On my way to the new Trudeau Canada, I had this wonderful experience:
I gave away the Bernie Button I was wearing to the Conductor of the Amtrak train that took me to Canada. He was a youthful looking black man in his fifties. We were talking about customs and how you could only take apples from Canada back to the US if there was a sticker that stated what country the fruit originated from. Then, I mentioned that if TPP went through, countries could sue to hide origination information from other countries and he said “that’s total bull.” Then he looks at my Bernie pin and says, “That’s why I like him. I’m really excited about the possibilities he offers.”
So, we start talking about Bernie and this man, who’s lived through all the misery of institutionalized racism like every other very black man in America NEVER brings up #Blacklivesmatter (which they absolutely do) and instead starts talking about history. “Theodore Roosevelt – he and Republicans like him, they were doing what the Democratic Party should be doing now. I’m looking forward to the next Democratic Debate because I think Bernie is going to lay it on the line what Democratic Socialism really is. We’ve had so many decades of the Republicans making socialism sound bad but it’s all around us and it’s not what people think it is. AND, he says, “I’m looking forward to the next Republican Debate because they are going to do things very differently. The Democratic Debate called them out on all their terrible behavior and you just watch, they’ll change.” Then we talked about what Trumps’ strategy might be – just wanting attention or trying to destroy some of the Republican Candidates (or help or hurt Jeb?) and would he be helping Hillary by trying to bring down Bernie’s media attention or what? Finally, he says, “the problem is that Americans don’t pay attention to history. It’s all right there, showing us what works and what doesn’t.”
So, when he had complimented the button, I’d said, “Do you want it?” His eyes sort of lit up but he looked like it was too much of a gift and I said, “I’m part of a Bernie Group and we bought a whole box. I never leave the house unless I’m wearing a T-shirt or a button for Bernie and I give them out to whoever likes them.” “Well sure, then.” He said, a broad smile on his face.
And we parted ways, knowing that we were not alone in our hopes for a better world.
Message: Wear your buttons, share them widely, let people talk to you, never assume what a person might care about and know that MILLIONS AND MILLIONS AND MILLIONS of Americans are quietly joining this political revolution. (yes, I got chills while writing this)