Not long ago Bernie Sanders, one of Vermont’s senators, announced he was running for president. It was a bold move. He immediately was pronounced the underdog and the media paid some attention. He is a United States senator, so I guess they had to pay attention. I was happy about it. Bernie Sanders is a straight-talking, take-action kind of guy. He understands that he represents all of our small state, as well as the nation, and that the nation has a whole lot of people in it. He works to truly represent as many people as he can.
This is from his website, Berniesanders.com:
The American people must make a fundamental decision. Do we continue the 40-year decline of our middle class and the growing gap between the very rich and everyone else, or do we fight for a progressive economic agenda that creates jobs, raises wages, protects the environment and provides health care for all? Are we prepared to take on the enormous economic and political power of the billionaire class, or do we continue to slide into economic and political oligarchy? These are the most important questions of our time, and how we answer them will determine the future of our country.
Politicians talk all the time about change, and often they seem to dance around the issues. Bernie is a bad dancer. He stomps right in. Could this be bad for his presidential bid? Of course. Many things will be said about him that turn what he says into something it isn’t. But I am betting, and I imagine he is as well, that that is OK, that his message and what he stands for and the work he wants to do will matter more than the ugliness of presidential campaigns.
The photo above is from the Memorial Day parade in Vergennes last Monday. That right there is Bernie Sanders. He is wearing a regular jacket; I swear he wore that in the last parade in which I saw him, and I missed this same parade last May. He is wearing running shoes. His baseball cap is in hand, his hair the usual muss. Even his pants are not ironed. That is just the thing here–he is tidy enough and respectful, but in no way pretentious. He does not pretend to be someone he is not. He dons the suit and tie when appropriate but here, where he stops to hug his constituents and to take photos with those who ask, he wears something comfortable. He cares more about wealth inequality than he cares about the Windsor knot.
In this photo, his wife, Jane, is walking behind him. I am not sure what she was doing with her phone. Maybe she was tweeting “Mem Day Parade w/Bernie @Berniesanders. Need to remind him to iron pants!” but that is just a guess on my part.