On Tuesday, April 19, many of us will be participating in the Democratic Party’s presidential primary in New York State. The choices are, of course, well-known to potential voters: Bernie Sanders versus Hillary Clinton. Although Clinton is, as the establishment’s choice, expected to win by double-digits, for the past week, the political climate in NYS is making a Sanders’s upset victory increasingly possible.
Minister Malcolm X used to teach that if one places a sparkling clean glass of water next to a glass of toxic sludge, one could trust a thirsty public to make the correct choice. At the Sanders’s rally in Binghamton, NY, last Monday, film-maker Josh Fox — of “Gasland” fame — would open for Bernie. Josh carried a bottle of toxic sludge with him. It required no explanation for the crowd, many of whom who are environmental activists in New York and Pennsylvania.
When Bernie followed Josh on stage, he carried a sparkling clean bottle of water. Bernie spoke about the environment, and the climate-change crisis. Sanders is against both “fracking,” and the proposed pipelines that will crisscross the land. Bernie talked about the Native American understanding that human beings are part of the natural world. A few hours later, Senator Sanders was meeting with the Onondaga Nation’s Chief Oren Lyons, one of the most highly-respected Faith Keepers of the Haudenosaunee.
Bernie represents the sparkling clean glass of water. Now, let’s take a brief look at his opponent, Hillary Clinton.
It’s not enough to express indignation at the conditions in Flint, Michigan, where the water supply has been poisoned by lead …..when communities and neighborhoods across the nation face similar poisoned water crises. As Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton was an advocate of the “Natural Gas Initiative,” and promoted fracking in thirty countries around the globe. As a presidential candidate, she has financial relationships with the lobbyists of energy corporations.
Liberals and progressives who are registered with the Democratic Party get to exercise their right to vote on Tuesday. We also carry real responsibilities on that day. We can bring about the biggest primary victory for Bernie Sanders on the 19th. Many of our family, friends, and closest associates in the struggle for social justice are not registered with the party. We’re voting for them. Lots of people are too young to vote. We’re voting for their future. And still others are casting their vote for Hillary Clinton, for a variety of reasons that, no matter how sincere, are contaminated by that glass of toxic sludge. We are voting for their best interest, too.
If each one of us makes sure that one other person will get out and vote for Bernie, we will insure our victory. If we triple our numbers, we will effectively end the Democratic Party’s presidential primary. There is nothing that we will do in the next 24 to 36 hours that is more important for the long-term benefit of our society.
As Jimi Hendrix sand, “With the power of soul, anything is possible; with the power of you, we can do anything we want to do.”
Keep on fighting The Good Fight!
Patrick R. McElligott