Needless to say, once the games had been played, and the popular candidate had been shown the door, I threw my tantrum and vowed to never step foot inside the political arena ever again. Although I was furious at how the powers that be had manipulated the contest (if you can even call it that in good faith), I was even more angry at how betrayed I felt by Bernie surrendering so easily. Why had he not doubled down and fought to the death? How could he let down the millions who supported him and his promise of moving forward instead of backward? That was the question that haunted my devastated mind.
For a while I continued to watch some YouTube channels I had come to trust with regard to honest and genuine analysis of the political landscape. But even they were without answers. Some believed Bernie to be a tool of the DNC, used to rally support, which would then be shifted to the candidate chosen behind closed doors. Others claimed he was simply ineffective, unable to carry the fight through all ten rounds. As I listened to these, and other takes on the situation, I realized that nothing really resonated. I became convinced that there was another reason, but at the time I really didn’t care what it was, so I didn’t bother looking for it.
Then came the moment when I couldn’t shake the story of the exodus out of my mind. And that’s when EVERYTHING began to make sense. Bernie, I realized, was nothing short of a modern-day Moses. Although Moses had led the Israelites out of Egypt, he had been prohibited from ever entering the promised land himself. The reasons for that are unimportant with regard to this story. Suffice it to say, Moses had played a part, a huge part in fact, but he wasn’t the be-all and end-all in the story. He showed the way to the promised land, but it was up to everyone to actually get there in the end.
As I contemplated the story, I saw what it was that had kept Bernie from reaching the modern-day promised land. Although his policies flew in the face of his peers, the other ancient white men in power, he himself never parted from their company. Even in the midst of heated debates he would always refer to Joe Biden as his friend, showing an attachment to the Old Paradigm, an attachment that he simply couldn’t break. Despite the glaring evidence to the contrary, Bernie continued to believe that change could be affected from within, that his ‘friends’ could be convinced and converted to a better way, a newer way of thinking.
Unfortunately, as we all know, nothing could be further from the truth. Bernie’s friends are all entrenched in the old ways, and they are hell-bent on preserving those ways no matter the cost on the planet and all life thereon. Thus, although Bernie had pointed the way to millions, showing a path to a better future, because he couldn’t let go of the past, he was unable to enter the promised land himself. In short, Bernie Sanders is the Moses in our modern-day exodus.
Once I realized this truth I felt total peace in both heart and mind. All the resentment, confusion and rage suddenly vanished, leaving softer emotions and thoughts in their wake. I began to feel sympathy for Bernie Sanders. I saw him as a conflicted person, having the vision of the future, but a heart that couldn’t let go of the past. He hadn’t betrayed anyone, other than himself perhaps. I had experienced such inner conflict in my own life, so I knew how it played out. And I knew how it looked to the outside observer. Bernie was there, torn apart inside, neither part of the Old Paradigm, nor part of the New Paradigm. He was a prophet of sorts, one who pointed the way, but was unable to make the journey himself. To this day, I admire and empathize with the man.
While this was compelling enough to convince me that the war was one between old and new, it was the demographics of the Bernie supporters that really sealed the deal. As I am no political science expert, nor a guru of statistics, I will stick to some basic statements rather than take the time and effort to unpack the specific numbers. Simply put, Bernie had a devastating advantage when it came to younger voters. While about seventy percent of those over fifty years of age supported Biden, about eighty percent of those under forty years of age supported Bernie. Again, these are generalizations, nothing more.
But the point is that this was a generational war, and Bernie led the charge for the younger generations. And while many would argue that Joe was chosen to ensure victory over Trump, I would argue that he was chosen to preserve the old ways, to cater to the old generations, and to move us backward rather than forward. And although Bernie lost, he did something far more significant that just run for office. He showed an evolution taking place, an evolution that can be measured against the generations alive today.
Fortunately, this evolution is gaining momentum, both within each successive generation, as well as within individuals of the older generations, especially Gen X. Although Bernie may not play a further part in this evolution, he made its existence abundantly clear. Even though he is no longer leading the people to the promised land, the people are now making their own way there. And as the old ways die out, they are being replaced by new ways, ways that won’t just tweak or shift our way of life but will completely transform life as we know it. Now, not only is my hope for the future restored, but so is my love for the man who revealed so much. I only wish Bernie had been able to let go of the past so that he could have been a bigger part of our future.