Let's take a step backwards and examine how I was first introduced to Bernie.
I was raised entirely non-partisan, my parents were so non-political that I still, to this day, do not know if they are conservative or liberal. In my early years I was a huge fan of Reagan, but did not pick up the political bug until the 90's when I decided to read all of Rush Limbaugh's books.
At that time, I disagreed with the conservative ideals, but I always wanted to remain informed. Rush's books actually caused me to question everything I had previously held as fact. This was eye-opening, and lead me to support Bush's bid for president, and also his re-election. To be honest, I'm a little ashamed of that, but then again....look at the other choice at the time.
During the Obama years, I really had no stake in the game, it was just another election and both sides appeared equal in their bid for the seat. I campaigned though for McCain and again for Romney. Those 2 fuckers in a row though....left me with little hope for the party. We had come a long way from Reagan, and these asshats did a great job of making the party look awful.
So here I was in 2015 looking at the band of hopefuls on the right, and holy shit did they ever outdo themselves with the complete lineup of clowns who wanted to be our leader.
My first reaction on Donald Trump..."Holy shit, are they trying to see how low we can set the bar and still beat Hillary?"
Well, we all know how that turned out, and I have to say...I was in a dark place as I saw how Donald was picking them off one by one.
Then one day, my daughter comes to me and asks "Have you heard of Bernie Sanders?"
I actually hadn't. I considered myself well-versed in politics for the most part, but that was a name I hadn't really known anything about. So, I wanted to be an open-minded sort of guy and have a look at the candidate that my daughter appeared to be intrigued by.
I was impressed. Here was a guy who had spent a lifetime campaigning for social issues. He has spent almost his entire adult life in public service. He definitely sounded like he was passionate and believed in his cause. More importantly though...he was ready to take on the Clinton-machine and shake the foundation of the democratic party....sounded like someone I wanted to know better.
I'm not going to defend all of his ideas, because honestly I didn't agree with all of them. However, I saw the issues I disagreed with him on as self-correcting issues. A minimum wage hike would have been a temporary fix to a long-term problem. It would be temporary because the market would rebalance itself.
His approach to healthcare was a bit inspired though. I have always felt like we had to approach things in a 'all-in' or 'all-out' scenario. Either we get in and mandate controls, or we get our hands off of the scales and liberalize it to the free-market. No one was talking about unleashing the insurance companies and untying their hands to sell across state lines (Yes, I know Trump did that...he just wasn't talking about it during the campaign), so I was looking for the alternative which was the 'all-in' solution.
Obamacare left me with such a staggering healthcare cost, I went 2 years with no coverage because I could not afford it. Each year, the price went higher and higher. The middle of the road approach was killing us.
So I chose Sanders, and backed him to take on the Clinton empire.
I seriously underestimated how low the Clinton's would go in their bid for power.
To be continued.