BJ'S BLOG 03/21/16 "The White House, Bernie, and Me"

March 21, 2016

Today's Blog comes from one of my mentors, Dan Sanders:

Some have asked if I am related to Bernie Sanders, and the answer as far as I know is I am not, but Bernie and I do share a number of things in common, such as our basic political philosophies. It would be nice, in some ironic way, to have a Sanders in the White House.

The few times I visited the White House, I was told to leave and when refusing to do so was escorted away. September 1974 was the last time that happened, when President Gerald Ford offered amnesty to me after I refused to kill in an unjust war. Several hundred of us resisters, after passing peacefully through a White House tour, took a non-violent seat on the front lawn instead of leaving through the front gates, refusing to leave, and we were assisted with our departure and loaded into police vans. In court when asked why I had done this, I looked at the judge and said I did nothing wrong and couldn’t be pardoned because I wasn’t guilty of a crime. I had already been punished for following my conscience and spent two years of my life in prison. I asked the judge to give me those years back, as if he could, and the charges were dismissed.

There is a big difference between those who chose to run to Canada and those like myself who stood up to the military and the courts and were offered many avenues to not go to prison, most of which did not include joining the military, and chose prison instead. There is a huge difference between a draft dodger and a war resister, and all of my beliefs about this would make for a novel. The pardon, however, was in effect, and in spite of the fact that I wore prison khakis for almost two years, I have no criminal record. How’s that for WTF?

I saw a picture of Bernie Sanders walking with Martin Luther King and saw him being taken away during a civil rights demonstration in the 1960’s. It totally befuddles my brain how any person of color could not support Bernie and how any woman who works for less money than a man or refuses to be insulted by a bigot could not support him or how any college or soon-to-be college student could not want free education or how any sick, poor, or elderly person could not want free or greatly reduced prescriptions and medical care. These are a few of the things, besides our last name, Bernie Sanders and I have in common.

The bottom line for me is that I don’t care if you vote for Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton, Rubio, or Cruz, but in the name of all that’s sane, do not vote for Donald Trump who is now threatening that there will be riots if he is denied the nomination. Why would a political party let alone a country even consider denying a person the nomination? Even Russian President Putin, among others, has condemned his actions. Trump has scared enough people and even made it clear to enough people on his side of the political aisle that he is a violence-pedaling lunatic. If Trump does end up behind the gates, there might be two Sanders at the White House—Bernie and Dan—and you might see us both being told to leave or escorted out.

There may be more on this in the podcast—or not, but there will be a rock and roll timeline on the shores of Rambling Harbor.  Join me there.