The Self Made Man in the Last Great American Election

In our ASTU 100A class, we’ve viewed life narratives through many lenses, but I wanted to look at politics and the story of a man andideals he’s always fought for.

American politics is simultaneously the greatest show of democratic freedom and the biggest circus-like sideshow in the world today. It’s candidates, ranging from former First Lady Hillary Clinton to the controversial businessman Donald Trump have revealed the degredation to which the election process has suffered. It’s become a reality show, where we’ve become more interested in their hairstyles and emails than the actual issues at hand. However, there’s an outlier this election cycle and it’s his self-invention into a charismatic man who believes deeply in the equalization of the classes that grabs our attention and interests us in the issues at hand. The man in question is Senator Bernie Sanders.

Sanders was born in Brooklyn to Jewish immigrants in Poland in 1941. He was part of a working class family, and as a result of that began to involve himself in civil rights. Not only around his university but around the country, as evident by him being present at the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. Bernie has been quoted by the Guardian newspaper as seeing unfairness, which led to it being one of his main political inspirations. He’s been involved in political office since the 1970’s, only being part of the House of Representatives since the 1990’s, then switching to the U.S. Senate in 2006. Known for his status as an Independent as well as his own reverent ability to acknowledge the wrongdoings of both parties, he resisted against both Bush tax cuts and helped to advocate for a universal health care system.

While Bernie’s opinions and values seem to clash with other political parties and entire regions of the U.S., it’s his his continuing, endearing nature that makes many Americans, myself included, look to Sanders as the perfect candidate for this generation. His policies, actions, and history of advocacy against the economic elite make him the voice of college graduates, families, and young professionals from one coast to another. His record of voting against the status quo since the 1970’s allows us to trust him not only because we believe in what he says , but because of the evidence to affirm our own feelings.

Senator Sanders calls himself a democratic socialist, but in my opinion, I believe he’s a true democrat.  He is by definition a supporter of democracy in a society that I believe has all about done away with it. If Sanders is unable to receive the nomination, the greatness of the U.S. election system, it’s history as the once ideal system to which many other countries have modeled themselves is undoubtedly flawed, but nearly gone. It’s quite interesting actually, to see the self made man taking on the elites in what may be the last great American election where the restoration of democratic ideals may occur, or perhaps fade forevermore.


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