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The Bern will live on

Passion drives people. Passion invigorates people. Passion helps people accomplish goals, even if they seem out of reach. Bernie Sanders has shown this country that he has a passion to create a future that we can all believe in, and has made hundreds of thousands of people “feel the Bern.”

Almost one year ago, the Sanders campaign began its uphill battle, as it took on the much-favored Hillary Clinton. All the odds were against him, and instead of letting the critics tear him down, he let the voters build him up. Now, 12 months later, the results show that Clinton will be the Democratic nominee. What about Sanders? Is this the end for him? I don’t think so.

Bernie Sanders is not going to be the next president. I am a Bernie fan, but take a quick glance at the delegate count and it’s pretty obvious who the democratic nominee is going to be. Although Sanders fell short of his goal, his passion, pride, heart and character have inspired millions of Americans to think differently about our nation. If you take a look at what he accomplished during his campaign, some might even say Sanders came out on top.

The world of politics runs on one thing: money. Most of the candidates who have run for office accepted donations from big corporations, promising that they would pass bills in favor of the company’s plans. This remained true during this 2016 election season too. Companies like Koch and the NRA, among many others, have influenced all the candidates’ decisions through endorsements of large sums of cash. Except for Sanders. He was the only candidate who funded his campaign solely on donations from regular people. Sanders accepted not one check from a company or organization because he believes that people should influence the decisions made, not rich company owners.

By sticking to this method of raising money for his campaign, Sanders is able to stay true to what he believes in. Every time he speaks, those listening know that he is 100 percent behind every word, and no outside influences have changed his views. For the first time, we had an honest person running for president. Many times throughout campaigns, when asked what they like about their favorite candidate, people give an answer that isn’t true about the person they described. This is not how it should be, and Sanders was the exception because all his supporters knew exactly what his messages were.

This increased his popularity because it showed that he cared about the people more than the title of just being president. Sanders also stuck to the same ideas throughout his campaign. He constantly talked about getting back at Wall Street, providing free college education, improving the justice system and much more. Unlike the other candidates who flip flopped back and forth every debate, Sanders stuck to his ideas and showed that he was passionate and committed to his goal of becoming president.

His passion is what allowed Sanders to win — not to win the nomination, but to win in the sense that he inspired so many people to believe in what he had to say. Sanders is most popular among young people between the ages of 18 to 35. This generation – our generation – of voters will carry on his beliefs after the election is over. We are the future, and as time goes on, our votes will make a bigger impact on the decisions that are made, ultimately completing the political revolution Sanders has talked about.

A revolution doesn’t just happen in one year. It’s not easy to do. It takes a lot of people to stand up for what they believe is right to change something that has existed for a long time. While Sanders may not be the next president, he will stand as an inspiration for our generation to fix our broken country and make it so that decisions are made for the good of the people, rather than the good of rich company owners.

Inside us, a Bernie Sanders flame has been lit, and it will “bern” until social justice and the political revolution are complete.

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