Being apart of a major university system offers me an immense amount of privilege. I’m even more thankful for my leftist oriented program where students are free to explore their socialist ideologies (I’m yelling about Nazis and the environment, it’s great).
Currently, I’m living in Toronto. So, beyond my largely liberal identifying colleagues, I’m also surrounded by a major metropolitan area with people from all walks of life. Most of whom benefit from leftist social programs, such as free healthcare, low costs for secondary education, and a somewhat regulated housing market. To many of the people I encounter on a daily basis its unfathomable why the United States isn’t drumming up support for Bernie Sanders. And I agree. Tax the rich, stop unnecessary wars, stop putting children in prisons, legalize marijuana, free college, etc.
I could go on and on about why we should support Bernie, so I will. But, using a real life example from the art community.
The Art Workers’ Coalition was formed out of art world controversy that artists should have control over their own work. The group made a list of demands ranging from representation on Boards, free admissions to museums, diversity inside of the gallery, and adequate payments to artists. And then they protested to get what they wanted. Major artists considered that others were not being fairly treated in the art world, so they did something about it.
Now, this has nothing directly to do with Sanders and his policies.
But let’s think this through.
Major art world individuals (think Lucy Lippard and Carl Andre) of the 1960s got together to better their community not only for themselves but for struggling and future artists. These artists had to protest for their rights, and even still some of them were not granted by the art world. But the solidarity of these artists tried to make things better for everyone—that’s important and sounds a lot like something Bernie would do.
In the USA everyone is so concerned about finding a candidate that represents them, particularly white, cisgendered middle aged Americans. They ask stupid questions like: is this candidate the same gender/race/religion/age as myself and then latch themselves to said candidate for superficial reasons. If you want to be like the Art Workers’ Coalition and advocate for everyone, then you must choose the candidate who does not look like you. And if you’re not advocating for someone with less privilege than you, you probably should reconsider your voting strategy.
If you are in the majority, it is your duty to advocate to give spaces to those who cannot make space on their own. And that’s exactly what the Art Workers’ Coalition and Bernie Sanders are doing.
Bernie knows he’s a white Boomer from Brooklyn. He ‘looks’ like so many people that I was surrounded by growing up, but he’s still the best candidate.
Because he has immersed himself in communities of veterans, LGBTQ, women, and other minorities to find their struggles and then advocate to fix it. He doesn’t tell them what their problems are. He listens, then does his job as a politician.
I’m so tired of my friends struggling to pay rent because they have student debt, and not going to the doctor when they’re sick, or otherwise struggling in a country that has the means to support them.
Bernie is the only way out of this struggle for so many.