Feeling the Bern

by Jessica Zhu on 2016-06-15 21:20:50 PDT
On the door to my bedroom there is a sticker. It's blue, with large white text stretching across the whole of it, and two streaks, one white and the other red, underneath. The text says "Bernie 2016" and I see it every morning when I walk out the door.

Image result for bernie 2016 logo
Sanders is the candidate that I have chosen to support this presidential election. His story both inspires and impresses me, and, compared to the rest of the candidates, I believe that he is the best choice for the position.

It is quite the euphemism to say that Bernie Sanders was given a rough start, both in the real world and in the world of politics.

Growing up in Vermont with his parents and brother in a three and a half room rent controlled apartment, Sanders never had a whole lot of money. His father, a Polish immigrant whose family had been largely affected by the Holocaust, sold paint. His mother passed away when he was just 18 years of age. Nevertheless, he attended the University of Chicago, and graduated in 1964. However, even with a prestigious degree, Sanders was not able to support himself. It wasn't for 40 long and hard years before he'd managed to collect his first steady paycheck, and, even then, it was only a government check. Sanders' friends described him as a slob who'd kept a messy apartment. They said that he was "always poor" and that his "electricity was turned off a lot." It seemed that the only thing Sanders was really good at was arguing his theories about socialism and how the rich were ripping everybody off. "The whole quality of life in America is based on greed,"he once said. "I believe in the redistribution of wealth in this nation." Little did he know at the time how much he would come in the next couple of decades.

After going through a divorce, having a kid with another woman out of wedlock, starting a political socialist party, badly losing four statewide elections with always just single digit support, and being evicted from his home in Burlington, Vermont, Sanders moved in with a friend named Richard Sugarman. Sugarman later recalled that many mornings, instead of "Good morning!" or "How did you sleep?" he would simply be greeted by Sanders saying,"We're not crazy." That was in the late 1970's. In 1981, after moving out and finding a new home, Sanders was elected mayor of Burlington, Vermont's largest city.

This led the way to a new political career, where Sanders was elected Senator of Vermont in 2006, finally finding his place in the United States Congress. Now, a candidate in the 2016 presidential elections, Sanders has given both Clinton and the Republican Party a run for their money. His story truly demonstrates the passion, patience, and perseverance that he has.
The struggles that Sanders faced in his earlier life greatly reflect on his current political stance. A socialist, Sanders wants to break up the country's largest banks, double the minimum wage, provide the entire country with free Medicare, and make college free for everybody. He plans to combat climate change for the better of the environment, produce a fair and humane immigration policy which other candidates such as Trump have fought against, provide affordable housing, fight for women's rights, disability rights, and lgbt+ equality, and create a an AIDS and HIV free generation. Sanders may just prove to be the candidate who changes American politics for good.

From the senior who lost the campaign for class president to who he is today, Sanders' path is extremely impressive and he is truly an inspiration for youth across the world. His plans as president will greatly influence our current society, and I personally believe that he has the power to change America for the better. But the most important message that Sanders sends is that here, in America, anything is possible, as long as you work hard for it.

Image result for bernie sanders smiling
By: Jessica Zhu


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