On the 26 May 2015, the 73-year-old Independent Senator from the state of Vermont officially declared his candidacy for the Presidency of the United States of America. Bernie Sanders has gone from declaring his candidacy in front of, at best, a hand full of journalists to a virtual tie for the Democratic Caucus in Iowa with the Presidential front runner Hilary Clinton. If not for the flip of a coin, or to be more precise six tosses of the coin, Bernie Sanders would have been the winner of the Iowa caucus. The question asked my many around the world, not just America, was suddenly who is Bernie Sanders?
As the son of an immigrant whose father moved from Poland at age seventeen who went on to father two sons in a small rent-controlled apartment in Brooklyn, Bernie Sanders grew up no stranger to the struggles of working class America. Sanders has never been distant from the struggles of Americans. Sanders has for the last 50 years stood up for what he feels is right which led him to the struggles of African Americans across the country. In 1962 the Presidential candidate himself was arrested as a student of the University of Chicago for his role in protesting the racial segregation in public schools across Chicago. Ever since entering into official political life, as a member of the Liberty Union Party in 1971, Sanders has represented the ideals of the minorities, not just the Afro-American community but also the likes of the LGBT community. Whilst a member of the Liberty Union Party Sanders ran several times for office in each one he called for all laws related to homosexual discrimination to be abolished by the state.
Other than these early political campaigns for the Liberty Union Party in the 1970’s Sanders has not run for office on behalf of any Political party instead running as an Independent. As an Independent Sanders has been able to stand true to his beliefs with no reason to cave to party pressure. Running as an Independent Sanders won the 1981 Mayoral race for Burlington, then in 1990 Sanders went on to win a seat in the House of Representatives becoming the first Independent in the House for forty years, then once again in 2006 he became one of two Independents in the Senate.
Whilst running as an Independent, Sanders was able to become the most popular serving Senator with an eighty-three percent approval rating, according to a survey by the Morning Consult in 2015. This huge level of popular support has followed Sanders on and into his Presidential campaign. Sanders has become the first ever Presidential candidate from either party ever to have achieved over three million individual donors. Sanders has spent his political life fighting for the lower classes in American society and the discriminated against minorities. He has fought on behalf of the poor and it is apparent that those he has fought for are coming to his aid now with over three million individua donors, no super pacs, and an adverage donation amount of $27.
Bernie Sanders up holds the ideals of an American Dream in which anyone can rise to the top. Sanders’ Presidential campaign is the climax to an American Dream story in which a true American has risen to the top of politics as a true American hero.