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    Posted September 22, 2015 by
    Woodstock, New York
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    2016 Election: Spot the presidential hopefuls

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    Bernie Sanders or Else – The Revolt Against Plutocracy


    Movement Seeks to Build Leverage For Senator Sanders Leading Up to the Primaries

    A group of Bernie Sanders supporters, not officially affiliated with his campaign, is seeking to build support and pressure Democrats into supporting Sen. Bernie Sanders for President. While Sanders has steadily built support throughout the summer, after announcing his bid for the presidency in late April, the mainstream media and their associated pundits have continually dismissed his efforts, insisting he has “no chance” of becoming the party nominee, something organizers agree with unless over 1 million voters take the Bernie or bust pledge. This despite Sanders continual rise in the poles, garnering increasing national recognition and gathering tens of thousands across the country at his campaign rallies. As Sanders message strongly resonates with the American public, a new CNN poll shows Secretary Clinton's "lead in the Democratic presidential primary race has grown."

    Here’s the “Bernie or else” strategy in a nutshell: Get a million people to take the “Bernie of Bust” pledge, to write-in Bernie Sanders for President in the general election next fall, if he is not the party nominee after the primaries.  Over 10,000 have already signed up in a few short weeks, marking a strong start to the movement.  It’s a risky, never before tried, grassroots attempt at political blackmail, and it just might work. Here’s why.

    If by next summer, leading up to the Democratic Convention, a million Sanders supporters pledge to write-in his name for President, and Sen. Sanders continues to build on his successes in early primary states, such as Iowa, New Hampshire and S. Carolina, the DNC will have no choice but to consider that block of voters a threat to their success in securing the White House for the Democrats. The primary voters and super delegates may need to be coerced into realizing Bernie Sanders is the American peoples’ best hope for a better future, and the Democrat's best chance for winning the White House and more. They call this "compellence."

    Some may feel this tactic could backfire and hand the Republicans an advantage they don’t currently hold, by dividing the Democrats. But, if left to their own devices, the super delegates will capitulate to the status quo; the dysfunctional system we’re all currently stuck with.  As Sen. Sanders continues to rise, the DNC plans to pit another Democrat against Sanders if/when Hillary falters (think Biden, Kerry or Gore, all whose names have been floated). This will insure Party division and hand the election the Republicans, as Clinton is unlikely to end her campaign on her own, unless there’s a serious implosion.

    They often use #BernieOrElse! in social media.

    Those supporting the “Bernie or else” approach feel there’s very little difference between the Democratic and Republican Parties, because the entire political process has gone off the rails and serves no one but the political elite.  U.S. voter turnout reflects this belief as many feel their vote is wasted, which may be true under the current system.

    And if you think about it, a vote for Hillary Clinton will be a wasted vote. Right or wrong, like Barrack Obama, she will never receive the respect she deserves from the opposing side, who will try to block her initiatives and investigate her at every turn, as they did with Obama and with her and Bill way back when. And they are still at it now. Where there is no respect it’s easy to show belligerence, which is the only thing Republicans have shown towards Obama or Clinton.

    However, the culture could change with this movement; and with Bernie Sanders, who is generally respected by all sides as an experienced and honest statesman; something very rare is taking place. They can attack the man's policies but not the man himself. Though they will try discrediting him, Sanders commands respect from his colleagues like no other candidate. They know he will not get down in the mud with them and roll around, as they do; it’s as simple as that. And the American people know it too. When the time comes and the Republicans turn their attention from each other to their Democratic opponents, they will no doubt attack Sanders calling him a commie and worse. Sanders, of course can deny and prove he’s not a communist; the Republicans, however, cannot deny they are Republicans and will have to stand by their dismal record and unpopular platform.

    This is a unique time in America.  Given the recent Supreme Court decisions on health care and civil (marriage) rights, we appear to be experiencing a particularly liberal moment in U.S. sociopolitical history. Great strides can be made in a short time, given the no nonsense, "enough is enough" leadership style Sanders offers, and the respect his honest statesmanship commands.

    Sen. Sanders is asking for a political revolution in America and so are the supporters of the “Bernie or Bust” movement. But exactly what does that mean, what would it look like and what would it take? There's no question it could be done, but electing Bernie Sanders President alone would not accomplish the revolution, as Sanders has said himself many times. So what else would need to happen?

    We need the whole package, which would amount to the rebirth of our nation and the political revolution Sen. Sanders envisions.

    The package:

    1. Elect Sen. Sanders POTUS
    2. Elect a cooperative/non- belligerent congress willing to work with the President.
    3. Propose a Constitutional Convention and/or amendments to overturn Citizens United.
    4. Propose and pass comprehensive campaign finance and lobbying reform legislation.
    5. Make appointments that realign the SCOTUS to more reflect and support the people's needs and not that of corporations.

    Sanders supporters believe these 5 steps are what it will take to get our nation back on course toward a better future for all citizens. It won’t be easy but it could be accomplished.  For it to happen, it will take the people supporting and insisting on this agenda from their leaders.

    The emphasis and actions of government must be TAKEN back from the special interests and kept with the people.

    With Sanders the only candidate from either party not taking any Super PAC money, signing the “Bernie of Bust” pledge may not guarantee Sanders as the Democratic Party nominee, but it may be the best bet for leveling the playing field and getting him there under our current, broken 2 party system. When playing with a deck that’s so clearly stacked against them, many Sanders supporters may see the Bernie or else approach as necessary.


    Will the “Bernie or Bust” movement work? The Revolt Against Plutocracy thinks so, and together the nation will find out if political leverage works in a major, corrupt Party. This may be the last chance to restore and legalize democratic order in the United States.

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