For the first time in my life, the California primary is sort of relevant, and I’m sort of annoyed. It turns out that I really dislike all those political rallies and news conferences and fundraisers and whatever else Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton are doing over here.
The fact that the primary matters has also made me question some beliefs I previously held about Bernie Sanders. Specifically, I’ve always believed that despite his mildly annoying campaign, he was staying in so he could share his message on income inequality and Wall Street.
But he’s still in the race, and I’ve slowly been witnessing the splintering of progressives in my city and in the country. And that raises the question: Was Bernie always in it to win it?
Now, of course anyone who runs for president is trying to win, but there are, I believe, varying levels of this. There’s the Hillary Clinton “You know I really want this” mentality, the Donald Trump “Joke until it’s not a joke” mentality, and the Ted Cruz “I’m going to be president even though everyone hates me” mentality.
Bernie’s mentality seemed to be “I want to be president, but as long as my message gets out, that’s okay”. I say “seemed” because as his campaign has progressed, he has shown himself more and more a sore loser who wanted the presidency more than he wanted his message to get out. Someone who wants his message to get out doesn’t accuse the primaries of being rigged, he says “at least the people heard what I have to say”. Someone who wants his message to get out doesn’t throw a hissy fit when he doesn’t win a state, or argue that the state was unfairly won in a way reminiscent of little children (“No that’s not fair! You can’t win more states than me!”). Someone who wants to get his message out concedes graciously, supports unity, and helps progressives stop the natural disaster that is Donald Trump’s hair (and Donald Trump too, I suppose) while still advocating for change and progress.
And so I have to wonder as more and more of my classmates with the same views find themselves more divided than ever whether Bernie really wanted to get his message out, or whether he saw an opportunity to grab power and influence and took it.
If you thought this sounded a lot like another article, that’s because it does, which you can find here. Also, the same policy goes, with a tiny change: I am welcoming of any opinion and argument as long as there’s no swearing involved. Furthermore, if you feel like insulting any candidate, creativity is appreciated (because let’s face it, $hillary was funny the first time, but now it’s way overused).