Wednesday, February 24, 2016


Beneath the Spin * Eric L. Wattree

Bernie Sanders first captured both my attention, and admiration, because he's a fighter, and his life is symbolic of the American struggle itself. Prior to the founding of this nation, America was a hopeless underdog, yet, it faced-down the mighty forces of England based on principle alone, and Bernie Sander’s entire life has been perfectly representative of that kind of courage. All of his life he’s been an underdog, yet he’s never given up on or wavered from the one solitary pursuit that has defined his existence - the fight for the freedom, justice, and equality that was guaranteed us all by the United States constitution. In spite of the fact that he’s been shunned, dismissed, and laughed at as being impractical and living with his head in the clouds, he’s managed to maintain the courage, dignity, and fortitude to face-down the mighty in the name of justice.
In the past Bernie’s been content to fight this battle alone, but now, for the first time in his life, and from seemingly out of nowhere, he’s gained a tsunami of grassroots support from an America that's aching for a change, yearning for justice, and feeling a fierce affinity for this little guy who refused to give up. That’s why Bernie supporters are so passionate, because we all want to feel like there’s a little bit of Bernie in us as well, and that we too have the courage and tenacity to stand firm in the face of impossible odds. So to us, this is much more than just a political campaign; we’re Bernie’s cavalry, and this is a crusade, for good over evil.
On the other hand, the Clintons are a perfect metaphor for the arrogance of wealth and power. During the time of our founding fathers, they would have represented the crown. While they have the tremendous clout of establishment backing and a long list of accomplishments, all of their accomplishments tend to benefit the wrong people. Although they talk like liberals, and act like liberals, they always seem to leave behind conservative policies that are detrimental to the average American. For example, Bill Clinton’s 1994 Crime Bill led to the mass incarceration of Black people; NAFTA rewarded corporations for sending American jobs out of the country; the Repeal of Glass-Steagall led directly to the 2008 Great Recession; The Welfare Reform Act only served to devastate many poor Black families; and finally, when Hillary joined the neocons in voting for the senseless war in Iraq, while it greatly benefitted war profiteers, it led to the death of a million Iraqis, and the death or maiming of thousands of American troops.
In addition, It has been reported that the Clinton's net worth is over $100 million, and they control the $2 billion Clinton Foundation, so they're comfortably entrenched in the very corporate culture that has the American people virtually enslaved. Even their daughter, Chelsea, is married to Marc Mezvinsky, an American investment banker, co-founder of the hedge fund, Eaglevale Partners, and he was formerly an investment banker at Goldman Sachs. So the Clintons and Wall Street are, literally, in-laws.
So I feel that Bernie deserves my support, if for no other reason than to reward him for his lifelong struggle to improve the lives of others instead of feathering his own nest. I'd be willing to bet that Bernie's one of the poorest men in the senate, and there's a good reason for that - he didn't have time to become wealthy, because he was too busy fighting for my rights as a human being, and even before I was.  So that's the kind of man I want having my back in the Oval Office.
Receding hairline, failing vision,
hair now turning grey,
an aging boomer in final protest,
Father Time his foe this day.
Donning his headband, tie-dyed jeans,
and scorched draft card of protests past,
he set out for one last battle,
as in his youth that had quietly passed.
Ode to an aging Boomer,
a different kind of man;
colleagues all now in the wind,
as he makes his final stand.
But he found no placards or the sound of Trane,
no passionate speeches in the gentle rain,
no pretty girls wearing mini skirts,
and no solemn guards on pig alert.
All he found was a new America,
and more freedom across this land;
the fruit of his struggle
for women's equality,
and the rights of his fellow man.
He found Martin, Chavez, and Malcolm X,
all standing by his side;
He found Thomas Jefferson
and all his forefathers
beaming down with pride.
He found minority children across this land
whose reach now exceed their grasp;
He found Jim Crow angrily cursing him,
as he took his final gasp.
He found pride as an aging boomer,
more hero, than common man;
He found a quirky old fart embraced by history,
for having the courage to take a stand.
Alone, an aging Boomer,
fellow travelers now in the wind;
but one last time he limps to his trench,
to defend his fellow man.

Eric L. Wattree
Citizens Against Reckless Middle-Class Abuse (CARMA)
Religious bigotry: It's not that I hate everyone who doesn't look, think, and act like me - it's just that God does.

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