Mar. 26, 2017

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Kalamazoo, MI

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Est. 1877

Election 2016

We Miss You Bernie!

Senator Bernie Sanders (via cnbc.com) Senator Bernie Sanders (via cnbc.com)
By

Seven months ago, Michigan voters cast their ballots in the primaries. Democrats chose, by a margin of less than 2%, that they would like to see Bernie Sanders, Vermont senator and populist icon, as their presidential nominee. Fast forward to the present day, and we Americans have watched in horror as a pair of egomaniacs, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, turn debate after debate into a political circus.

Bernie Sanders stood up for millions of people. Words like “tolerance” and “clean energy” and “tuition-free college” lit the fire in the hearts of young people and blue collar workers across our state and across this nation. He was standing up for the middle class, he was standing up to Wall Street executives who have abused corporate tax loopholes, he was even standing up to his own party by bucking the big-money backers pouring money into the pockets of his opponent. Or so we thought. Because now he’s sitting down, having lost a hard-fought campaign, one funded by regular folks who genuinely believed that he was the future of this nation.

Now, the fire in the hearts of those “feelin’ the Bern” is extinguished. The millions who rallied around the eccentric Socialist with a brand of bold idealism that seemed larger than life, have fallen in line to endorse Hillary Clinton, a woman, who for many, was the last person they wanted to see as their nominee, let alone their president. She’s power-hungry, no doubt about that, having been eyeing the Oval Office for the better part of three decades, but it’s not just her eagerness to claim power that scares away voters. People will claim she’s untrustworthy, that she’s self-interested, that she’ll start more wars than we should be fighting and drive the nation deeper into debt. But we have to vote for her.

It’s not just because Grandpa Bernie told us to. The choice is clear and for anyone to be undecided at this point in the election is beyond comprehension. Hillary Clinton adopted many of Bernie’s policies, although watered down and served with a heaping side of “not Bernie Sanders.” What she brings to the table is far more appealing than the ominous and reminiscently authoritarian “law and order” proposed by Donald Trump, a creature who deserves nothing more than to be reviled.

We miss you, Bernie. You filled us with hope, told us our dreams could come true if we held hands and sung Simon & Garfunkel. But the time for dreaming has passed. We’ll have to cross our fingers and see what happens next. Come November 8, it will be in the hands of American people. God have mercy on us all.

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