Honestly, I Feel a Little Betrayed by Bernie Sanders.

I still respect him and his work, but it’s hard not to feel let down.

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Photo via Bernie Sanders on Instagram

Wrapping my mind around the events of the past couple of months has been difficult to say the least, one of them being that Bernie Sanders ultimately made the decision to exit the Presidential primary and endorse Joe Biden. Given everything that has transpired since he made the decision to suspend his campaign, I’ve been conscious of the fact that at least a part of me feels somewhat betrayed by Bernie Sanders.

Don’t get me wrong. I still have unwavering respect for the work Bernie has done throughout the course of his career in politics, and I am grateful for his campaigns because if nothing else they woke me, and millions of other people up. He has almost singlehandedly changed the entire national discourse around issues such as healthcare and student debt, and there’s no denying he’s certainly left a positive mark on the way Americans think about these issues. But I would be lying if I didn’t feel at least a little bit let down by some of the decisions he has made in recent weeks.

For years, Bernie has claimed that our government should belong to the people, and be moved by the desires of the constituents as opposed to the powerful corporate interests. So I can’t help wondering why — if he truly believes those things — he succumbed to the pressure of the DNC, Obama, a handful of advisors, and Joe Biden’s campaign, and dropped out of the race when the overwhelming majority of his supporters wanted him to stay in? It’s been a little tiring to hear him continuously rail against the powerful special interests when he ultimately gave them their desired outcome, not even staying in the race long enough to have much of a sway at the convention where he could have made significant positive changes to the Democratic Party platform.

A movement has no saviors, only leaders, and to say that Bernie Sanders has been an imperfect vessel for the message he carries would be an understatement to say the least. But as disappointing as it was to see him exit the race in spite of the will of his base, what’s left me feeling betrayed more than anything else is his refusal to retract his endorsement of Joe Biden, full well knowing of the credible sexual assault allegations against him. Allegations he was asked about even before he exited the race.

The American people should not have to choose between two people with credible sexual assault allegations against them as their only viable options for the Presidency, and in dropping out of the race Bernie has left us in this position. For someone who has spent years talking about taking on the establishment of both political parties and starting a political revolution, he folded far easier than he should have. Not only that, but he folded at a time when we needed him the most. To see him put his allegiance to Joe Biden above these allegations that will only continue to haunt him is something I’m not sure I will ever be able to forgive.

Nevertheless, what Bernie started continues. But we are far angrier than even he might realize, and I’m not sure the next leader that comes along will be quite so polite and willing to bend their knee.

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Lauren is a writer & leftist with analysis on topics related to politics & policy. She can be reached at LaurenMartinchek@gmail.com or Twitter @xlauren_mx

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