Bernie Sanders understands that democracy is not a spectator sport. It requires participation and the actions of an engaged, informed electorate. This fact is at the heart of Sanders’ plan to win the Democratic nomination – and ultimately, the White House. If his current success is any indication, his strategy is working.

The problem with U.S. democracy today is rooted in low information and low participation. It has been a well-orchestrated, decades-long strategy implemented by the GOP, consisting of four major elements: (1) taking over elected positions at the municipal, county and state levels, (2) cutting education and dumbing down the electorate, (3) taking over the mainstream corporate media, and (4) using that media to spread propaganda and lies while using mindless entertainment as a distraction.

The GOP, however, failed to anticipate the power of the World Wide Web. Although the battle for corporate control of the Internet is ongoing, the reality is that the horse has bolted from the barn – and recapturing it is going to be virtually impossible. The Internet was the key to Obama’s success in 2008 and 2012. It is a model that Bernie Sanders praises, acknowledging that the President ran “one of the great campaigns in the history of the United States of America.”

Bernie states that we again need a mass grassroots movement that looks the Republicans in the eye and says, “If you don’t vote to demand that your wealthy people start paying their fair share of taxes, if you don’t vote for jobs, raising the minimum wage and expanding Social Security, we know what’s going on, we’re involved, we’re organized, [and] you are outta here.”

By focusing on and addressing the issues directly affecting 98% of Americans across the social and political spectrum, Bernie Sanders is building a bi-partisan, grassroots coalition that is quickly making President Obama’s look small by comparison. And as history has shown us repeatedly, when the People are united against the entrenched Powers-That-Be, they are unstoppable.

Bernie will lead and guide us – but he can’t do it alone. Let’s all make certain we have his back. Once again, this author is going to share his favorite quote from Thom Hartmann: “Tag! You’re It!”

Let’s get active – there’s work to be done!


K.J. McElrath is a former history and social studies teacher who has long maintained a keen interest in legal and social issues. In addition to writing for The Ring of Fire, he is the author of two published novels: Tamanous Cooley, a darkly comic environmental twist on Dante's Inferno, and The Missionary's Wife, a story of the conflict between human nature and fundamentalist religious dogma. When not engaged in journalistic or literary pursuits, K.J. works as an entertainer and film composer.