Last night, through the miracle of smartphone technology, we watched video streaming of Jill Stein addressing a crowd at FDR Park in Philadelphia.
It was an intimate moment that we shared with a couple thousand other Facebook users. A torrent of thumbs-up and heart icons flowed right to left across the screen of the phone. The majority of comments scrolling by were not just supportive, but filled with ALL CAPS love.
You can peruse some of the Philadelphia videos on Jill's Facebook page.
The crowd in Philly, and many of the commenters on the video feed, had been delegates for Bernie Sanders or supporters of his campaign. These were people who knew that the campaign was less about Bernie than about changing the system, a true peaceful revolution.
Plan B Made Flesh
With Bernie effectively out of the race, Jill was physically there for them, equipped with a bullhorn, the tool of people's movements everywhere. As Hillary Clinton's nomination became official after the delegate roll call, months of "Plan B" talk became intensely real for the Bernie or Bust crowd, in the very human form of a diminutive, energetic internist from Lexington, Massachusetts.
Dr. Stein was visibly exhausted. She had been at it since early morning, with her appearance on Democracy Now! that followed a Monday full of marches and speeches. A lot of the commenters on Facebook typed urgent pleas for someone in the crowd to give her some water or coffee. (I'm not sure whether Jill even drinks coffee.)
Once in a while, we get to witness an event that changes the world, or at least get the feeling that we have seen the beginning of a big change. That was how I felt last night. The US's corporate political duopoly will not give way easily, but last night put some dents in it. Millions are awakening to the possibilities that exist outside the two-party tyranny.
Thank You, Bernie!
We can thank Bernie for helping to bring about that awakening. Accuse him of "sheepdogging" if you will, of herding shiploads of progressives who had given up on the Democratic Party back into it. My gut feeling is that he knew exactly what he was doing when he got into the Democratic primary race, although he may have underestimated how much impact it would have.
Did Benie know how strongly he would connect with Millennials, those young'ns who don't hide under a desk when someone says "socialism"? Did Obi-Wan Kenobi know how influential he would be on that hard-headed kid Luke?
Conventional wisdom since 2008 has told us that Hillary would be Barack Obama's successor, that it was foreordained. I give Bernie credit for having the chutzpeh to challenge Hillary from the left.