Wednesday, February 10, 2016
In general, I avoid making posts or even talking much about politics, but Bernie Sander's win in New Hampshire yesterday has made me make an exception.
As a Vermonter, I can remember when Bernie was elected to be the mayor of Burlington, the city which bordered the town where I was growing up. I was old enough to vote when he became our sole congressman, and later one of our senators. Vermont has always been known to be quirky and individual and damn proud of it, so sending a socialist to Washington was right up our alley.
Bernie has been part of the landscape for as long as I can remember. I've met him bike riding on my favorite bike path, met him in my favorite shoe store, seen him marching in parades. He's spoken in my daughter's high school.
The most recent time I saw Bernie was a couple years ago at a harvest festival just down the road from where I live. He was walking around like everybody else, checking out the pies and the vegetables and the crafts. My husband was playing drums with the local town band that day, and Bernie paused to join the crowd who was listening. A friend from New York was with me, and all of a sudden she said, "Isn't that one of your state senator?"
"Yeah," I said, "that's Bernie."
She couldn't believe that he was just walking around with the crowd like everybody else, with no secret service or anything. And everybody else was just nodding and smiling to him, knowing who he was, but not making a fuss. We were all Vermonters, eating and listening to music and enjoying the fall day.
After a few moments, Bernie took out his phone and snapped a photo of the band and my admittedly photogenic husband at the drum set.
My friend grabbed my arm. "Bernie Sanders just took a photo of your husband!"
"Yeah, so?" I said, smiling. Nope, this wasn't New York.
I am beyond thrilled that Bernie is now spreading the message that I've been hearing since I was a kid onto the national stage, and that the nation is listening.
And, all politics aside, the next time you see Bernie on TV, remember that he has a photo of Mr. MRaiya on his phone!