Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Bernie Who?

I love this headline: Bernie Sanders just easily won the New Hampshire primary. It's a remarkable achievement.

It is remarkable. Almost unbelievable. I'm flabbergasted.

I'm not used to politicians I whole-heartedly support actually winning! It's amazing how progressive our country has become in just a few short years. I remember back in 2008, when Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and Dennis Kucinich were competing for the Democratic nomination, I actually intended to vote for Kucinich, but I changed my mind once I got to the caucus and saw only one other supporter in the room full of hundreds of people. The vote was close between Clinton and Obama, so I felt like it was more pragmatic to vote for Obama. I admire Hillary Clinton, but she's too much of a war hawk for me. So's Obama, but, you know, so are most people, and at least he was an out-spoken critic of the Iraq War while Hillary Clinton voted in support of the Iraq War while she was Senator of New York.

I recall telling some friends about my decision to vote pragmatically instead of idealistically and they asked me who I'd have voted for if I had the luxury of voting idealistically. I said, "Bernie Sanders!"

"Bernie Who?"

"Never mind. He'll never run. And if he did, he'd never win," I said. "He's a Democratic Socialist! He'd never get Americans to vote for him!"

I've never been happier to have been so wrong. Bernie Sanders won the New Hampshire primary today! And it is remarkable.

Back in 2008, when I'd fantasize about Bernie running for President, it seemed like such a long shot. Bernie wasn't even a United States Senator yet, but a Representative from Vermont. He'd been the mayor of Birmingham or Burlington or something like that. Living in Kansas myself, the only reason I'd heard of him was because I'd see him on Bill Maher and I respected everything that came out of his mouth. You can't say that about too many of Bill Maher's guests, or Bill Maher himself for that matter. He's one of those brilliant but arrogant people I don't really like but I like how they think. He's so irritating.

But not Bernie. Bernie's the best. He speaks and I nod my head. Yes. Yes! This guy gets it. And evidently lots of other people across this country are starting to get Bernie. It's so awesome to see Bernie get the recognition he deserves. It's so awesome to get the opportunity to vote for a person I truly believe in after so many years of settling for second best.