So Sanders lost NY. At least he fought like hell to win. As Gandhi said, “Full effort is full victory.” Onward and upward. This campaign has always been about more than just election results. Throughout his campaign Sanders has systematically exposed how the American political system is no longer truly democratic. For instance, it broke my heart when my wife texted me to say that she could not vote because she is registered as an Independent. They sort of scoffed at her at the polling station. She was confused, bummed and a little annoyed. It pissed me off too. Don’t we live in a country that has a Constitution written by the people and for the people? I thought I read somewhere that voting is one of our most sacred enterprises as free citizens? I must have been reading something else.
Of course the brutal truth is that the system has never been fully democratic. How long did it take African Americans and women in general to finally harness the power of the ballot? Amy felt an aspect of that long and terrible struggle today. It is certainly a depressing indictment of where we are as a society this late in the game. Not too evolved if you ask me. Here we are in the year 2016 and free citizens are still not allowed to register because of an irrational rule that could have been changed years ago. It’s 2016 and a woman is told sternly by a poll worker that this isn’t her primary to be in.
Imagine the absurdity of the following scenario: a free citizen who pays taxes, obeys the law, teaches children how to solve conflicts at school, helps hire other teachers, and does a million other unfathomably beautiful things that only God alone will ever know, and this guy is telling her that she is not allowed to show her ID, sign her name and cast her ballot? That’s messed up. Why can’t a native citizen of legal age register at any time she pleases? Right up to the polls closing, why can’t she register to vote?
Is this America or not?
I for one can not accept that this is the best we can achieve with our opportunity to model democracy for the rest of the world. It will never be ideal but it does not need to remain broken. It was shameful in 1800 when people were disenfranchised and it is still shameful today. Shame on all of us for taking so long to realize how dysfunctional we have allowed this to get.
So yes, Sanders lost in NY today. But that does not not mean Sanders lost. No man who speaks so much truth to power, and is so totally uncontrolled by the corporate and political elite, can ever be defeated.