While Bernie Sanders supporters are beginning the mourning process for their candidate’s hopes of becoming the Democratic nominee, it’s important that they keep the flame he ignited alive.
Sanders has undoubtedly taken this election by storm, and he has begun something that is far bigger than himself.
Despite the many counterarguments to his claims for free higher education, free healthcare, properly taxing corporations, or moving away from fossil fuel and oil industries that heavily corrupt the U.S. political system, Sanders has proven himself to be a genuine politician who cares not only for the people of today but of tomorrow as well.
His raw authenticity, and level of outspokenness are scarce commodities to come by in Washington. Sanders still remains to be the only candidate on the national stage who has perpetually fought against what is the crux of all political corruption: Citizens United.
The fact that Sanders has made it this deep into a presidential race and shaken up a major political party all without a Super PAC is not only beyond unprecedented, but it has differentiated real-life convictions from a routinely hollow political agenda.
Sanders does not deliver lip service, he walks the walk.
What the other side has utterly failed to see about the appeal of Sanders is that it’s not about the “free stuff” Americans want. For the most part, people understand these changes are not immediate and could not simply be put into effect overnight, or possibly may not even reach full fruition. Rather, it’s about the sheer willingness and courage to fight against a system that has oppressed its own people. A system that has made income inequality, lobbying, environmental neglect, bailouts funded by hard working taxpayers, endless foreign affairs that have cost those same taxpayers immeasurable sums of money that has done nothing but exacerbate the terrorism seen in the world today, the norm.
Sanders has preached a humanistic, rational ideology that is very well respected and closely reciprocates that of many other nations, but here he is viewed as a “radical” simply because the American people have been indoctrinated and compromised by obstructionist politics. It’s the fact that someone finally has sung the tune that has fallen on all but deaf ears for decades.
From here, it is up to the followers of Sanders to not be silenced, for if they go quiet, Sanders’ revolution will have been for nothing.
There is a silver lining to everything, and in this instance, it is the inspiring, fed-up attitude that has proven to be the mantra of the 2016 election. Whether one agrees with Sanders or not on his fundamental issues, his fight for justice in America, the rest of the world, and equal opportunity for all is commendable. Failing to continue to sustain these ideals would be a disservice.
Although the outcome of this election for many may feel like a blow, it should not be defeating.
Instead, it should galvanize the American society to engage in open dialogue about the real issues this country faces. Maybe Sanders’ policies would not have panned out, but shining the light on many problems that were often blatantly avoided is something to be proud of.
Photo by Phil Roeder
Charlie May recently graduated from the Ramapo College of New Jersey, receiving a Bachelor's Degree in Journalism. His main focus is politics, national security, foreign affairs, money in politics, and investigative pieces. He hopes to bring a fresh, unique perspective to Bold.