Martin Luther King, Jr.
reminded us; "The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends
toward justice." Incredibly brave people, for centuries, have put
their lives on the line, died and suffered, for a more just economic
and political system - and their efforts resulted, over time, in huge
and almost unthinkable victories.
Fifty years ago, given the history of this country, very few people
would have believed that in 2008 an African American could have been
elected President of the United States, and then re-elected in 2012.
But it happened.
Forty years ago, when only a handful of women held important political
positions and most girls never considered the possibility of doing
"man's work," very few people would have believed that there
would be states in this country where all the major elected officials
would be women, and that millions of women would now be working at jobs
that women never held before. But it happened.
Thirty years ago, when children born with disabilities were hidden by
their parents or institutionalized, very few people would have believed
that kids with disabilities would be mainstreamed into public school
classrooms all across this country, and that there would be strong laws
prohibiting discrimination against disabled Americans. But it happened.
Twenty years ago, when right-wing candidates won elections by attacking
gay rights, very few people would have believed that by 2014 gay
marriage would be legal in conservative states, and that there would be
openly gay elected officials in almost every area of public life. But
My point is simple. Change happens. It happens in ways that we don’t
fully understand, and it happens in a timeline that few can predict.
But one thing we do understand is that when millions of people stand
together and demand it, positive and progressive change can and does
happen. We must never give up.
As I reflect upon this coming year, a number of thoughts come to mind:
First and foremost, against an enormous amount of corporate media noise
and distraction, it is imperative that we be loud and clear in continuing
the fight for our progressive vision. We have got to stay focused on
the most important issues facing the American people.
We make no apologies in stating that the great moral, economic and
political issue of our time is the growing level of income and wealth
inequality in our country. It is a disgrace to everything this country
is supposed to stand for when the top one-tenth of one percent own
almost as much wealth as the bottom 90 percent, and when one family
(the Waltons) owns more wealth than the bottom 40 percent. No. The
economy is not sustainable when the middle class continues to disappear
and when 95 percent of all new income generated since the Wall Street
crash goes to the top one percent.
We will continue the fight to have the United States join the rest of
the industrialized world in understanding that health care is a human
right of all people, and not a privilege. We will end the current
dysfunctional system in which 40 million Americans remain uninsured,
and tens of millions more are under-insured. No. Private insurance
companies and drug companies should not be making huge profits when we
spend almost twice as much per capita on health care as the people of
any other nation.
We will fight for a budget that ends corporate tax loopholes and
demands that the wealthy and special interests begin paying their fair
share of taxes. No. At a time when the middle class is disappearing and
when millions of families are struggling economically, we will not
support more austerity against the elderly, the children and working
families. We will not accept cuts to Social Security, Medicare,
Medicaid, nutrition or affordable housing.
We believe, in a highly competitive global economy, that quality
education should be available to all Americans who have the ability and
the desire, from birth through graduate school, regardless of their
incomes. We believe that we should be hiring more teachers and
qualified pre-school educators, not firing them. No. We do not believe
that it makes any sense that young people leave college and graduate
school with a very heavy debt burden which many of them carry for
We believe that the scientific community is right. Climate change is
real, is caused by human activity and is already creating devastating
problems in the United States and throughout the world. We believe that
the United States can and must lead the world in transforming our
energy system away from fossil fuels and into energy efficiency and
sustainable energy. No. We do not believe that it makes sense to build
the Keystone pipeline or other projects which make us more dependent on
oil and other fossil fuels.
Let me conclude by telling you what you already know. This is a very
tough moment in American history, and the Big Money interests and their
lobbyists in Washington have an unprecedented amount of power.
There is no question but that in the coming year and into the future we
will face some extremely difficult battles against them. I have no
doubt, however, that if we stand together as brothers and sisters, and
are effective in educating and organizing the American people, we will
Once again, thank you for your support. I wish you a happy and healthy