Since the moment Bernie Sanders announced his candidacy many on the left showed great joy in the fact he would push Hillary Clinton further to the left. Praising his leftist ideas and believing he would shape the future of the Democratic Party from the outside.
This was never the intention of the Sanders' campaign because it is not Sanders job to move Clinton to the left. Sanders entered the race with one goal and one goal only -- to win an election and become the next President of the United States.
Columnist Sally Kohn cleverly wrote that "While Barack Obama's 2008 run was a political campaign disguised as a progressive movement, Bernie Sanders' campaign is a progressive movement disguised as a political campaign."
Yet this misses an important point: Bernie Sanders' progressive movement is the political campaign because he is striving to change what it means to campaign and forever change how we campaign.
He isn't disguising his political movement as a campaign, he is showing America what a real political campaign can look like when you take out big money and put the people first. Obama sought to inspire change, but never worked outside of the normal political system to do so, Clinton is championing more of the same, running the "best-friend" candidate to Obama.
Clinton's campaign is based on big money and reminding people that she will carry on the same status quo that Obama has set. Sanders is trying to demolish the status quo and is doing so openly, he is telling voters they can do better, and he is ready to do the hard work. Clinton, on the other hand, keeps repeating that Sanders ideas are too hard and voters should be happy with what they have now.
This is what makes Sanders campaign so inspiring to young voters, for the first time they see their $5 and $10 donations making a difference, where in the past their small donations would have been lost in a sea of multi-millions being funneled in through Super PACs.
Voters now feel they are actually playing a role in Sanders victory, a victory they were told they would never see because a radical candidate like him could never beat the already crowned queen of the Democratic Party.
Win or lose, at this point Sanders has changed the Democratic Party forever, but for Sanders, this was never the point. He understands that to really change the party, to really impact millions of lives around the country, if not the world than his political campaign needs to be victories and he doesn't seem willing to stop until it's anything but.
This post originally appeared on the Danthropology blog.
Photo credit: Gage Skidmore / Creative Commons