Thursday, May 19, 2016

Dear Millenials: I feel your pain. You will feel joy, too!

Dear Millenials:

Here's what I learned on my first political campaign, whose campaign I joined in 1991 because he said money in politics IS the problem, and to make his point, he refused to accept more than $100 from any one person. He had an 800-number, the equivalent of the fund-raising machine of Bernie Sanders nowadays:

1. The Democratic Establishment HATES populists. (So do the Republicans, if you haven't noticed.) The party's first job is ALWAYS to preserve its own power. Only when forced will it act in the best interests of the people when the two don't coincide.

2. The media are not here for you. Their job is to preserve power for the 1%. They are not hired to be fair or to educate. There is no law preventing them from passing off fiction as news.

3. The American people are fundamentally decent and honest, which is why they are SO easily deceived by the media, by whisper campaigns, by anonymous emails, and all kinds of other skullduggery.

4. The people who fought side by side with you in this fight may someday get elected themselves and forget all the principles you thought you shared, if they ever did in the first place.

5. You will, on the whole, never meet more amazing people than the people you are volunteering with. Find out what motivates them. Find out what they do. They all have amazing stories. You may think you're special. Look around. Everyone here is special in some very amazing way.

6. You will be angry. You will be discouraged. And you will keep fighting even though "everyone" tells you you can "never" win. They said that to Obama too. Look what happened.

7. Strangers will be extraordinarly kind to you because many of them are special too and recognize the value in what you are doing, even if they can't directly help or participate for their own reasons.
8. You will find out who your true soulmates are. Strong relationships will grow stronger. Weak ones will be shoved aside as you learn you don't have time anymore for casual connections.

9. You will never EVER regret the time you spend doing the right thing. You may cry. You may scream. You may get incredibly depressed. But you will never regret. You will NEVER regret. And you will always hold your head high, no matter what, because you stood up to power, whether you won or lost.

10. EVENTUALLY YOU WIN. There ARE successes! There are numerous victories big and small in my past. There will be in yours too. It is worth it. All the pain, all the heartache, all the nastiness and despair - it is all so very worth it.

I truly love and appreciate all who fight to make the world a better place, in whatever way you do it. I especially appreciate those who are actually headed in the right direction at all times - that is a smaller subset.

 It is my great pleasure to have met and worked with so many great activists. I look forward to meeting many more in the months ahead!!