Before Bernie Sanders got into the Democratic race for president earlier this year, I was reluctant but ready to vote for Hillary Clinton. Granted, I’m still going to vote for her if she is the nominee (she is a hell of a lot better than anything Republicans seem able to offer), but Bernie Sanders really got me excited about the presidential race.
Despite the media’s constant focus on the latest outrageous thing Donald Trump or Ben Carson has said, Bernie Sanders has managed to excite the left like Barack Obama did in 2008. A few months ago, I attended an enthusiastic rally here in Louisiana that packed a convention center just outside of New Orleans. After that, I was 100 percent in for Bernie Sanders, and even donated to his campaign – the first time I’ve ever donated money to any political candidate. In addition to that, I am planning to switch my voter registration from “No Party Affiliation” to Democrat specifically so I can proudly vote for him in the primaries.
Whether he gets the nomination or not, Bernie Sanders has brought issues to the table that would have not been addressed had he not decided to join the race. He’s also gathered a devoted following on social media, including a regularly trending section of Reddit that has been raising money and support for his campaign.
According to Politico, Bernie Sanders never thought his run for president would come so far, yet here he is.
Sanders’ boiling impatience with the performance and fakery of modern presidential campaigns is what has made him an earthy, authentic alternative to Hillary Clinton. But that same honest streak is the very thing that holds Sanders back from mounting a focused counterattack against a front-runner whose resurgence has pundits talking again about inevitability heading into Saturday’s Democratic debate in Des Moines.
“He believes he knows what he’s doing … he’s got total confidence in his own ability,” said a veteran Sanders operative. “Overall, that’s great. But it can go a little too far. He’s yelling at everybody, telling them what he wants — but this is a guy, last time I checked, who never ran for president.” (Source)
Whether he wins or not, Bernie Sanders has done Democrats a huge favor by challenging Hillary Clinton and her presumptive walk to the White House.
A lot of us are tired of politics as usual, and my generation is tired of the cliché talking points that candidates from both parties parrot on a regular basis. We’ve watched the economy go from the boom years of the 1990s to the Great Recession of the Bush Administration, only to recover in recent years with all of the biggest benefits going to the top 1%. We’ve worked for major corporations that have pulled down record profits, while our wages and benefits have remained flat – or even cut for the sake of millionaire and billionaire shareholders.
Bernie Sanders is exciting those of us who want a better future not just for ourselves, but for our children and future generations. Bernie Sanders is reenergizing the left which sat out the last couple of elections because they thought that simply electing a Democrat to the White House was all they needed to do in order to turn this country around.
Ultimately, if Hillary Clinton wins the nomination as some experts have predicted, she and the establishment Democratic Party should thank Bernie Sanders for entering the race for president and getting the conversation to where it should be – she’ll be a much more formidable candidate because of it. He has brought the passion back that the left so desperately needs after years of slacktivism and apathy.
Whether or not Bernie Sanders is the next President of the United States, his campaign is reigniting the left. It’s up to us to take his message, and use it to change our country for the better. We have to do better than the status quo. We need to do better than the status quo.
On that note, if you’re somebody who is a Bernie Sanders supporter, now is the time to act. If you sit around hoping it’ll work itself out, to be quite honest, it probably won’t. If you can donate to his campaign, by all means consider doing so. If you don’t have the means, there are still other ways to make a difference. You can volunteer for his campaign by signing up here. Also, if you’re on Facebook, connect with some of the many groups or Bernie-centric Facebook pages like this one which do a great job of keeping us informed and updated on ways to help. Find out when your community is holding a Bernie event or organize one yourself. If we work on this together, we can still make President Bernie Sanders a reality.
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