So it’s been pretty clear for a while now that the Clinton campaign is in cahoots with big money, big media, and establishment politics and have utterly rigged the Democratic primary election. This is a serious problem to be sure. There’s an even bigger problem though, and it’s much more insidious.
The other day I posed the question on a Facebook thread, “What do we do if Hillary wins the Democratic Primary due to the cheating?” Many people liked the comment, but it went days without a reply. This is not terribly surprising, it’s a big question. Finally, two days later I get a reply. This person mentioned our 2nd amendment rights. Perhaps he was joking, but he seemed to be alluding to the idea that we revolutionaries rise up in violent opposition to the corrupt political system. And I don’t think he was joking.
Perhaps I’ve been directing too much attention to the violent tendencies and philosophies within activist and revolutionary communities, but it’s seriously starting to concern me. In fact, as far as the revolution goes that is without a doubt the single biggest barrier to the movement. Don’t believe me, let’s take a step back for a moment.
Why do we even want revolution? Is it simply because we’re sick of corruption? Is it simply because we’re angry at corporate America? Is it simply because we hate fossil fuel industries? These may be elements of our frustration, yes, but is this truly the core of what drives the desire for global transformation? I think not.
Take Bernie Sanders himself. Why has he gained such immense momentum and popularity? How has he been able to unite so many people of different beliefs, opinions, and values? Surely, his courage in calling out corruption has helped him- but what has set him apart from most everyone else in recent past isn’t that, but his vision for the future.
Repeatedly, Bernie Sanders has spoken about his vision of a future America with a government that works for all people: a future with healthcare for everyone, a future with education for everyone, a future in which every person’s voice is heard, a future in which everyone can live a life of dignity and opportunity. He’s been had the boldness to call for a future with no more war. The future he speaks about is about justice, equality, cooperation, and peace.
I believe that it is this vision of the future that motivates him and his followers. This is the future that, I believe, all people would want to live in. This is a future in which every living being on Earth will benefit. This is how he’s gained so much support, because his future works for everyone.
At some point, though, it seems many of his strongest supporters have forgotten what we were fighting for in the first place. If we were simply interested in destroying corrupt systems of governance, we could have easily supported Trump- but we didn’t. We chose the man who has been committed to peaceful revolution for his entire career. We chose the man who speaks loudly and often about the better future we could live in if we all work together. We chose the man with a dream for tomorrow.
Something beautiful happens when people unite for a common goal. Martin Luther King Jr. had such a great impact not because he called out whitey- many people did that. His impact was lasting and meaningful because it was firmly rooted in peace. His movement was able to retain spirit and morale because they weren’t focused on the horrors of today, but the beauty of tomorrow. They weren’t bogged down by obstacles, they were guided by King’s dream.
Let us not forget Bernie’s dream- our dream. Let us not forget that the reason we want revolution is because we want to see a world, an economy, and a government that works for everyone. Let us remember that it is peace we are fighting for, not simply corruption we’re fighting against.
Truly, revolution can only come from a place of peace. A violent revolution is no revolution at all, but rather a new group of tyrants taking power.
We may be frustrated by the political establishment’s corruption, deception, and perversion. We may be frustrated with all the ways in which the oppressions inherent in the current system. But let us not get too caught up in that, let us instead rejoice in the power we do have.
Peace is the one thing that cannot be taken from a man. No amount of force can strip a man of peace. Peace is a choice. Let us not willingly give up the one thing no amount of corruption, oppression, or deception can take from us.
The moment you take up arms, you are sacrificing the peaceful vision of the future for the vengeful violence of the past. That is not how revolution is created, but how it is destroyed.
If we are to create the future that we dream of, it can only be through the cultivation of peace. That means that no matter what occurs- we must remain committed to peace, compassion, and love. Temptations will occur frequently, but they are nothing more than that. No one can force you to throw a punch. No one can force you to start a fire. No one can force you to shoot a gun. That is our power.
This is how the revolution occurs: though the steadfast maintenance of peace, through the determined dedication to a vision of what may be. To maintain such peace and commitment is no small feat, to be sure. Revolution, though, was never meant to be easy. It is something to be fought for. It is not other people that we are fighting, though, but the demons which tempt us towards violence and hatred. Our true enemies are the specters within our psyches that distract us from our true aim.
Let us not lose sight of our aim. Our revolution is a true revolution! Let us continue to stand together in solidarity, peace, and compassion. If we choose to do so, we cannot be defeated. If we choose not to do so, we will have defeated ourselves.
Don’t defeat yourself. Don’t feed the corruption of the system. Don’t succumb to fear. Don’t give into hatred. Don’t become the monster you wish to defeat. Don’t betray the love within your heart.
It will be difficult to win the battle, but the path is rather simple.
Thanks for reading,
I love you all.