Sunday, December 01, 2019

Frank Jackman’s Bernie Sanders “Stump Speech To All Who Will Listen Whatever Front He Finds Himself On In The Coming Months-Bernie Vision 2020 Boston from the heart and here today to testify, to give my reasons for supporting the Senator:

Frank Jackman’s Bernie Sanders “Stump Speech To All Who Will Listen Whatever Front He Finds Himself On In The Coming Months-Bernie Vision 2020 Boston from the heart and here today to testify, to give my reasons for supporting the Senator:

Recently I wrote and have begun doing a stump speech wherever people gather for political purposes giving my personal reasons for supporting Senator Sanders presidential candidacy. I have dubbed that speech ‘the defense of the republic” oration where my motivation centrally was the need to get rid of the current president as a matter of elementary hygiene and to avoid a now brewing cold civil war from turning hot. There I played to the Senator’s and my long time struggles in defense of the international progressive agenda against the endless wars, for social justice and the struggle against want which hold many people back for no purpose, sometimes as voices in the wilderness, sometimes with many at our respective backs.  

One unspoken truth which is common to both the Senator’s and my sense of the world, probably a hallmark of our generation, the remnants of the Generation of ’68 is a serious desire to NOT discuss, not to profile our individual lives, what makes us tick, what gets us on the picket lines, the rally points, the march routes. The background of our staying close to our roots all these years. With the partial exception of his kick-off campaign speech at Brooklyn College back in March he has held to that position although I have noticed he has lightened up a little of late. At some point, probably the point where I decided to write that first stump speech, I took it upon myself to get more personal, to tell why I have stayed so close to my roots in the social struggles of my lifetime. I might mention that I repeatedly have told whoever would listen in the Sanders campaign apparatus to have him concentrate on his compelling American story to better link up with the electorate in this the time when bearing one’s soul is fit for discussion, is part of the political landscape.

One thing that struck me, the key thing, that struck me about the Senator’s Brooklyn speech is toward the end, probably kicking and screaming at his advisers all the time, was when told the crowd “he knew where he came from,” knew he came from down in the dust of society. A father who immigrated to this country just in front of the Nazi onslaught which would take most of his family into the concentration camps and death, a man with no money in his pocket but an overweening desire to make it in America. The Senator grew up in that three- and one-half room rent-controlled apartment in Brooklyn and that was that. No that was not that for here is the very personal link between the Senator and me. His mother like many post- World War II mothers dreamed of having her own single-family home before she passed away at an early age. It never happened. I grew up in and came of age  the Germantown projects in Quincy. My mother too in our desperate projects housing had the single family home dream which never happened for her either.

That’s the joiner but there is more. The Senator spoke of never having enough for extras, for having something like a quarter weekly allowance as a kid (against Trump’s massive allowance). Never being hungry or on the streets, nor was my family but always being ground down by the terrible struggle for necessities, for curbing the basic wants which in the richest society in the world should have been fulfilled as part of the social contract. I could go on but let me finish with this example. My father a Marine veteran of World War II had been a coalminer down in Appalachia, down in the hills and hollows of legendary Hazard, Kentucky before the war, a hillbilly who did not get pass the tenth grade. He was stationed at the Naval Depot in Hingham before he was discharged, met my mother and that was that. He stayed North always being the last hired and first fired as long as I could remember.           

My frantic young mother, totally unprepared for motherhood, did the best she could. That best she could when my father was unemployed, and no work was to be had. When there was work come each Friday paycheck she would put out white envelopes with the bill to be paid listed on the front. I don’t ever remember her being able to do any better that giving each collector enough to keep the wolves from the door. I could tell things were really bad when she would send me, maybe I was ten or eleven over to the projects office to pay the rent, pay something anyway, she was too embarrassed to go herself. Yes, Senator Sanders knows that story too well, a variation anyway and we have to stop that wanting habits hunger, and right now too. He knows where he came from as do I and have stayed close to the roots. I am proud to stand beside him.    

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