A Letter to Bernie Sanders

Dear Bernie,

First, I hope you don’t mind me calling you Bernie.  You have from the start of your campaign felt like one of us.  Something no other candidate has been able to pull off.  So many presidential candidates seem so out of touch with the large majority of the population, and so the first thing I want to thank you for is being is so accessible to so many of us.  Hell, you even flew coach.  At the age of 42 I find that exhausting and I’m not doing the intense amount of traveling and campaigning that you were. This is just one of the many things I have to thank you for in this letter.

I want to thank you for running a brilliant campaign.  You used social media in a way that no other candidate has done before. To communicate with young people and get them excited about politics (as they should be) is important.  I also know it was a way to get attention that the corporate media wasn’t going to give you.  I imagine the excitement you could have generated in this nation if you had been given similar exposure as your democratic running mate and the progress that could have been made if you were elected.  You certainly deserved it and exposed the fact that the media isn’t trying to respond to the will of the people, but trying to bend the will of the people towards their narrative.

I want to thank you for running a clean campaign.  You made it clear right from the beginning that you had a message and that you wanted to talk about the issues.  You didn’t attack your opponents with meaningless minutia, but gave fair and substantive criticism of their political positions, policies and plans. It’s easy to get disappointed by the election process when it seems like slinging mud at each other is something that has to be done if you want to get elected.  When it seems like pandering has to be part of the process.  You generated so much support by being an honest politician and simply talking about the problems that you would have to face for the job you hoped to be elected for.  I hope that you will be an inspiration for politicians in the future, because we quite simply need more who run their campaign the way you have.

I want to thank you for not using a SuperPAC.  The marriage between big business and government has to end and you lived that message during your campaign.  You depended on support from the people, the unions fighting for the people, and you did amazingly well.  The fact that you gained so much support and won so many hearts without playing by the rules that so many politicians today feel they have to play by gives me some hope for the future of this nation.  You are the only candidate who took the term “public servant” to heart, instead of being the “corporate pawn.”

By not being bought, I want to thank you for always having the courage of your convictions.  You have a long history of political consistency.  This is rare in of itself, and I am sure you had many advisers suggesting that you waver from that in order to get elected.  Even close friends might have suggested that, just knowing the good you could do if elected, but you took the high road and trusted that if being true to yourself got you this far, it might even get you to the highest office of the nation.  Whether we like or dislike a candidate we deserve a group of people to vote for who are exactly who they appear to be.  Gandhi famously said “Be the change you want to see in the world.”  You seem to have always lived by that creed.  I am so grateful for that, because I simply thought that candidates like you didn’t exist anymore.

That face. The kind he’d give to the media when they were asking pointless questions. 🙂

Finally, I want to thank you for changing the conversation.  You were substantive and intelligent when talking about the issues.   It may be that there are different or even better solutions to our problems but you never backed down from an honest conversation about them.  You changed the conversation from one that was divisive to one that was inclusive.  You talked in red states.  You talked at Liberty University.  You avoided talking about religion, which has no business being in our political system, but more importantly, because you knew that regardless of one’s individual beliefs we must focus on our common aims than our differences.  We must realize that there is more that binds us than separates us.  You showed political courage even when you didn’t have to for the simple reason that you wanted to suture the tear that seems to be worsening and threatens to move the people of this nation further apart.  You genuinely want to help all citizens of this country, you care about the oppressed, the marginalized, and the unlucky.  You demonstrated so much compassion and integrity.  We sink or swim together and you seem to be the only one who really gets that.

My heart is broken that you didn’t win.  However, my heart is lightened by what you accomplished in this primary.  When a virtuous and honest man comes to the fore it forces a lot of people to ask questions about their own character and so I hope that even if you can’t be president, the greater thing you accomplished was that you created a better political climate going forward.  We need that combination of empathy and courage from the men and woman who want to be political leaders in our country going forward.  Thank you for being an example for those who follow you.

Sincerely,
Swarn Gill

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16 thoughts on “A Letter to Bernie Sanders

  1. Bernie’s role is far from over. The real battle comes in getting sympathetic candidates elected all down the line. Otherwise, we’re stuck with Citizens (sic) United. That means emphatically dumping Trump and the GOP, for starters.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Agreed. I’ve read also how he is working on setting up future candidates to carry on his work, and he will still be a bulldog in the Senate. I simply wanted to pay homage to his presidential run, because in all my time in following politics I haven’t found a politician I respected more. Thank you for your comment!

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Swarn, I truly, truly hope you actually send this letter. It is outstanding! It says what soooo many of us think and feel.

    My heart is heavy that he had to concede and endorse HC. She falls so far short of his honesty, integrity, character, compassion, and his single-minded desire to unite the people towards a better, more honest, country.

    It is a sad day indeed.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. THank you Nan. I posted it on his facebook page, but couldn’t find an address to send it to. I guess now that I think about it, one should simply be able to send it to him as a senator. I shall do that. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Swarn, you really are gifted in transmuting your thoughts into text.

    “The fact that you gained so much support and won so many hearts without playing by the rules that so many politicians today feel they have to play by gives me some hope for the future of this nation.”

    Hear, hear!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Sanders there in the States, Corbyn here in Britain – we need such people desperately as the centrist argument falls away and The Right make their play. Great letter, Swarn; you speak eloquently for millions.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Hariod for that kind compliment. I’m liberal and I make no bones about it, but I don’t pretend like my political philosophy has all the solutions…so I want other points of view in the political process. It’s healthy. But I also want transparency and honesty, and so regardless of what side of the political aisle one sits, if one has the superior political position it shouldn’t require deceit. We need true public servants in politics.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well, that’s it precisely: we need other points of view, some counter-balance to the centrist argument that follows in obeisance free market Capitalism, Neoliberalism, call it what we will. Life should be more than a striving towards efficiency and competition, and surely the subjective experience of citizens has a place in the equation? I don’t think anyone quite knows the answer yet, but increasingly it’s becoming clear that this isn’t working.

        Liked by 2 people

  5. Although I don’t fully understand super PACs, I thought that they were independent of campaigns and therefore beyond the control of candidates. I also thought that some nurses union had a super PAC and spent $500 000 promoting Bernie Sanders.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes and no. So there are rules for superPACs, but there are plenty of candidates who find workarounds. No candidate can prevent a superPAC from forming in their favor, but many candidates are pretty open about using superPACs places for large donations to go to, since individual donations to the candidate are limited, but not to the superPAC. Here is a good article that explains it. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/super-pac-coordination_us_56463f85e4b045bf3def0273

      If you want to watch a funny clip about it…you can do that here. 🙂 http://www.cc.com/video-clips/66y7dx/the-colbert-report-colbert-super-pac-shh—-secret-second-501c4—trevor-potter

      Liked by 2 people

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