September 26, 2015
The second American Revolution has begun. This one didn’t start with bullets, thank God. There was and is no Lexington and Concord. This is a revolution of the mind. It has been stirring within the consciousness of Americans for years, as we’ve slowly awakened to the chronic and systematic dismantling of the democratic foundations without which we are no longer anything even approaching who we say we are.

Revolutions are not easy. Old systems do not fold willingly, particularly when they control gargantuan amounts of wealth and power. But like empires of old — from the Romans to the Hapsburgs to the colonial British — even the largest do fall. And there is no question but that these are revolutionary times in America; the empire is already lumbering under the weight of its own false power. The question before us now is whether or not this shall be a peaceful revolution. For many people around the world and even to some extent at home, the empire is already a deliverer of much internal and external violence — from unwarranted invasions internationally to income inequality and mass incarceration at home.

No further evidence need be gathered. The decisive moment is here, and the future is ours to decide. In the words of John F Kennedy: “Those who make peaceful revolution impossible make violent revolution inevitable.” Now, in our day, his line is best updated: those who do not commit fully to peaceful revolution make violent revolution inevitable, by surrendering our power to the forces of chaos and acquiescing to the demands of a cushy though now legally corrupt political establishment.

The run-up to the revolution is over; there is no further grace period during which we can afford the luxury of standing on the sidelines. This year — not next year or the year after that — each and every one of us is called upon to put aside the unimportant and get about the work at hand. We will save American democracy now, or it will fall into the dustbin of history. Empires always have the hubris to think they are indestructible, when in fact they are always unsustainable.

Politically, Bernie Sanders is the only Presidential candidate who articulates the foundational principles of the new revolution. We are at a point in our history where such a voice as his would arise, and where a voice such as his could gain the kind of momentum it has. It remains to be seen, however, whether we have arrived at a point where Americans are willing to do what it takes — repudiating the institutional forces that will oppose him with all its might — to send Sanders to the White House. Whether or not we do so will indicate whether or not we are prepared to wage the political revolution in the absence of which the most beautiful aspects of who we are as a nation will whither away and die.

The main obstructions to the second American Revolution, as well as to Sanders winning the Presidency, are not external but internal. They are the thoughts that anyone is inherently unelectable, the Establishment knows what it’s doing, you can’t beat the system, and it’s all sewn up so we may as well not even try. If we’re not careful, we will be defeated by our own failure of imagination. And as Americans, we should specialize in imagination. There was a time when George Washington would have been deemed unelectable, and George III would have been deemed unbeatable. The American mind has gotten soft in many ways, and it’s time to muscle up. When Thomas Paine said “we have it in our power to begin the world over again,” he got that right. We should listen to him now. Some of the greatest guides to the new American Revolution are the people who articulated the first one. They understood the concept that enough is enough. As their revolutionary heirs, so should we.

Such are the times in which we live. The hour is at hand. Game on.

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