What Would We Do Without Bernie?

-by Carol Wolman

As I watch Bernie battle ceaselessly for a better life for all of us, and a better future for our children, I reflect on the man and his career. At age 80, he is the main senator pushing for the Biden agenda, which Bernie was instrumental in crafting.

He is a shining example for the young people of our country, a beacon of hope in dark times. Consider:

· His campaign slogan “Not me, us.”-- This is a wonderful answer to Trump’s “It’s all about ME!” Bernie is making it clear that he has no desire to be a demagogue. Rather, he has fostered a movement of the people over the last 10 years that has pushed the Democratic Party to the left, and changed American politics.

His slogan also encourages all of us to see ourselves as part of a citizenry with obligations to all the people, rather than as selfish individuals.

· His independence-- Bernie has always called himself a socialist, except when he was running for president, at which time he had to join the Democratic Party to be on the ticket. Thus he is not answerable to party leadership or internal politics. No longer a candidate, he is again calling himself a socialist. By not accepting corporate donations, he has stayed clear of the lobbyists, and can work for the people who fund his campaigns.

· His flexibility-- When Biden won the nomination for the 2020 election, Bernie immediately started pushing him to take on the entire progressive agenda. He was successful, but the Build Back Better Act ran into Sinema and Manchin, Democrats obstructing the program. Bernie has been tireless in pushing the original agenda, challenging Manchin, going to the public for support, even in West Virginia.

· His energy and perseverance-- Bernie puts out a statement, a video or an oped nearly every day. He’s 80 years old (Pelosi is 81, Biden 78), yet appears to be indefatigable.

· His integrity-- one of the very few incorruptible politicians. He has been in Congress for 30 years, and has consistently pushed for his progressive agenda, impervious to the army of lobbyists that swarm Congressional halls. We can trust Bernie.

· His dedication to the people-- Bernie is always looking out for the little people, who tend to be underrepresented. Medicare for all, forgiveness of student loans, voting rights for prisoners-- his compassion is boundless.

· His courage-- Bernie does not hesitate to speak truth to power. He took his campaign to the heart of Trump country-- Liberty College. He put an op-ed in the West Virginia papers about Manchin. He calls a spade a spade, Trump a liar, Manchin a pawn of lobbyists.

· His passion-- Bernie has his heart on his sleeve, with no holding back. He cares deeply about making the changes he pushes for, knows the stakes, and puts out warnings about the times we are in as no other politician does.

Thank God for Bernie Sanders.