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Robert Reich has been a surprisingly pleasant voice advocating for change from the growing economic unfairness not only present, but dominant, in our modern American society.
To those ends, he began to openly critique economic trends and trade deals that he thought were bad news for American workers, and usually was able to explain why in a short and easily understood manner.
Now, Reich felt inspired to do only one thing: he wrote an open letter to Bernie Sanders, praising him for essentially giving the American progressive movement some new, clearly stated goals, as well as a new injection of energy that, he suggests, should be felt well into the future.
At the start they labeled you a “fringe” candidate – a 74-year-old, political Independent, Jewish, self-described democratic socialist, who stood zero chance against the Democratic political establishment, the mainstream media, and the moneyed interests.
Reich then points out that Sanders managed to win 22 states, and pushed Hillary to the brink, that he managed to energize youthful voters, and that he enjoyed all of this success without resorting to SuperPacs and huge corporate funds to back him, as well as all of the other political ploys that more conventional politicians (both Democrats and Republicans) use.
He goes on:
Your message – about the necessity of single-payer healthcare, free tuition at public universities, a $15 minimum wage, busting up the biggest Wall Street banks, taxing the financial speculation, expanding Social Security, imposing a tax on carbon, and getting big money out of politics – will shape the progressive agenda from here on.
This is how Reich ends his open letter to Sanders:
Your courage in taking on the political establishment has emboldened millions of us to stand up and demand our voices be heard.
Regardless of what you decide to do now, you have ignited a movement that will fight onward. We will fight to put more progressives into the House and Senate. We will fight at the state level. We will organize for the 2020 presidential election.
We will not succumb to cynicism. We are in it for the long haul. We will never give up.
Let's hope that Reich's optimism for a new progressive American activism will come true and perhaps build on the momentum not seen since the youthful Occupy days, and not simply fade away and become yet another memory.
Robert Reich’s Open Letter to Bernie Sanders Is Going Viral by Zach Cartwright, June 8, 2016: