It’s been fun, the past 6 or so months, watching the GOP fall apart and pick itself back up again. Extreme candidates with extreme views made for interesting coffee talks, but as time is ticking down to the all important caucuses here in Iowa, I see the same mistakes being made in my party, the so called people’s party(the Democrats), fall prey to the same mistakes and because of this the GOP has been making ground while we flounder and fight amongst ourselves.

For many years I proudly flaunted my own independent voting status, I felt like no party represented me. I considered myself a civil libertarian. I am very socially liberal on issues of personal freedoms –  rights from gay marriage to marijuana legalization. But also fiscally conservative – as in quit wasting our money on stupid garbage and spend it where it needs to go. Now I quaintly refer to myself as a democratic socialist.

I understand there is a need for government and I believe it should be for the people, by the people. That’s really the easiest way to describe democratic socialism. Friends and colleagues who don’t support my chosen candidate, you know who, seem either completely inept or intellectually lazy when it comes to embracing this term, as it should be one we should proudly brandish.

In years past I didn’t like the term liberal or progressive for that matter. I abhorred everything about it, mostly because it carried a stigma. Now I relish it, it’s become a tool for debate for trolling weaker arguments and feeding logical fallacies. But back then I wasn’t a democrat and now literally just over two years later I am now.

Although I had been working with Democrats locally and volunteering with them campaigning, I wasn’t one of them, but I made a choice.. Now I am proud to say I’m a county, district, and state delegate for the party. I’m also on a couple platform committees. Now I’m even a volunteer caucus chair and I’ve never even participated in one.

I joined the democrat party after discovering it was more closely aligned with what I believed in. Minimum wage increases, healthcare and college expenses are way out of control, corporations are not people, and medical marijuana is also a huge issue of mine, and civil rights to minorities also. Did you know that buried in the Iowa Democratic Party platform we do support recreational marijuana and also here in Iowa blacks have the worst racial disparity in marijuana arrests than anywhere in America? You do now, be proud fellow Iowans – of at least one of those things.

Now the field of Republican candidates is growing smaller, on the Democrat side it wasn’t that big to begin with – but since the beginning to many of the “establishment” there has only been one “real” candidate. Supporting the underdog for all the right reasons is a mental pain in the bottom too. As I stated, many folks had their minds made up from the beginning and it’s been quite the uphill battle for someone like me keeping my sanity intact.

Talking to fellow democrats not supporting the same candidate I often feel like I’m a Ron Paul supporter, I should know because I was one. My dream ticket at the time as a civil libertarian was Paul/Nader. Some people will throw their arms up and say those two aren’t even close to the same people ideologically, but it’s the mix that attracted me the most. I want to help the poor but I think we should also audit the fed and so on. That’s the combination I like to see, and up until my current chosen candidate ran, he and Ron Paul actually made a fantastic tandem, just like fellow conservative and war hero John McCain. Hooray for bipartisan efforts!

Have you figured out who I support yet? Yea, Bernie Sanders, the one candidate that people trust more so than any other candidate in the field. That’s a high honor, how do you expect a candidate nobody says they trust to be considered electable? Well not everybody is going to like a candidate, look at what the republicans are doing to Hillary.

This brings me to two points, keep in mind also that I prefer to write free flow from my head to my fingers so I won’t conform to your contemporary writing styles, no side is free of conspiracy. Sure maybe the GOP is after Hillary, but they are also after every Democrat, it’s part of their job description. There’s Benghazi, there’s those damn emails, there’s all kinds of things. There is no question that throughout her entire career she has been mired in some sort of controversy. Don’t even try to argue with me on this one or tell me how she’s evolved, devolved, or whatever because I don’t care. I prefer consistency, I like knowing that the person that I support was right from the beginning and it comforts me that Bernie was there first for almost everything Hillary supposedly tries to champion now, especially when it comes to things like civil rights issues and legalization.

As stated before Democrats have tried to make Bernie supporters akin to Ron Paul supporters with all of our conspiracy theories. Like the “rigged” debate schedules, which I heard complaints from people on all sides about things we could do, which is nothing. Or how about the NGPVAN incident. Yea it happened, and it was handled appropriately by Bernie Sanders firing the peeker. The DNC and the Hillary camp still called for blood and tried to assassinate his character. You want to talk about people being after people?. NGPVAN stated immediately that no data was taken, saved or imported but supporters on Hillary’s side, including her campaign, and some of the higher ups in the DNC called for blood sacrifice to satiate their need for vengeance from the former independent.

