The World Wide Web created a mythic, god-like being by the name of Senator Bernie Sanders who eerily reminds me of the men I tend to be interested in romantically. Despite the fact that the Vermont Senator does not appear to have a Bandcamp account that he promotes to anyone who will listen, his mega progressive ideology (not to mention his oversized glasses and messy hair) is strangely similar to the post-hipster dudes who jumped on the Bernie bandwagon, and many of whom have still refused to hop off. That being said, Sanders and I certainly had a fling last summer, peaking when I saw him speak live at a political rally.
Sanders and I certainly had a fling last summer, peaking when I saw him speak live at a political rally.
I fell head over heels, documenting our intimate experience, along with a few thousand others, on every social media outlet I could find. I become enthralled by what the Sanders campaign represented. Yet, despite our past it is time for me to move on and support a different candidate in the 2016 presidential election.
Deep down, I knew that Senator Sanders was ultimately not going to win the Democratic nomination. Yet, I still invested a square of my cinder block college dorm wall to a Sanders poster, a coveted spot on my MacBook air to a red white and blue bumper sticker, and most importantly my vote in the Democratic primary. Although I do not necessarily regret either my aesthetic or truly bureaucratic investment in the Sanders campaign, I have come to question my mindset throughout the long fought primary.
Prior to Secretary Hillary Clinton clinching the nomination, I explained my vote for Sanders in a way that utilized the exact type of rhetoric that Bernie’s campaign has depended on. In retrospect, I was probably a little less optimistic than the average Bernie supporter, especially taking into consideration that many of the initial supporters have continued to “feel the Bern”, even after Clinton captured the nomination. Nonetheless, I justified my investment in Sanders’ success by speaking grandiosely about the political revolution, and “just how radical” it would be if a true socialist candidate grabbed the nomination. And in Bernie’s defense, Clinton’s primary campaign struggled to generate the same type of rhetoric that Sanders thrived on. It was easy for me to cast my vote for Senator Sanders, partly because his campaign was using buzzwords that stuck. I truly do not believe that Clinton’s agenda is any less radical, progressive, or left-leaning than the foundation of Sanders’ campaign. But, her campaign certainly lacked the same type of impactful rhetoric that Sanders both created and executed beautifully. It does not surprise me that I fell in love with Sanders, or more accurately, I became infatuated by the rhetoric of his campaign. It was mesmerizing.
And it is not untrue that Sanders’ nomination would have been radical. Sanders’ nomination surely would have been revolutionary. It would have been impressive, powerful, and historical. But, it didn’t work out. As “woke” as my Twitter feed would have been, it simply wasn’t meant to be. Now I am focusing my sought-after millennial political attention (and vote) on what I think is meant to last.
Now I am focusing my sought-after millennial political attention (and vote) on what I think is meant to last.
Secretary Clinton is not what I typically look for and her meticulously crafted persona certainly does not parallel my youthful romantic endeavors. Furthermore, Clinton has yet to make a mixtape of lo-fi indie folk songs that remind her of me, let me wear her thrifted sweaters, or appreciate my ironic Internet humor. I don’t want to be in a relationship with Secretary Clinton’s mythic Internet presence, or possibly lack there of. But, at the end of the day, what political candidate will ever truly live up to that standard? Clinton will never compare to the virtual identity that is Senator Bernie Sanders because it is not real.
I am done chasing after a political campaign, person, or idea that does not exist or is not logistically feasible. Contrary to popular beliefs in the media, I do not think that my attention shift away from the Sanders campaign is an indication that I am any less liberal, idealistic, progressive, or revolutionary than I was last summer when I waved a Sanders campaign poster in the air and listened intently to the senator speak to the crowd. Rather, I am simply redirecting my investment, and most importantly my vote, to a candidate who is currently logistically capable of winning the election and who I can proudly see myself with for the next four years. For better or for worse, I am not embarrassed to announce that I am breaking up with Bernie, and am proud to announce that #ImWithHer.
Cover image via yahoo.com.