2088: Betting on Bernie

On February twenty-eighth, twenty sixteen, Nelson donated twenty-seven dollars to the Bernie Sanders campaign.

Then he received an email solicitation to take the next step. What was he willing to do to help the Revolution? There was a link. Who knew where it might lead? He deleted it. He knew there would be another chance to join the revolution, to chase the white rabbit, to swallow the red pill, to click the link. A few months later, after Bernie was showing some promise in the primaries, Nelson made another twenty-seven-dollar contribution. He was placing his bets conservatively.

Bernie said, We have stood up to claim health care as a right for all people, make public colleges and universities tuition free, and raise the minimum wage to a living wage.

Nelson thought, “Didn’t the minimum wage used to be a living wage? What happened there?”

Then a funny thing happened. Dad sent him an email about the “silver lining” of Trump as President, which was there were several people who were going to leave the country. Nelson thought, I might know another four of them.

After that email, Nelson sent another twenty-seven dollars to Bernie Sanders, and he won Indiana on May 3, 2016. It seemed like a minor miracle. It seemed like maybe (just maybe) the Presidential race might be Bernie vs. Donald. And if that happened, it could get interesting. The election would stop being about an email server and pointless Congressional investigations. And it wouldn’t be a woman versus a man. People would have to figure out if they wanted a megalomaniac Capitalist or a revolutionary Communist in the White House. And Nelson would have someone to vote for instead of against.

CNN asked the question, “Is Hillary Clinton unstoppable?” And Nelson thought, I have twenty-seven dollars that says she isn’t. But a few weeks later, it was clear that she was, and Nelson lost his bet.

Deep-down, from the start, he was afraid that Bernie would not win. There just weren’t enough votes. Hillary was going to gut out the final miles, the final states, and she would come up with the nomination. But a friend comforted him, pointing out that Hillary’s signature issue was gender and race equality. And on Global Warming, too-much-corporate-money-in-politics, and Income Inequality, Hillary and Bernie were nearly identical. Those were the big issues, the important issues. So Nelson felt okay, once the Democratic Convention was over and fences were mended, with Hillary running for President. She had his support.

And deep-down, over the course of those months, Nelson became more and more sure that Hillary would beat Trump.

But on Wednesday, November Ninth, when Nelson woke up from his nightmares, Trump had won. And it did not appear that he was interested in mending fences.

Election Finance Reform

In the days to come, every citizen will have a certain number of credits that they can send to political candidates. Everyone would have the same amount of money for this purpose, and you couldn’t spend the money on anything besides political speech. No one would cheat or game the system. And in this way, the political discourse would thicken and become more rich and nuanced and reflect the concerns of the people instead of corporate-interests, the interests of big money.

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