What happened isn’t what was expected either. Firstly, the Sanders campaign put a lawsuit against the DNC. According to many Iowa pundits that was a faux pas, just something completely unthinkable. This riled up the Hillary supporters and many said this was going to finish him for the running, they said that this was going to be the end of his campaign. It turned to be quite the opposite. While shut out, he raised over a million dollars AND he rose in the polls and his opponents both dropped. Wow, seasoned Iowa “experts” were wrong. Mainstream media was wrong. Thin skinned locals were wrong. The garbage that people from the HRC campaign and people like DWS were spewing was wrong too. Bernie came out shiny.

All this together is very telling, if you ask a nobody like me, this tells me that people are sick of the establishment. It sounds like the status quo of moderate democrats days are numbered and that people need to start changing their tune. To me it sounds like the party’s future is at stake, the youth is overwhelmingly in support of Bernie, you would know that if you paid any attention to the youth caucuses held here in Iowa in November. Hillary was found not even viable by our youth by not even getting the 15% needed. If that were grown ups, her campaign would be history. On another level nationally independent voters overwhelmingly support Bernie over any other candidate, that is including Trump, and for most states they make up the majority of voters in most states including our own here in Iowa.

Are you still paying attention, because you should be. Democrats seem to be planning an election where they win an election based on getting the most Democrat votes. It seems most of them made up their minds way too early and underestimated the underdog candidate that refuses to take corporate money. Without doing so, Bernie is doing a hell of a job of keeping up with her, and to kind of quote another successful progressive, people actually like him. I mean that, they actually like him, and they trust him too! Don’t overlook that, please. Some people don’t like polls nor do they pay much attention but even the polls where HRC leads Bernie by ten or twenty points, Bernie beats HRC by a much larger margin when it comes to the trust factor. Even in one poll ran by one of her own PACs, Bernie blew HRC away when it came to the trust factor.

One thing I will agree with though when it comes to Hillary supporters is that the GOP will do anything to keep her from winning. They will dredge up any old controversy, or new, to drag her through the mud. That’s the kink in her armor, and it’s huge, I’m not going to intentionally try and drag her through the mud, however there are a number of attacks that I’ve seen and it will get ugly if she’s nominated and all that crap will distract from the real issues that are plaguing real Americans today. That’s not a kink that Bernie has, that’s his strength. We saw it in the first debate, every candidate on stage was frothing at the mouth to attack her about those damn emails. Bernie shut that down fast, he wanted the focus to be on the issues, the important stuff. That’s one of the many reasons so many of us love Bernie. He’s a man of honor and substance. A caucus win for Hillary could snowball into a primary win that could turn into a TV show called “The Next Presidential Apprentice” where at the end Trump says “You’re Fired”. Let’s be frank here, only one Democrat consistently polls ahead of that xenophobic monster and it’s not her.

Bernie even recently outpolled every candidate on a Fox News online poll(including GOP candidates), well almost every poll if we want to be honest, with HRC getting close to 15%. That seems to be about her average when it comes to online polls. She simply does not churn the base like Bernie does, or Obama did. But Bernie supporters rig those polls and vote multiple times and etc. etc. etc. right? ANY supporter of any candidate can do just the same. That’s the name of the game, that’s why grassroots is going to win this election. That’s why people like myself have been working across borders with other groups from different states to come up with strategies to win Bernie in Iowa, especially starting in the caucuses. I want you to look at what I consider Jimmy Carter v2.016, the following link is a Google form and completely anonymous and safe. If you want to participate please fill it out. If not, I want you to admire what grassroots can do and what we are trying to do without aid of the campaign.

Please click here.

This is a link we are sharing both locally and nationally. What is it and what is the goal? It’s a form built to import data directly to the site www.ridewithbernie.com which is a site originally designed for people to give rides or receive rides to Bernie Sanders rallies across the USA. Working side by side with their team we have been working on a version that would Iowa caucus specific. By the time of the caucuses we will have a working map for drivers that are coming from out of state, and yes there are some signed up already, for designated areas to help folks to get to the caucuses. Those that have room in their car, you should sign up too. Those of you that are fair sports, you should sign up as a driver and see if you can help a fellow voter too. Many Bernie supporters are first time voters of all ages, not just millennials.

