Bernie at podium
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Four years ago, progressive radio and talk-show host and author Thom Hartmann dedicated airtime to accepting calls from listeners who wished to deliver brief messages of gratitude to Senator Bernie Sanders.
Some openly sobbed.
All acknowledged the impact the Sanders campaign had on their lives, and expressed that because of Bernie's commitment, compassion, and tenacity, the progressive landscape at the end of the tumultuous 2016 primary season was stronger than ever.
Two years before, Sanders was branded "radical."
Pundits and beltway politicians accused his agenda calling for Medicare-for-all, free public college tuition, a complete transition away from fossil fuel consumption, a $15-dollar minimum wage, and requiring the wealthiest Americans to pay their fair share of taxes, as "unrealistic."
Since then these positions have become codified in the Democratic party platform, as have criminal justice reform, campaign finance reform, and other issues that previously either got passing mention or no mention at all, proving Americans overwhelmingly favor progressive positions on issues that most affect them, that those positions are not "radical," but ones that defined the Democratic party from the 1930s to the 1990s before the Democratic Leadership Council (DLC) "Third-Way" corporate takeover.
Sen. Sanders' historic primary challenge against Hillary Clinton in 2016 proved the term "Democratic Socialism" isn't the Boogie Man Cold War-era propaganda has always made it out to seem.
Last February, Sen. Sanders re-entered the political fray along with over a dozen other Democrats taking on the most corrupt administration in modern American history.
With his initial string of early primary successes in Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, Colorado, Utah, California, Washington, and his home state of Vermont, Sanders appeared to be coasting toward an inevitable nomination.
But things changed on "Super Tuesday" when former vice president Joe Biden started racking up wins across the South.
Sanders hung on.
But eventually, the delegate math combined with the coronavirus threatening the uncertainty of future primaries and the nomination process handed down an inevitable denouement.
I can't speak for all people or even all Sanders supporters, but if it weren't for Bernie, I wouldn't be the person I am today.
I was never a so-called "political" person.
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