By: Cade Powers | Our Voice Contributor
I can remember the days after the 2016 DNC Convention with Jill Stein swooping in to try to save the souls and broken hearts of those desperately fighting for change and many organizations cropping up trying to fill the gap to move our country forward in a unified voice. And here we are again. Since the moment Bernie Sanders announced he was suspending his campaign, voters and activists have felt a loss of unity and their voice. With cultivating countless hours of door knocking, phone banking and being the media machine on a campaign that broke so many records, many feel the hurt of 2016 all over again. Social media accounts everywhere are struggling, trying to rally behind one person and trying to find their next warrior and trying to form a third party.
From the sideline, I see a stark resemblance to the “Resistance” democrats: searching for the next warrior and jumping to the next. The ideologies may be different but the group mentality is there. I worry that what we saw in 2016 that is now apparent in 2020 will follow us in 2024. After the election, people will still feel a loss and nowhere to put it, trying to forget the undesired outcome until the next round.
What if I told you it doesn’t have to be this way? What if I told you that you are a leader? Would you believe me? Probably not as we see ourselves less than those we rally behind to be our voice. But you have a voice and you are as entitled as anyone else is to use it!
We all want the same things, whether it be better healthcare, environmental change, education everyone can afford, not be saddled by limitless debt, better wages but how we get there may be different. We can fight for all those things and more by becoming a leader in our community. We can make a difference locally and not wait every 4 years hoping for a President to give us what we need. I’m willing to bet that if each of us can help change our local landscapes to better reflect the needs of the local population, we will see more and greater opportunities to help regain control over our national politics.
We need to stop being sheep – allowing ourselves to be herded towards the next great savior. We proved, as a progressive community, we can door knock, phone bank, mobilize the masses and spread information on issues that matter to us. Just because Bernie Sanders suspended his campaign, should not mean his supporters and those he inspired simply stop.
We were unstoppable and guess what? We still are.
The greatest resource in this country is us. We have seen it proved during the Covid-19 quarantine. This country does not run without essential workers and first-responders. You see, we are stronger together and we have the power to stop the economy so therefore, we hold all the chips. Because we hold the chips, we have status and we can lead.
Each and everyone of us is perfect to lead. Whether creating a movement, starting an organization to raise awareness of a cause, forming a union in our workplace, volunteering on forward thinking projects or even running for office, we have the power. ‘The powers that be’ may have ended Bernie Sanders campaign, but if we run, they can’t stop us all. That is the mindset we should have; unified power.
You don’t need special traits or education to lead, you just need to care, to stand up and do it. It doesn’t matter what strengths you have, it matters how you use them. It isn’t a matter of “It could never be me,” but rather, “Why NOT me?”
Sure, it won’t be easy but no worthwhile win comes without a price. We can succeed! Even if we fail a few times before we get there, it beats doing nothing at all. It beats waiting for that one person to herd us when we can simply achieve our goals together. That’s what the famous phrase, ‘not me, us’ means. It was uttered by a man who, even with the adoration and devotion of millions of volunteers and voters, insisted on keeping his audience fully aware that it was all of us who would be making the difference should someone like him win. It would be up to all of us, not just one person or company or even party that will deliver what we, the people demand of our government.