To me this election represents many things. A secure future for my daughter, free if not a much more affordable college. Real healthcare reform, the ACA has helped many people including myself but it’s my opinion it hasn’t gone far enough. The truth that a tax increase of a whopping $1.50 per person is not really an increase, it’s a huge DECREASE from what I’m paying now for me and my daughter – sorry Hillary from the last debate. Campaign reform NEEDS to happen. I’ve ran for office 3 times, unsuccessfully, but I’ve seen many of my ideas implemented, but I’ve seen what happens when there is too much money in politics in small areas like mine. Eventually people like myself won’t be able to run for elections because of that simple fact. Money dominates most elections and when someone pumps tens of thousands of dollars into a county that doesn’t even have tens of thousands how do you compete with that? A clean and better environment for my daughter and her children and theirs as well. Bernie seems to be one of the only electable candidates that truly understands the impact of what is going on with the environment and is completely committed to helping fix it. Minding our own damn business when it comes to stupid wars and conflicts, Bernie voted no to Iraq. There is another well known democrat candidate voted yes, I’m glad she thinks that’s a mistake, tell that to all the friends I went to school with that joined the national guard and had to go to Iraq and came back in shambles. Big mistake, thanks. At least I know Bernie has their back. Wall Street, I don’t even know where to start here but Bernie does, he’s committed to start an investigation on them on DAY ONE. And I guess I could end on minimum wage. The combination of student loans and medical costs can leave a person literally enslaved in debt for years and years. I don’t want to hear your stories about how 40 years ago you worked minimum wage 60 hours a week and graduated with perfect GPA because I just don’t care. If you don’t care about my argument, I don’t care about yours. The current wage per hour is not enough and the level of productivity is much higher than what minimum wage is, even if you’re just “flipping burgers”. Some people enjoy that kind of work, for others it shouldn’t matter. No person working 40 hours a week should have their employer subsidize poor wages from the government with food stamps and the likes. Corporate welfare must end. That money should go to education and infrastructure. National parks and green energy initiatives. If we want America to be great we need to invest to make it great and not reward the greedy and placate the fearmongers.

To conclude, it just needs to be said that my particular chosen candidate has a lot to offer everybody. He’s not a candidate that is bought nor sold. He represents the people and always has. He’s an honest and trustworthy character and a one of a kind. We need to pay attention and give him the attention he deserves or else there might not be  more like him in the future.

By Quinn Symonds 

E-mail: quinn.symonds@gmail.com

Marijuana Activist, Civil Rights Activists, Fathers Rights Activist, Democrat Activist

Bernie Sanders Grassroots Leader in Iowa

Head of Iowans for Bernie(Facebook)

Head of Iowa4Bernie(Twitter)

Photo Credit: By Phil Roeder [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

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21 Comments

  1. I gave up on the GOP 8 years ago, they are not fiscally responsible, and have been hijacked by the bat crap Crazy right. Bernie is the real deal.

  2. When we think about qualities and abilities of a true leader what are we looking for? Senator Bernie Sanders record for fighting for the people can be researched on you tube. He had over 70% of the vote in his home state from both republicans and democrats. His budget will save millions and he will get the “legal bribery scams” out of our government before they destroy this nation. Bernie’s qualities as a leader include kindness, fairness, honesty, humility,respectfulness, authenticity, consistency,energetic, intelligence, experience, empathy, and he is passionate about helping every child succeed in this nation, thus building a stronger and brighter nation for future generations. The Veterans of Foreign Wars chose Bernie Sanders to receive the highest congressional award for his dedication to helping veterans. He is once in a life time type of leader we need to put honesty and accountability back in our government and set an example for other voted in public servants to follow. Bernie practices high ethical standards and this is one of many reasons the younger generation look up to him. Vote smart! Vote Bernie in the primaries and for president 2016!

