An Open Letter to Bernie Sanders: Thank You for Your Leadership

BernieSandersWithRaised_CroppedVer2Dear Bernie:

Got your Letter entitled “Transforming The Democratic Party.”  Completely agree that this election is not just about who wins the nomination, but about the future of the Democratic Party and the Nation.

In recent years, Democrats have lost down-ballot elections on a massive scale.  Even though a plurality of Americans identify as Democrats, Republicans control both houses of Congress and the majority of governorships and state houses.

Democrats have been ineffective in challenging anti-government and “supply-side” propaganda and countering Republican orthodoxy on issues such as taxes and gun control.

The Democratic Party platform is more an amalgam of justifications for current policies – not a blueprint for meaningful reform.  Mainstream Democrats, including President Obama and Hillary Clinton, often seem as if they are in denial.  They fail to acknowledge that excessive money in politics has created a rigged election system and an economy that is working only for those at the top of the income scale.

At a time when wages have stagnated, and more and more Americans are finding it difficult to find decent paying jobs and make ends meet, many in Democratic leadership positions seem intent on asking us to believe that all is well – it will just take a few tweaks to the existing system to make things right again.

Bernie, you have shown the ability to lead with a bold, clear message emphasizing that the system needs, not minor tweaks, but major reforms.  Among other things, we need to take excessive money out of politics; fight rising poverty levels; make education affordable all, and stimulate broad-based economic growth that benefits all the people, not a privileged few.

Your direct message has energized voters, particularly the young.  You have proven that you can compete by raising money in small dollar contributions from real people, not special interests.

That’s the future of the Democratic Party – engaging voters at the grassroots level by fighting for real reform – by letting people know we will no longer tolerate a system that favors special interests over the poor and working people of this country.

You have made an historic contribution to the future of our Party and the Nation.  Regardless of who wins the nomination, as President or as Senator from Vermont, we hope you will work to help rebuild the Democratic Party and make it once again into a vital and progressive force in American politics.

Thank you for your leadership, now and in the future.


John Conlow