Berning Fire


Isabella Agnello

Bernie Sanders is commonly represented by a blue bird.

Isabella Agnello, Staff

Looking at the American political spectrum, society is divided. People cannot see eye to eye, and the 2020 presidential race is filled to the brim with a variety of runners. One of these candidates has received more attention than others. Bernie Sanders is a strong spoken progressive who wishes to steer the American people through the next phase of governmental and societal evolution by becoming the 46th President of the United States. Although critics perceive him as a loony old-timer who should not have a place in American politics, these criticizing comments have not derailed him before, nor will they stop him now. 

Sanders was born to Jewish parents, who struggled financially in Brooklyn, New York. After high school, he attended Brooklyn College before receiving a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Chicago. While a student, he became a part of the Civil Rights Movement as an organizer in the school’s Congress of Racial Equality. Sanders was also arrested in 1963 during a protest against segregation in Chicago’s South Side and West Side schools. Later that month, Sanders participated in the March on Washington, where over 250,000 people marched to advocate for the societal and economic rights for people of color. However, his critics currently see his comments about economic inequality as dismissive to racial inequality and how it relates to American wage gaps. Although these types of comments persist, according to his 2020 campaign site, racial justice, and protecting minority voters remain a large aspect of his cause.

After college and a brief time on a kibbutz in Israel, Sanders settled in Vermont. It was here where he participated in the communal back-to-the-land movement while working as a union carpenter and freelance journalist. He did not become involved in electoral politics until the Vietnam War, which he opposed. In the early 70s, he launched a campaign to become governor of Vermont, however, lost to his counterpart. Then, Sanders ran, as an independent, for Senator of Vermont, but again lost. Finally, in 1981, Sanders won his first election, becoming Mayor of Burlington, Vermont. 

In the late 80s, Sanders attempted to run for the U.S. Congress. After many unsuccessful attempts, Sanders’s luck changed when he was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1990. He described himself as a democratic socialist known for his liberal stance. Sanders was elected seven times, typically winning by wide margins. Lastly, in 2007, Sanders took office in the U.S. Senate and is currently serving his third term as Junior Senator of Vermont. 

Many believe he is too old to be running for such a high-profile government position. In addition, his health has been a topic of conversation, especially since he suffered a heart attack while campaigning in early October. According to recent polls, it is too soon to see if his health issues impact voters’ decisions. “This [heart attack] will just raise the issue of his age, which to me has always been the Achilles’ heel of the Sanders campaign,” said Andrew Smith, director of the University of New Hampshire Survey Center in an interview with The New York Times. 

“I’m running for president so that when we are in the White House, the movement we build together can achieve economic, racial, social, and environmental justice for all,” promises Sanders on his website. To the majority of Sanders’ supporters, this statement represents the future. His stance on policies not only made him popular with celebrities, like Miley Cyrus, Danny Devito, Cardi B, and Mark Ruffalo, but also people of all ages, classes, and races.

For more information about Bernie Sanders and his campaign visit his campaign site, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube, and Soundcloud.