Democrats Don’t Deserve Bernie Sanders.
In the aftermath of a primary that I will never forget, I would never fault Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders for doing exactly what he had told us he was going to do from the very beginning. Even when he was on the precipice of victory I knew that no matter what, he was going to do everything he could to defeat Donald Trump. Still, on an entirely personal level that doesn’t make watching him work so hard to campaign for a political party that despises him, and a candidate who doesn’t want to be associated with him or his message at all any less painful to see.
At this point, it is an objective reality that no one is working harder to get Joe Biden elected than Bernie. In fact, I would argue that Bernie is working harder for a Biden victory than Biden is himself. I know how critical this election is, and based on not just his words but his actions as well, anyone paying attention can see that Bernie views it as critical, too. Again, my issue is not that Bernie is doing exactly what he has been saying he was going to do since he announced his run, and working hard to get Donald Trump out of office. The humanity in me just wishes he wasn’t risking his health and safety to do a thankless job.
I still remember when for $30, the Biden campaign was selling a T shirt that read:
Joe & Beto & Amy & Pete & Mike & Cory & Kamala & Me Beat Trump.
I find it as depressing as it is predictable that the one person not included on that shirt is the one working harder than every single person listed on it to get Joe Biden elected.
Bernie is on the campaign trail in person, holding socially distanced rallies on behalf of Joe Biden. I’m sure I’m not the only one a little bit bothered by the idea that Bernie could quite literally contract coronavirus on the campaign trail, all for a political party that in all likelihood — if Joe Biden were to lose — would have a number of operatives and pundits still insisting he didn’t do enough to ensure their victory in November.
That being said, the truly remarkable thing is that at least on some level, Bernie has to know this. And yet, that doesn’t stop him — a better person than I will ever be — from doing everything he can, despite knowing that he will be the fall guy anyways. He has to know that if Biden wins there will indefinitely be pundits declaring that he won without and even in spite of Bernie’s base. He has to know if Biden loses they will insist it’s his fault and that he simply did not put forth enough effort to “unite the party”.
It’s objectively a bit more difficult to “unite” his base around a candidate who will declare that he “defeated the socialist” the second he is given a reason to say so. Still, that doesn’t deter Bernie from trying.
It’s often interesting to consider what it would be like if the shoe was on the other foot, and this instance is no exception. I can’t help wondering if any of the other candidates he shared a debate stage with throughout the primaries would be willing to work this hard for Bernie? Would any of them be willing to put forth this kind of effort on Bernie’s behalf if he was the nominee? After demanding it from Bernie from the very beginning, would they have offered it for him as well? At this point — if we’re being honest with ourselves — we all know the answer is absolutely not.
The Democratic party does not deserve Bernie Sanders, and they never will.
Democrats do not deserve his energy or the energy of his base, but that has not stopped Bernie from doing everything he can to deliver it for them because he genuinely cares. As painful as it is to see, it’s impossible not to admire his sincerity in a political landscape so devoid of any honest principles or concern for the masses. I just hope some day he gets the credit he truly deserves not just for his tireless, thankless work, but the spark he ignited when he dared to tell us that we should expect better.
I’m not sure I will ever forget what an opportunity we lost.