Yesterday, December 1st, 2016, I bought a $27 ticket to meet Bernie Sanders, which included a copy of his book “Our Revolution” at Powell’s City of Books. I waited in line for 20 minutes for a moment to shake his hand and have my picture taken with him.
The cynic in me saw this as a gross, egotistical move. Did I pay $27 just to get hundreds of likes on Facebook and Instagram?
Though I spent perhaps a total of ten seconds interacting with Sen. Sanders, I found the ten seconds to be important. I shook hands with someone I believed in. I follow Sen. Sanders on Twitter and find myself called to action every day. His tweets strike a chord in me, and I see him to be a man dedicated to making my life better.
I uploaded the photo of me and Sen. Sanders and thought about what this meant. There is now a record of me shaking hands with a man who embodies hope for many of my friends and family. I took this as a symbolic moment, the moment I decided that I no longer could be a passive observer of politics.
Every day I find myself enraged by fake news, our president-elect, and the lack of truth in my social media feed. In the morning I sit, fuming, wondering what on Earth I can do to fight the waves of misinformation from the New York Times to Twitter. The only way I can find news, it seems, is through a select few reporters who stick to their journalistic integrity. Even this method is never perfect.
If I am going to help my neighbors and my peers, I want to make sure that they have easy access to the truth. Sen. Sanders woke in me a sense of duty to push for a change (in his words, a revolution) in the country I live in. In my own, small little way, I want to capture and share as much true and real journalism as possible. If I’m lucky, I may even write my own articles of journalistic merit.
250 people have liked the photo of me and Sen. Sanders on Facebook, which undeniably feels good. However, it feels even better to know that the photo means something more, something that cannot be accessed, commented on, or reacted to. This moment has been woven into my life-narrative. It sealed a core value in my heart, the value of journalistic truth, which I will protect and pledge allegiance to for as long as I live.