"The truth shall UPSET you free."
-- Swami Beyondananda
Every now and then something so graphic appears, that keys into an issue so profoundly that no further explanation is needed. Please watch this video now. It's about six and a half minutes long, and it will shock, and hopefully stir you to a new awareness and action.
Watch the video NOW before reading any further.
Now you probably already thought that wealth distribution is unfairly skewed in this country. What this video graphic shows in such stark detail is HOW MUCH it is skewed, and how this imbalance is far, far greater than we think. It might explain another recent article that reported that 56% of Americans have less than $1,000 in their bank accounts, and nearly 25% have less than $100.
It might also explain why there is so much financial fear and struggle in our country, and why small business people cannot stay in business because their customers cannot afford to buy what they sell. "Thanks" to the mythos of the self-made person, reinforced by belief and the mainstream media, many of those in financial stress blame themselves for somehow not being "fit" enough to survive.
However, clearly this is an institutional problem with many contributing factors. The bottom line as I see it, is that we have a pay-to-play financial system where over the past two generations, those who already have way too much financial power and political influence have made themselves even wealthier and more influential, to the detriment of the vast majority of us, not to mention the web of life itself.
So ... given the "shituation", what is to be done? What will likely "move the dial" so that this issue gets addressed directly, and all of the other worthy projects, programs, and life-giving endeavors can prosper and thrive as we WE-distribute wealth and wellbeing more like a prosperous democracy and less like a banana republic?
There is ONE THING happening right now that will make a difference -- that IS making a difference -- and that is the Bernie Sanders campaign for President. Ah, I can hear that sigh from you long-suffering progressives. You've seen how over the past 35 years, the Democratic Party has become the "other corporate party", the place where progressive votes go to die.
This year is different. Very different. Young voters have awakened, and the under-30 crowd in Iowa went for Bernie over Hillary 84% to 13%. So ... you might say, so what? Anyone who has lifted the veils to any extent knows how entrenched this system is, and how little influence electoral politics seems to have.
My answer is, yes I know. I have been studying political science since the 1960s, and I have no illusions about the darkness that has prevailed until now. That's why I see the Sanders campaign as a crack in the system that will let the light in -- potentially so much light, that we the people (like the 92% of us surveyed in the video) will recognize and assume our own power.
The one thing that is different about the Bernie campaign -- different even from activist Ralph Nader's third party run sixteen years ago -- is that there is a movement building underneath, behind and even in front of Bernie. It is a growing movement, and regardless of the outcome in the primaries or in November, it will continue to grow.
Electing Bernie will give voice to this movement. Bernie will have the ground support to rein in the influence of the banks and the transnational corporations and begin to rebuild the infrastructure of our country. (One thing about infrastructure jobs. They can't be out-sourced.) He will initiate an end to Citizens United, and shift the electoral system toward the Golden Rule and away from the rule of gold. He will address the climate change issue boldly, and if he is the candidate he will bring young people to the polls and very likely switch Congress from Republican to Democrat. Hillary will be unable to do this.
Bernie is no savior, and many of his other policies are old paradigm.
But his election will signal a shift toward a new world view, led by the Millennials who actually will be living in this world for the next half century or more. It is the one thing we have in front of us now than can and very likely WILL move things tangibly in the right direction -- first on economic inequality, next on climate change, and ultimately in moving from a system based on fear and "survival of the fittest" to one based on love, connection and "thrival of the fittingest".
Bernie's campaign has already broken the economic inequality conversation through the "soundless barrier", as mainstream media has been forced to deal with it. Now it's time to amplify that voice to initiate real change, and not just chump change. Our children and their children will thank us for it.