Letter of Support from Artists4bernie.org
Artists4Bernie, a collective formed by long-time contributor to Arts of the Working Class and organizer of the New Center for Research and Practice, Mohammad Salemy has co-written with Jennifer Teets and Lauren Boyle a letter of endorsement for the Vermont Senator's presidential campaign. Over 2000 artists have signed the letter including heavy-hitters Nan Goldin, Kara Walker, Jim Jarmusch and Hito Steyerl.
The letter states not only Sander's outstanding qualifications, but points out how influential US policy and politics are thus making this election especially, a concern to the international community.
Please take your time to read and sign the letter of support from Artists4Bernie.org.
The Letter of Support
We are an international network of people that work within art and culture, and with this letter, we would like to declare our support for Senator Bernie Sanders and endorse his 2020 presidential campaign. By endorsing Bernie Sanders we hope to reach out to our American colleagues, friends, and families, and express our enthusiasm in supporting, and voting for, the only candidate we believe can unseat Donald Trump.
There are several reasons as to why.
As a powerful force around the globe, the United States and its internal politics have always had a profound impact internationally. The USA sets the stage for global affairs: it shapes economic patterns, whose agenda preoccupies policymakers; furthermore, it steers the way in terms of alliances and influence. The global expansion of American corporate and business activity; especially the authority and influence of American technology firms, entangles all of us and most of the citizens of different countries, as quasi-legal entities in the United States. It is for these reasons that we think every citizen of the globe has a right to have a public opinion about the internal politics of the United States.
Bernie Sanders’s foreign and international policies are the most progressive compared to other candidates. He is a true peace candidate in this time of permanent war waged by the United States in various countries: he intends to reduce the American government’s footprint in the management of the world on behalf of American corporations, a job that stretches back to the end of WWII. Under Sanders’s administration, American resources would be redirected toward domestic issues rather than military and pressure diplomacy on behalf of American business interests around the globe.
When it comes to the impending climate catastrophe, Sanders and his supporters in Congress, like Alexandra Ocasio Cortez and Ilhan Omar, have the best ideas and blueprints for dealing with what the entire planet imminently faces. Given the size of American business activity worldwide, a radical change of US policy towards the environment will have a huge positive impact on the global climate. We advocate strongly for Sanders’ Green New Deal program outlined in his agenda.
Bernie Sanders is leading a working class movement that transcends ethnicities, generations, and geographies. Artists and cultural producers are largely precarity laborers–often struggling without benefits, financial security, at the whim of the market. These fields are therefore more inclined to attract people who are already privileged, at the expense of the less privileged—and, often, more talented. Medicare for all, universal childcare, canceling student debt, and free public college, are just a few of the progressive changes that we support for their soundness and logic, that will spill over into a more equal cultural sphere.
Many pundits, journalists, and skeptics have wondered if Bernie Sanders has the mettle to stand up against Trump in the general election. We believe he does for two simple reasons: his unshakeable ethics which have guided his career for decades, and his dedicated and invigorated base of supporters—the largest donor base of any candidate in the democratic primary. He has both the moral authority to confront Trump better than his challengers on the left, and the forthright nature to knock him off his game. Some have questioned Sanders's age as a deterrent, which we feel is an asset. We also believe that a Sanders administration would insulate his agenda from any unforeseeable challenges. Look at what Sanders has accomplished within the Democratic party simply by running. All signs indicate a Sanders administration would be similarly revolutionary.
Overall, we strongly feel that only Sanders represents the values and virtues which all of us as cultural producers have always hoped to strive for. In the words of Sanders,“You have my promise that as President, I will be an arts President. I will continue to advocate strongly for robust funding of the arts in our cities, schools and public spaces. Art is speech. Art is what life is about.”
Lastly, we believe that a Sanders presidency will provide a serious and tangible chance for a redirection of the United States and perhaps the entire world from the wrong paths that have been followed for far too long. President Sanders will inaugurate a new era for America: one of peace, prosperity, and essential human dignity.
This letter also appeared in the print edition, 'Old Cracks in New Mirrors'.