If this election cycle has taught me anything, it’s that America is ready for a radical change from the career politicians who seem to keep the corrupt aspects of our government alive.
Donald Trump was the answer for many Americans who seemed overlooked and forgotten by the political system. He appealed directly to those ready to take an upfront businessman over any politician who was tied to the silent rules of pandering to other interests in politics.
Bernie Sanders was the same answer for millions of us who have faced the struggles of being poor, a minority, or a woman in a political sphere that historically has only catered to the opposite.
However, as Donald Trump’s unorthodox campaign was built upon the unfiltered rhetoric of racism, sexism and Islamophobia that set him apart from other “politically correct” opponents, Bernie’s rhetoric has been rooted in the activism of always speaking out against those exact things in America.
This is why he still has my heart.
He is a man who has proven to stick to his convictions since the beginning of his career, a practical anomaly in the political world. Watching interviews featuring him after the election was over, I could see him with his grandfatherly presence console the country and urge us to fight on. Through media and Facebook, he’s used the recognition he’s gained to build a platform to speak out about events that other politician seem to gloss over.
Recently my Facebook feed has been filled with updates from his account shedding light on important issues and giving hope to those feeling defeated. He has called out President Obama for not working to protect protesters and end the building of the Dakota Access Pipeline. He gives voice to the issues which many of his supporters feel are ignored by career politicians.
Sanders has also told president-elect Donald Trump that he will work with him to better the country, but there can absolutely be no compromise on homophobia, sexism, racism, or hate of any kind. Instead of being so tied to a political party that he refuses to recognize its flaws, Bernie instead seems to be tied to the American people that he believes politicians of the country, such as him, should be protecting. This kind of resolute dedication and passionate voicing of issues makes him out to be a genuine person I can feel trust in.
This continued reputation of speaking out for the little guy still moves me.
As a low-income college student worried about debt and my ability to be prosperous in this country, Bernie Sanders seems to be the only politician who is truly worried for me too.
In my eyes, with his dedication and personal conviction, he is not just a politician, he is one of us.
Claire Harvey is a second-year literary journalism major. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.