Chapter 2: Creating a Market for Integrity
Originally published in Common Dreams in April, my op-ed, "When They Come For Our Vote," is perhaps even more relevant as the Convention is almost at hand. The focus here is not on Bernie and his careful and conservative "endorsement" focused on beating Trump in order to preserve his delegates at the convention; the focus is on the voters, particularly those going to the convention, hopefully millions of them, to protest the theft of the primary elections in California, New York, Ohio, Arizona, Iowa, Chicago and all across the nation in a thousand different dishonest ways. You can find it here: http://www.commondreams.org/views/2016/04/20/when-they-come-our-vote and here: http://greenworldethics.com/index.php/activism/267-when-they-come-for-our-vote .
Brand New Congress is a natural and fantastic outgrowth of Bernie Sanders' presidential campaign. When I first conceived of the Voter Farmers Market, one of the most important ideas behind it was: If you want to change American politics, our focus should not be on the symbolic figure of the president, but on congress. Frustrated with all the adoration and hype over Obama's administration, which I view to have been extremely establishment and lacking in urgently needed progressive leadership, and aware of the much more challenging and corrupting dynamics of presidential campaigns, my thought was: congressional seats are smaller goals and can be achieved incrementally. Once a critical mass of congressional seats is won by candidates rejecting toxic campaign donations, the office of the president will fall under the sway of the movement. I never expected a presidential candidate like Bernie Sanders to come along and show the world that a people's movement could succeed led by an honest presidential candidate in our corrupt system. But since Bernie Sanders has been so successful, we have all the more reason to also direct our attention to congress, which is exactly what Brand New Congress seeks to do. We'll talk more about them as time goes on. In the mean time, check out their website and get involved! http://brandnewcongress.org/home .