Seize the moment

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To the Editor:

A very wise friend of mine — we’ll call him Sydney to protect his privacy — said something very interesting to me the other day. He said, “Bernie Sanders is giving us the opportunity we have all claimed to want our entire lives to create a participatory democracy. If we don’t seize this moment, we shouldn’t complain, ever.”

He’s correct. Most of us have either thought or actually said something to the effect of, What’s wrong is my vote doesn’t matter. The government is hopelessly dysfunctional and corrupt.

Bernie Sanders is a chance for things to change substantively because the only way he can get elected is by our participation. He has refused big PAC money as a means of winning the election. Instead he has chosen a participatory democracy. And he has made it perfectly clear that — as opposed to Obama — he expects and needs us to remain participants to get meaningful legislation through Congress.

He’s about: Only publicly funded campaigns (something that is necessary for getting most or all of the following items accomplished); universal healthcare; free public college; fiercely addressing climate change; closing tax loopholes and increasing taxes on the super-rich; humane immigration policy and a reasonable pathway toward citizenship; pay equity for women workers; addressing racial injustice; reducing incarceration for victimless crimes; increasing the minimum wage to a living wage of $15; supporting the progress of the LGBT community; rebuilding our infrastructure; reversing NAFT and Trans-Pacific Partnership agreements; taxing all Wall Street transactions; a democratic-socialist society similar to Scandinavia.

Join “Island Bern” — Martha’s Vineyard’s local chapter to get Bernie Sanders elected president. We meet the first and third Mondays of every month until he is elected at 7 pm at the Howes House (at the entrance of the West Tisbury library).

Paul Lazes

Vineyard Haven