25 August 2015
Bernie is campaigning for a small child - I'll call her Hadiya - in Madison, Wisconsin who is not getting enough sleep. Her thin, vulnerable frame covers the space of two seats on the bus that her mother relies on to take her to work or social service agencies or something else that is important in her life. I feel a need to be particularly quiet when I sit near her lest I rob her of this precious recharging sleep time.
Hadiya is old enough to be going to school, perhaps first grade, and I wonder - well, I wonder a lot of things. Does she have a stable home address? If not, are there places she is spending the night that just do not afford her a safe space to sleep? Is Hadiya's mother battling a drug addiction - smoking, maybe - that makes the expenses of mothering a low priority?
When Hadiya turns 18, the year might be 2027. Will the United States have attended to repairing and upgrading its vital infrastructure, improving mass transit in cities so that Hadiya does not need to buy a new car to have the mere potential for independent living? Or will all of our national budget be swallowed by corporate welfare giveaways (to health insurance giants especially) and bloated military missions which involve frantically bombing Asian and African nations that are on the wrong side of our network of imperial alliances and hoping that this is "degrading the capabilities of terrorists?"
I can't say for sure that a President Scott Walker or Jeb Bush would spell certain disaster for Hadiya, in any direct sense. The question here is - what kind of country are we going to leave to her in adult life? Do we want, and want badly, a country that cares about its own citizens, even the poorest? Or are we content with yet another crumbling jalopy empire [h/t], a siglo de oro USA where the gold is all immured in Phillip II's palace, and the masses push, shove, and claw for a crust of bread or clean water?
This is why Bernie Sanders is campaigning, and why I am supporting his candidacy.