Sanders and the Spirit of ‘76
(Feb 9)- If one had to put a label on Bernie Sanders’ 2016 Presidential Campaign I would put “The Spirit of ’76” on it. Sanders has embraced his campaign
with a sense of enthusiasm long dormant in the American political scene. Sanders believes in the American system yet believes it needs a shakeup that echoes the sentiment of Thomas Jefferson, who once declared that the US should have a revolution every 20 years or so.
“The Spirit of ’76” was the original battle cry of the American Revolution and was meant in part to indicate a radical free spirit that continually challenged the status quo. As the United States was formed in the late 1700’s and early 1800’s people who lacked the vision and enthusiasm to be progressive were often said to lack or even betray the spirit of ’76. Without a doubt many American voters feel that virtually all of the politicians on the national stage seems to lack any trace of the “Spirit of ’76”.
Sanders is a “call it like I see it” kind of guy, similar in some ways with Trump, but with one vital and admirable difference: he’s honest! People like honesty and for too many decades and centuries it has not been seen as a trait of importance of people leading this nation. The media of course despises Sanders for many reasons and honesty is a tough one for them to attack. Smears and falsehoods will no doubt be coming to Sanders as this race progresses and it will be a telling tale for all players in this ritual (the media, Sanders and the public) to see how they react to the treatment of an honest Presidential candidate.
Will we allow him to be made sport of by yellow journalism and standard modern political tactics that border on criminal? Or will we become more vocal ourselves and not be so idle as a person of integrity wades into the toxic mess of modern US politics??
The Spirit of ’76 is a vibrant ingredient of the American story and is essentially the core principal that drove the US into being founded. It asks us to be free, be responsible, have vision and tolerance.
As the campaign of 2016 continues…maybe the Spirit of ’16 will be recalled by future voters who put honesty back on their list of important characteristics for governing our democratic republic.