It’s Always Been Bernie.

The guy is a rock, and that’s exactly what we need.

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Photo via Bernie Sanders on Instagram

Bernie was not even on the debate stage the night of June 26th, but his presence there was felt arguably above almost all others.

Why?

Because everything he has spent his entire elected career fighting for was the center of the whole event. Bernie was able to set the whole tone of a debate he wasn’t even participating in, and I can think of nothing else that serves as a deeper indicator of just how strong his movement has become in just the last three years alone.

Why? Because it has not changed in over forty years. Google virtually any issue within the context of the United States, whether it be the rigging of the economy or foreign policy, you’ll find some indication that Bernie was on the side of the people, speaking truth to power often in situations where he proved himself to be far ahead of his time.

In 1972, Bernie Sanders was arguing in favor of abortion rights. Fast forward a few decades and he was one of the only people in our government sounding the alarm, opposing war in Iraq. Fast forward even further to 2015, when Bernie was scoffed at during a debate for identifying Climate Change as the greatest threat facing the United States. Now to the present, when during the first democratic debate among some of his opponents, a majority of them said the same thing. All of it culminates in to the heart of the reason why he has been able to draw so many people in, regardless of where they find themselves ideologically. Whether you agree with him or not, you can’t help but trust him.

Bernie has his finger on the pulse of everything that this nation is evolving in to, and has been able to resonate with young people in a way that I’m not even sure he imagined would be possible. He’s speaking to and listening to a newer generation of voters who have otherwise often felt like no one in our government wanted to hear.

What has really cemented Bernie Sanders in my mind as a once in a generation sort of individual was his speech on democratic socialism. In fact, I would argue that it’s perhaps his best speech he’s given in recent years. In the speech, he states that:

“…It is my very strong belief that the United States must reject that path of hatred and divisiveness — and instead find the moral conviction to choose a different path, a higher path, a path of compassion, justice and love.

It is the path that I call democratic socialism.

Over eighty years ago Franklin Delano Roosevelt helped create a government that made transformative progress in protecting the needs of working families. Today, in the second decade of the 21st century, we must take up the unfinished business of the New Deal and carry it to completion. This is the unfinished business of the Democratic Party and the vision we must accomplish. In order to accomplish that goal, it means committing ourselves to protecting political rights, to protecting civil rights — and to protect economic rights of all people in this country.

…Now let’s be clear: while President Trump and his fellow oligarchs attack us for our support of democratic socialism, they don’t really oppose all forms of socialism. They may hate democratic socialism because it benefits working people, but they absolutely love corporate socialism that enriches Trump and other billionaires.

…Let us never forget the unbelievable hypocrisy of Wall Street, the high priests of unfettered capitalism. Overnight, Wall Street became big government socialists and begged for the largest federal bailout in American history — some $700 billion from the Treasury and trillions in support from the Federal Reserve.

…When Trump attacks socialism, I am reminded of what Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “This country has socialism for the rich, rugged individualism for the poor.” And that is the difference between Donald Trump and me. He believes in corporate socialism for the rich and powerful. I believe in a democratic socialism that works for the working families of this country.”

We have the next F.D.R. running for President, and for the life of me I cannot understand why so many of us are missing it.

When we think about issues like healthcare, ending senseless wars, taking on Wall Street, or ending the corruption just to name a few, Bernie is the only candidate who has been there since the very beginning like a solid rock. Unlike so many of his colleagues he is not there to tell us about all the things we should but cannot have. He is there to tell us that we can and should have the right to demand better.

Bernie has been the catalyst of a seismic shift to the left within the Democratic Party, and as much as those in positions of power within it may despise him now, the history books will give him the credit for leading the movement that saved it. And perhaps the very best thing about all of it is that absolutely none of this is about him, but about the people he has spent his entire political career fighting for.

At least within the context of the primary season, I cannot in good conscience support any one over him. It’s Bernie. It’s always been Bernie, and while I might be naive I can’t help but cling to the hope that come November 2020, all of his efforts and the efforts of his base will have finally come to fruition. A President is supposed to be there to represent the best interests of the American people, and no one is more likely to do that to the best of his ability than Bernie Sanders.

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