  3. Just as a side note? almost all of the online polls Ive seen do not allow you to vote more than once. Unless you have multiple pc’s to log in from handy there is no real way to stack most of these polls

  4. Bernie Sanders gets it right the first time, and does not need to “evolve” on critical issues – leaving people’s lives in shambles after serving in misguided wars, or losing everything while Wall st. is bailed out. Sanders has always stood with We the People his whole career. He’s plain spoken, has common sense, and cannot be pressured or bought. He doesn’t go along with the (bought) “crowd” in the Senate, and even when his views are in direct opposition, he doesn’t back down. He doesn’t need hindsight to “evolve”, he gets it right the first time. Our country needs his experience, his trustworthiness, and his good common sense. https://youtu.be/9p35NmUnMsY

  5. I just changed my party affiliation from Green to Democrat because I want to be sure to vote for Sen Sanders in my state’s primary. Finally, the Democratic slate is offering an honest candidate uninfluenced by PACs and Wall Street. You are so right, Mr. Symonds. Before Bernie Sanders announced his campaign, the Democratic Party had been floundering, scared of being too liberal or too conservative–but always in the pocket of lobbyists. Sen Sanders has altered the course of this election in the best, most positive ways. His campaign is real and it can succeed with the ACTIVE support of Americans who have felt disenfranchised and unrepresented by previous bland candidates who will gravitate towards where the $$ is. Senator Sanders is running for president because our country faces unprecedented crises in
    terms of climate change, income and wealth inequality,a growing oligarchy, the shameful number of incarcerated prisoners, an inhumane immigration policy. Check out the great article about Bernie in December’s Rolling Stone: http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/bernie-sanders-political-revolution-20151118?page=2

  6. The Clintons have been bad for Democrats, bad for democracy and bad for the American worker. Rather than stand for the American working
    class as the Democratic party had done for a hundred years the Clintons decided
    to follow a new path, the so called third way.
    Beginning with Reagan’s roll back of the
    Sherman antitrust act, the fairness doctrine, his doubling of payroll taxes
    while cutting the top marginal rate, massive defect spending on a tripled
    defense budget, and doubling of the nation debt which had been paid down to
    just 35% of GDP all in hope that trickledown economics would make things better
    for the average American was wrong we had tried these ideas before. So I jumped
    for joy when Clinton was elected. And what did I get something even worse.
    Triangulation. For more than two decades we have tried
    “triangulation” not just as a strategy but as a philosophy. What has
    it gotten us the Republican party has moved further and further right and the
    Democrats have followed right behind. I say no longer will I be complicit in
    watching my country be dominated by transnational corporations and their
    neoliberal agenda. Triangulation is strangulation. Not standing up for what we
    believe has led to the boiling frog syndrome. Time to get out before the water
    boils.

    1. I agree. Even Obama has tried something similar: giving up on progressive wishlists just for the chance that Republicans would actually go along with Democrat initiatives. They say no, and liberals get next to nothing. It happened with “Obamacare,” and this kind of thing will keep happening unless we get some people in Congress and the White House with some serious principles and spines.

      For example, I want single-payer healthcare. Not mandated private insurance as a compromise, not a plan that threw the public option away before negotiations even started, but SINGLE PAYER.

  7. I am happily married, 43 year old lineman, father of 2 girls. I support senator sanders, because he is honest, and has a strong consistent record of voting for americans interests and not corporate american interests. He is a penny pinching debt hawk, and that is what people should want from a politician that spends taxpayer money. Not ones that fly around in private jets and stay in 5 star hotels. He has shown he has excelland judgement on foreign and domestic policies, he has conviction, and is a straight talker, not a typical Washington double talker. #feelthebern

  8. I agree with everything Mr. Symonds. For me, Bernie’s greatest advantage is his war wisdom, “I’ll be dammed if we send any more troops to the Middle East “. Hillary, alternately, in her book resoundingly praises Kissenger, a mass murderer with a five decade history of personally ordering and instigating wars (Vietnam, the Laos and Cambodia secret bombing ), mass killings (East Timor ), overthrow of democratically elected governments (Chilli etc), and treason (Reagan deal with S.Vietnam to delay peace until after Carter lost the election ).

  9. there was an imperative embedded in Bernie’s generation, an electricity in the air that was palpable. we felt that we were put here to right wrongs, to do something important for people, for the environment, for the world as a whole to make everything better. many devoted their lives to causes that were truly selfless. there would be no personal gain but satisfaction at having done a good thing. he is genuine. that generation is disappearing, and its like will not be seen again. if we do not, just once, elect a true man of the people, it will be to our everlasting loss and shame. this is our last, best chance.

  10. Bernie Sanders has the American people at the heart of his political agenda. He is consistant, reliable , honest leader who will fight to end the inequity that is a poison to our country. Learn more at http://www.feelthebern.org. Thank you for writing this and thank you Iowa free press for printing it.

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