Bernieor Bust was not simply a voter pledge movement. It was a prediction. It is a prophecy of what will happen to this country if another “establishment” mainstream media candidate is chosen. That’s not a fear-mongering tactic taken out of the Republican playbook. It’s the product of the United States political system of the past 40 years. Since the era of Reagan, the “trickledown economics” policy has proven nothing other than “shit roles down hill.” It was a disingenuous attempt to convince the middle class that cutting taxes for the wealthiest Americans would result in increased wealth for the middle class; the same middle class that is dwindling into working class poverty. Bernie or bust is now #JillOrBust.
Plutocracy, however, is not simply a concept, for a select few it is a way of life. It is a concept that originated in ancient Greece, and has plagued the world’s political stage here and abroad for centuries. For almost 400 years, it has been known as Plutocracy, but in lay terms we have called it the mafia, the mob, and gang warfare, though none of those terms have been acceptable depictions of the United States government. Ironically, our leaders have no problem identifying Plutocracy and exploiting it for their own uses. As an Arab American, I have watched plutocracy destroy the Middle East through its greedy leaders that control their citizens with fear and force while increasing their wealth a tax increase at a time. Whether it was Saddam Hussein of Iraq, Hosni Mubarak of Egypt, Muammar Gaddafi of Libya or even the current House of Saud, the Royal Family of Saudi Arabia, each and every leader became wealthier at the expense of their citizens and was evidenced by the extreme poverty that their citizens encountered under their leadership. The United States turned a blind eye to the corruption and human rights violations of the Middle East for decades, that is, until it became an opportunity for the extension of American Imperialism. According to Politico, the “United States still maintains over 800 military bases in 70 countries and territories around the world.” Sounds a lot like the Roman Empire, which was a great example of plutocracy.
How is it that in today’s day and age in the era of freedom of information is it possible that our society is plagued by Plutocracy? Answer: The mainstream media. The mainstream media and our state department have had an incestuous relationship for at least a hundred years. The state department uses the media to further its agenda and promote its public policies. Thanks to the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR, see map to the right), a group of 5,000 members use their positions of power to dictate our political and foreign relations policy. Many of the members have held positions in government and media or have family members involved in government while they are involved in the media. For example, Ben Sherwood, Co-Chairman of ABC network is the brother of Elizabeth Sherwood, special adviser to President Obama and deputy Secretary of the Department of Energy.
History demonstrates, this isn’t the only administration who has violated the universal “don’t shit where you eat,” rule. Bill Moyers, was involved as an “informal” chief of staff to President Kennedy and oversaw the “Great Society” task force initiated by President Johnson. Chris Matthews of MSNBC was a speechwriter for President Carter. So who else is a member of this CFR (only available to those who can afford to be a member for a mere $50,000 and are under the age of 36)? The Clintons are of course. Who’s not? Bernie Sanders. Bernie Sanders has no hidden agenda, no secret ties to the White House or the Mainstream media (although I’m sure the lack of news coverage surrounding his campaign could have told you that). Bernie Sanders has absolutely nothing to gain by winning the presidency. He is not backed by corporations or banks or countries or industries. He is backed by the American people. He is a candidate for the people by the people, which is what our constitution implicitly states is the purpose of their revolution.
This is not just a battle for the men and women forced to defend the plutocracy in the name of “national security.” It is a battle of honor for the revolutionaries that created the vision of a government for the people by the people, one that worked for hundreds of years before the last century and its influx of plutocratic leaders. It’s Bernie or the bust of the efforts of our revolutionaries that fought against the plutocracy of their time. As a US patriot, as a humanitarian, as a mother, I, Shirin Zarqa-Lederman, have a duty to take the #JillorBUST pledge. Regardless of what happens, my children will know which side of history I was on. Therefore, I pledge my vote to the Green Party because Sanders is not the Democratic Party nominee. I pledge that I will commit to using my political voice to spread the message to end the plutocracy and recruit at least two others to pledge their vote to do the same. That is how we build this movement on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, personal emails to friends and relatives–wherever you engage online with other people who agree: enough plutocracy is enough. It’s time to demand a political revolution and legalize democratic order in the United States.