#HeartBERN / #BERNtheRave, or How to Put Bernie in the White House via the Dance Floor

bern-the-atticBernie Sanders cannot win in South Carolina—or most other states—without your help.  There’s no shame in that, by the way.  Because the Sanders Revolution proudly refuses Wall $treet’s bankroll.  It instead thrives on the efforts of the Common Person.  You.

Welcome to the Compassionate Political Revolution!  There is no closed-circuit TV overflow room.  You are the difference.  Drop 20 bucks in the hat.  Roll up your sleeves.  Don your thinking cap.  Donate your blood, sweat and tears.  Spread the word.

And most of all:  CAST YOUR PRIMARY VOTE.

Let’s get to work.  Civilization hangs in the balance.  (Trust me, Donald Trump is speaking tonight just down the way from where I type.)

Last October, I stood in the wine section of my local grocery store.  I daydreamed as I scanned the shelves for a halfway decent bottle of red.

Bernie Sanders—the Bernie Sanders—was running for President.  And he had just bested Hillary Clinton in the CNN Democratic Primary Debate in Las Vegas.

I began following Bernie when he became a member of the U.S. House of Representatives in the early 1990s.  I was mesmerized by the “I” (for “Independent”) that accompanied his name on cable news graphics.  In some distant corner of New England, a man who shared my Love, Scandinavia Style progressive political philosophy was actually a federal office holder.  And now, this same Democratic Socialism Poster Child had a legitimate chance to become a resident of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

I pinched myself and settled on a bottle of Coppola claret.

My friend Guy walked by with a cart.  DJ Guy is one of the most regarded DJs in the Palmetto State.  We held up our fists and exchanged an effortless “Feel the Bern”—then did a double-take.  We were both believers.

It was one of those chocolate-intersects-the-path-of-peanut butter moments.

Hey, don’t you direct a big arts festival?  Hey, don’t you DJ the biggest raves in town?

When’s the South Carolina Presidential Primary?  Late February?  Let’s plan some kind of Valentine’s Weekend Feel-the-Bern event.  How’s your Saturday, February 13?  I’m open.  Good for me too.

What should we call it?  How about HeartBERN?  I know!  BERNtheRave!

HeartBERN / BERNtheRave.


A week later, the most progressive nightclub owner in town has provided us with a premier college nightlife space, The Attic.

Soon after that, we gather the volunteer commitments of among the best and brightest artists, designers, actors, musicians and activists in town.  We suddenly have all the makings of a top-shelf political “party.”

Next thing, a Facebook page is born.  Shares and Event Invites are sent out.  Voters are being reached.  A few memes and posts reach 100K-plus readers.  Heck, now there’s even a “Feel the Bern Yoga” fundraiser spinoff.

All because two progressive dudes in a grocery store said to one another, “Let’s put on a Bernie gig.”

Over the past several years, I’ve written several iterations of the article “How to Be a More Active Progressive in Seven Easy Steps.”  If you’re a passionate progressive, the time has never been more nigh.  Do, or do not.  There is no try.

Here are the dates for the Democratic Presidential Primaries in all states.  That’s how much time you have to make a difference.  Tick-tick-tick-tick.

Act now.  Your efforts will make a difference.  Trust me:  $ alone is the answer for so many campaigns, but not for Bernie Sanders.  Your voice and talents are of equal value.

But.  You.  Have.  To.  Act.  Now.

Volunteer directly for the Bernie Sanders Campaign.

Or, head out on your own.  Call up your local Feel-the-Bern DJ friend.  Or host a Bernie Yoga Fundraiser.  Heck, sing a lyrical poem for the revolution at open mike night—like my friend Alice did tonight.  Graffiti the BERN (legally, of course).  Or put your talents to use—POSITIVELY, in the spirit of the Sanders Campaign—in any of a hundred ways.

The purpose of this article is not to let you know you can make a difference—but to let you know a difference cannot be made without you.

Finally, I’d like to give a shout out to the volunteers working hard to make HeartBERN / BERNtheRave a success in South Carolina.  These are but a few of the tens of thousands of volunteers all over the country giving their all to make the Compassionate Political Revolution a reality:  Ryan, Ronnie, Bois Obscur, Alli, Shawn, Michele, Grumpy Elaine, Brenda, Brent, That Godzilla Guy, Dick Not Richard, Bobby, Mandy, Cat “Hill,” Will “The Donald,” Crush Rush, Kathy (LaLimaDesign), Lauren, Bridget, Old Man Rustbucket, Lucas, Alice, Terris, Therese, Chase, DJ Guy.  & Many, Many Others.


Feel the BERN.

Build Civilization.

Vote the BERN in South Carolina on February 27.


Arik Bjorn

Arik Bjorn lives in Columbia, South Carolina. He was the Democratic Party / Green Party fusion candidate for U.S. Congress in the 2nd Congressional District of South Carolina. Visit the archive for Arik’s campaign website, and check out his latest book, So I Ran for Congress. You can also follow his political activities on Twitter @Bjorn2RunSC and on Facebook. And be sure to check out more from Arik in his archives!


Facebook comments