So yeah, I might qualify as the president of the Bernie Sanders fan club, but I know I'd have stiff competition. And yeah, if a political hero is possible, mine is Mr. Sanders. And you know, it's about more than just that his beliefs agree with mine. It's about HOW HE CONDUCTS HIMSELF.
1. He is always a total gentleman. You'll never see Bernie Sanders say FU to anyone. (Hello Mr. Boehner, take note.) No. He does so much better than that---he speaks substantively, clearly and repeatedly, never gets bitter or pouty, just keeps on keepin' on with everything he's got. And when you do that, you don't need to swear at someone to shore up your ego.
2. He understands his duty to GOVERN first, and be an ideologue second. Bernie Sanders wanted A LOT more than the ACA. But he voted for it anyway. Thank you, Mr. Sanders. Because while I too wanted more---the public option, single payer---the ACA will help my family greatly, NOW, and I'll take it, and like you, keep on fighting for better.
Bernie Sanders voted with the Democrats on the latest fiscal cliff deal. Did he think it was anywhere near perfect? No sir. But he thought it was good enough to vote for. And he has qualified what he thinks is good and bad about the deal on his site. See, he votes his best option to accomplish SOMETHING, and then pops right back up with how it could be better, gives those ideas voice wherever and however he can. NEVER STOPS FIGHTING. NEVER POUTS.
3. Bernie Sanders understands something about "the conversation," and how to stick to his principles, without insulting anyone or belittling anyone, including the president.
In this last election, I often listened to him on Thom Hartmann. He was absolutely clear about where he disagreed with the president, but also absolutely clear about how important it was that we get out and vote for Barack Obama. He did BOTH, with such great integrity and honesty, which just shows to go you, it's possible.
4. Have you ever wondered why Bernie Sanders is not a MAJOR target of the right? Because he isn't, and I have often wondered why. He's several times to the left of Pelosi---my God, he openly labels himself a Democratic Socialist!!! So why doesn't the right beat him up like they do Pelosi, and a host of other liberal icons? Why does quirky gun toting Vermont vote him in over and over again, by incredible margins?
I think it's exactly because of HOW BERNIE SANDERS CONDUCTS HIMSELF. He is, whether and when you agree with him or not, one of the few examples of great statesmanship alive in America today.
So I think there's much to be learned from him. He inspires me. He lets me know that sometimes compromise is necessary, as much as I hate it. I too of course, want what I want, and am disappointed when I don't get it. But Bernie Sanders shows me how to roll right back into my fighting stance and keep on keepin' on.
You know, some think talent is the thing that describes success. Some think intelligence is the thing that describes success. Some even think being an effective ass hole describes success. See Steve Jobs.
But I think more than any other trait, perseverance describes success, and surely takes the most bravery. That quality that absorbs disappointments and keeps on going. That does not clock victory a day or a battle at a time. That has the humility to accept the best possible thing at the moment, grab it, and fight on. That NEVER wastes a freaking minute needing to be right, but instead only needs to move forward. This to me describes Bernie Sanders.
In light of all the recent "discussions" here regarding how well the President and the Democrats are doing, or not, I think there is so much we all have to learn, to keep up with a truly great statesman.