Bernie Sanders is showing Ted Cruz what real people power looks like as his coalition to protect Social Security and Medicare has gathered nearly 500,000 petition signatures in a matter of days.
There is something incredible happening. The American people are standing up to protect Social Security and Medicare. A Sen. Sanders (I-VT) led coalition is flexing its muscle with a petition drive that has collected almost 500,000 signatures already.
In a statement, Sen. Sanders said, “The success of this petition drive makes it very clear to me that the American people want deficit reduction to be done in a way that is fair and not by cutting programs such as Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. At a time when the number of people living in poverty in our country is at an all-time high, we must not cut programs which provide basic security to tens of millions of our people who are struggling economically.”
To put into context how successful this petition drive has been, it took months and a national television advertising campaign for Ted Cruz’s defund Obamacare petition to get to 2 million signatures.
Bernie Sanders and a coalition of groups that includes CREDO, Daily Kos, Campaign for America’s Future, Social Security Works, Democracy for America, Progressives United, MoveOn, Other98, USAction and the Alliance for Retired Americans have gotten to a nearly a quarter of Cruz’s total number of signatures in about 1/10th of the time.
The movement that Bernie Sanders is leading won’t be spending millions of dollars on television ads. They don’t have shadowy billionaires writing big checks in the background. What Bernie Sanders and the left have is popular support on the issues. They don’t have to buy their support. They are a real people’s movement.
Ted Cruz and the tea party are Astro-Turf. They are a “movement” which has been designed to raise money, and carry out the agenda of a few billionaires and special interests. They don’t have popular support for their positions on the issues, so they have spend millions of dollars constructing illusions of strength.
The left’s grassroots are strong and well organized. The grassroots left has had success in recent years with various protests, boycotts, and petitions. If the media really wanted to know what is going on at the grassroots level in this country, they would ignore Cruz and the tea party and spend their time talking to Sanders and the left.
The reality is that what took Ted Cruz and his allies millions of dollars and months to accomplish, Bernie Sanders and the left have a chance of accomplishing in three more weeks. Nothing would make the point about protecting Social Security and Medicare clearer than blowing Ted Cruz’s defund Obamacare petition out of the water. In order for that to happen, people have to keep sharing and signing the petition. (You can sign a MoveOn version of the petition here.)
This is about making Congress and the president pay attention to your voice. Social Security and Medicare are beloved programs, and you can save them from getting caught up in Washington budget hysteria. Ted Cruz is being blown away by Bernie Sanders and his coalition that is standing up to protect Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor, who is White House Press Pool, and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association