Bernie Sanders: my candidate of choice in the 2016 election. He joined the 2016 race as a democratic-socialist, championing the progressives as his platforms were revealed. To 18 year old me, he seemed like a dream. He seemed like the one who could solve the problems I saw in this country, to address the wage gap, the climate change, and women's and LGBT rights. Boy, was I wrong.
Bernie Sanders 2016 campaign has actually several people within it that were accused of sexual harassment and/or assault. I will post the links at the bottom of this article but allow me to summarize what I have found:The campaign was said to be unorganized and decentralized. This often led to women not having a place to turn when they experienced sexual harassment or assault. A woman named Samantha Davis even claimed that her supervisor marginalized her after she declined his invitation to go up to his hotel room and be with him. After this encounter, Davis felt alone because she did not know where to go and who to reach out to. Additionally, a woman named Giuliana Di Lauro alleged that a campaign surrogate harassed and grabbed her while she was tasked with transporting him to and from events prior to the Nevada primary. She went to her manager on the Latino Outreach Team to which she and another witness present during the interaction reported he stated: "I bet you would have liked it if he were younger." He then laughed and ignored the severity of this claim according to the New York Times. She was left unheard and to fend for herself. Women even recounted times where they were told to share sleeping quarters with male staffers that they did not know while on the road working for the Sanders 2016 campaign. A female staffer who had access to pay records also stated that she saw records which proved that women made thousands of dollars less than their male counterparts. I would be inclined to believe this since all (yes ALL) of his top-paid campaign team and executives were males.
Why is this problematic? Well, remember that Bernie Sanders himself continually talked about equal pay and equal treatment for women. Remember that Bernie Sanders' own website states that "women deserve equal pay for equal work-end of story." Bernie's site also talks about the importance of addressing claims of domestic and sexual violence and the importance of believing victims of such traumatic events.
But a man who claims to be a champion of these issues, a man who claims to be an ally to women and a fighter for victims and for rights ran a campaign that was filled with allegations of harassment, assault, and pay disparities. Think about this for a second.
With all of this piling up, I am going to throw in that when he lost the primary he remained bitter and did not throw proper support behind Hillary. No matter how popular she was or was not, without his support and his base, she lost. He also kept bashing her and damaging her in ways that our country couldn't afford (Obviously, look at our current administration). AND his wife was indicted for fraud a while ago and I can say he knew about it with confidence.
I would also like to highlight that he also claimed to NOT KNOW about a $30,000 settlement which a staffer made on allegations of sexual harassment on HIS CAMPAIGN. $30,000 is not a drop in the bucket ladies and gentlemen. If other politicians are okay claiming ignorance when it comes to damaging issues, then trust me when I say Bernie is totally okay doing it too. When confronted with these allegations, he brushed past them with a cheap apology, hiding behind my favorite excuse for being oblivious to damaging behavior on a campaign which would turn into a fishbowl: "I was a little busy running around the country trying to make the case."
Bernie Sanders is problematic and needs to move over. He needs to make way for a younger President, one who knows and understands which problems we are facing and how to address them both inside of and outside of their own campaign. Someone who does not fall behind how busy they may be when it comes to the importance of creating an equal and healthy work environment. The hypocrisy of Bernie Sanders and his constant need for attention and his lust for power is the real reason for the damage his campaign and his ignorance caused. The man should not run for President.