by Ron Gavalik on February 12th, 2016

That's it. Over the course of the past nine months, progressives have debated war and peace, healthcare, prison reform, police reform, and multiple other issues. We've fought hard. Hillary's supporters and Bernie's supporters have done their digging. We've all had our say. In that time, one thing has become abundantly clear: Bernie Sanders has proven himself.

I know for some of you this may be difficult to accept. Clinton is the first serious female candidate in any U.S. political party for the presidency. I get it. We all eventually want this. But Clinton is simply not the right candidate for this time in our society. This is a time where police departments must be trained to restrict lethal force, as presented in Erica Garner's video (above). This is a time where Wall Street needs to be reigned in after their fraudulent actions impoverished entire segments of the population. This is a time where we need seemingly endless wars to end. Clinton, by all possible measurements, is simply not the leader for our time.

But I know someone who is ready, and his name is Bernie Sanders.

We are locked in a real struggle to ensure justice. Our weapons are intellect, truth, and compassion. It's time, brothers and sisters. It's time for us to stand up for the downtrodden. It's time for us to look out for our neighbors. After all, if regular people don't take care of each other, no one else will.

It's time for progressives to unite.
Let's make it happen!
We can do this.

by Ron Gavalik on February 10th, 2016

I'm not ready to sell
my tarnished soul
It's all I have
Peddle your false idols
to your thirsty
false followers
I'll pursue truth

by Ron Gavalik on February 1st, 2016

Oh, Iowa. Today you have the chance to shape the world for the next four years. I am begging you from the bottom of my heart to do the right thing for your fellow Americans and caucus for Bernie Sanders.

I know many of you feel burned (not Berned) from the past eight years. Barack Obama promised us expanded Social Security, a fight for universal healthcare, and a real infrastructure bill to put people back to work. I too feel let down. During the summer of 2008 I decided to become a political activist. In a role generally reserved for college kids, I spent several sweaty and futile afternoons hauling my 35-year-old ass up and down the residential hills of Monroeville, Pennsylvania (hillbilly Pennsyltucky, as we call it). Most of the doors I knocked on were opened by suburban white men and women in khaki shorts. Most of these people were polite, yet completely unmovable in their support for John McCain and his incomprehensible sidekick.

When Obama won, we all believed he would save us from the neoconservatives and neoliberals who profited off of our backs for 40 years. Little did we know the billion dollar candidate would sell off our futures to the 'too big to fail' banks and the aristocracy of insurance companies. Don't get me wrong. I don't dislike the president. By and large he is a fair-minded guy. He's done some good work on student loan debt, consumer protections, and multiple other initiatives. But he never truly fought for the social programs and worker rights we as a people so desperately require, the policies he promised us he'd champion.

Now we have another Senator promising expanded Social Security, a fight for universal healthcare, and a real infrastructure bill to put people back to work. Some of you may feel pessimistic. Some of you may feel angry. Some of you may even believe Bernie is a liar.

But Bernie Sanders is not a liar. I've followed his floor speeches in the Congress for years. Yes, I am a political nerd and I'm not afraid to admit it. If there's one thing I can tell you about Bernie, he is honest. Bernie is for real. Bernie doesn't back down. Bernie is even a legislative hero. He is known as the amendment king for ensuring smooth passage of progressive amendments in tons of legislation. Bernie really is a good man.

Humor me, would you? I want you to watch this speech Bernie gave back in the early spring of 2015 before he decided to run for president. The speech is titled, How to Solve America's Biggest Problems. It's a long video, at about 46 minutes. If you want, skip around a bit. But please watch it. I promise, even if you choose not to support his candidacy, you will at least feel better equipped to take on the world.
Once more, my friends. Once more we can join together and work for the policies that will truly help our lives and the lives of the people we love. If the above video reached you, I am asking again that you please help me elect Bernie Sanders.

I'm sure some of you support Hillary Clinton. I don't mean to insult you, but unfortunately, she advocates policies that cut down the memory of Dr. King: denouncing Medicare for all. She also uses fear tactics to turn the public against FDR's success by her openness to cut Social Security when it desperately needs to be expanded. Her positions rip my heart out. The Clintons are neoliberals (privatization advocates), and it has become apparent to me neoliberalism is precisely why people are poorer today than they were 40 years ago.

It takes courage to fight the temptations of pessimism and cynical hatred. Clinton's campaign line is that we really need a president 'who will get things done.' You have no reason to believe me, but I am here to tell you, that person is Bernie Sanders, accompanied by our collective Revolution of young, middle-aged, and seniors, millions of people who are ready to work for the policies we should have had 50 years ago.

It's up to you, Iowa. If you're true to our cause, I believe deep in my heart that Bernie will win the nomination. If you stay home tonight, we as a society will certainly lose. Other state contests will become that much harder for the campaign to gain the needed momentum to succeed nationally.

The choice is yours. I'll leave you to it.

by Ron Gavalik on January 31st, 2016

I held the door open
She looked at the ground
and walked
past me
I didn't feel anger
only the sad truth
We live and breathe

by Ron Gavalik on January 26th, 2016

You don't know me.
I’m warning you now,
don't even consider knowing me
or pretend to know me.
I've beaten lesser men
and poisoned the hearts
of lesser women
for trying to know me.

I am aggressively alone
in distant observation,
away from unpredictable friends
who often transform into
entirely predictable enemies.

Alone is my simple form of silent tranquility
with my thoughts and my words
and my unfulfilled dreams.

Alone is the dark silhouette
of a single Canadian goose
that stands majestically
on the shore of the summer river
below the orange city skyline at dusk.

Alone is the smell
of your old leather jacket
and a soft kiss
that partially wakes me
before you leave
in the early morning
to never return.