Columns » Hightower

Bernie's revolution is growing




The Bernie for President campaign might have ended short of its primary goal, but the political revolution that he launched against corporate rule is just beginning.

Sen. Sanders and his close advisors are now strategizing and developing a new organizational structure to continue growing the grassroots rebellion — but it's also evident that a multitude of Bernie supporters are not waiting on a smoke signal from headquarters.

Their percolate-up creativity has already burst into new political organizing projects that are advancing this energized populist movement.

One such effort got underway just three days after the final Democratic primary.

Some 3,000 Berniecrats from across America gathered in Chicago for what was billed as "The People's Summit." Rather than being morose or cynical about Sanders not winning the Democratic nomination, attendees were exuberant about the movement that he galvanized.

This extraordinary event was a combination of tent revival and a big workshop for strategizing, organizing and mobilizing. The two-day summit was convened by National Nurses United and co-sponsored by more than 50 diverse and effective democracy-building groups.

This meeting had a minimum of blah-blah and a maximum of planning on how to put experienced, locally based organizers and volunteers directly into growing the movement — starting now.

These ever-larger and broader local coalitions, once they are properly developed and operational, will: 1) be rooted in principled, anti-corporate politics; 2) launch direct grassroots initiatives and actions on a range of populist issues; 3) recruit, train and elect thousands of movement candidates to school boards, city councils, state legislatures and other offices; 4) deepen the relationships and sense of shared purpose in this revolutionary democratic movement; and 5) make it fun, putting the "party" back in politics.

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Jim Hightower is the best-selling author of Swim Against the Current: Even a Dead Fish Can Go With the Flow, on sale now from Wiley Publishing. For more information, visit

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