Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Ted Cruz (R-TX) have been largely absent from the Senate floor in recent months, occupied with the difficulties of running a presidential campaign without any substantial policy proposals or uplifting message. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), on the other hand, has been able to run a rapidly growing campaign, drawing crowds of tens of thousands while still making it to work every day. While Rubio complains about being in the Senate and has Florida newspaper editorials calling for his resignation, Sanders loves it – because he actually cares about the constituents he represents.
When MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell asked him about Marco Rubio’s atrocious voting record (176 missed votes), Bernie replied that:
“My job [that] I’m paid to do right now is to represent the people of the state of Vermont in the United States Senate. I will miss votes, but I’m trying to miss as few as I possibly can. I am extraordinarily proud to represent my great state in the Senate. We’re working very hard on a number of issues. And while it is difficult and very time-consuming to be a full-time candidate and to be a full-time senator, that is at the moment what I’m trying to do.”
Sanders’ answer and actions highlight the integrity that characterizes his campaign, a sincerity that is sore missing from his squabbling rivals across the aisle. While Republican candidates kowtow to armies of lobbyists and the desires of the one percent, Sanders has made rebuilding American middle class his number one priority, a task which he’s attacked with laser-like focus. His consistent focus on bettering the lives of the American people defines his entire political career, inspires a sense of trust that a jaded public is responding to. This nation is tired of being patronized by establishment politicians and corporate media, and it’s little expressions like this from Bernie that endear him to us even more.
Colin Taylor is the editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.