Thank You, Bernie.

A response to Bernie Sanders ending his Presidential campaign.

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Photo via Bernie Sanders on Instagram

Today, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders has suspended his political campaign.

It is difficult to know where to begin.

Never in my life did I imagine I would shed a tear over a political campaign. Never in my life did I imagine I would be so affected by a politician. Never in my life did I imagine I would be so driven by a political movement. I will save the raw anger for another time. I will address all the reasons why I think this has happened at a later date. For now, I just want to take a moment to process my genuine grief and thank Bernie Sanders, his campaign, and his volunteers for what they have built.

For forty years Bernie has carried the weight of the concerns and the pain of the working class in the United States on his shoulders, fighting for the best interests of the American people consistently and unapologetically even when it was unpopular to do so. Bernie Sanders is not a once in a generation leader he is once in a lifetime, and I cannot thank him enough for building the foundation of something that will extend far beyond this single Presidential campaign. I am eternally grateful for everything Bernie has done to bring the policies Americans deserve out of the margins.

Leaders are not saviors, and as painful as today may feel I can’t help but carry the young organizers with me in my thoughts. Young people who found a sense of community and visions for the future with the Sanders campaign, fighting for it before they were even old enough to vote. In all movements a torch gets passed, and I find solace in the fact that while the fight for the Presidency may have ended, Bernie is not going anywhere and neither are his ideas or his base. Among Bernie’s supporters are hundreds if not thousands of future leaders, ready to continue onward and remain relentless until we succeed.

We have won the ideological debate, and in all seriousness the only thing that’s fueling my drive to continue with this movement is the fact that the old ways are existing with borrowed time. The battle has been lost but we will win the war. It is thanks to the determination and resolve that Bernie continues to instill in me that I have the courage to keep looking forward, and I know he will, too. I feel privileged to have come in to the adult world at a moment when a leader like Bernie is reminding each and every single one of us of our worth, what we deserve, and what’s out there to fight for if we refuse to give up.

Words spoken by Brazil’s leftist leader Lula De Silva before he was held as a political prisoner have come to mind today, and feel more relevant than ever.

He said:

“Those in power can kill one, two, or three roses, but they will never be able to stop the coming of spring…”

The fight goes on, because we owe it to each other and to the movement that Bernie has built to continue.

Written by

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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