The afternoon of September 7th was one of the most enjoyable of 2016 for me. I spent it poolside at Jeff McKnight’s Florida home where the two of us chatted about politics for the better part of four hours. One of the topics was who I might select as Progressive of the Year for 2016. At that point it seemed to be a field of two: Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. Either choice would be outstanding. I expressed a reluctance to select Sanders because he was 2015’s winner. In the interim Washington Post reporter David Farenthold published a series of articles exposing many of Donald Trump’s devious practices that I thought might help Hillary Clinton get elected making Farenthold a worthy candidate. As you can tell by the title tellthetruthonthem.com, as it did in 2015, has named Vermont independent Senator Bernie Sanders the Progressive of the Year.
In 2016 Bernie Sanders simply had the greatest impact on advancing the progressive cause and in the process recruited and energized a generation of young people who are for the most part disinterested in political party labels. These young people are America’s future and they are deeply concerned about causes, equality and opportunity.
Sanders did the right things during and following the Democratic Convention. He supported Hillary Clinton (the best hope for progressives); he tried to unite the Democratic Party and was largely successful in doing so. He waited until Labor Day to hit the trail which was when he would have the greatest impact. Then he was an energetic and tireless surrogate for Clinton.
While Warren’s and Sanders’ interests and policies largely overlap and are never in conflict, Sanders’ “portfolio” is a bit larger. Both are energetic, consistent and courageous spokesperson for progressive causes. With the election of Donald Trump investigative journalists will be more important than ever. Hopefully the Washington Post will remember its “heritage” of Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein who brought down Richard Nixon and display the same courage in allowing Farenthold to continue reporting on Trump.
Warren and Farenthold will have other opportunities to win this award. It is with great pride and no excuses that tellthetruthonthem.com names Bernie Sanders the Progressive of the Year for a second consecutive year. On a personal note: Thanks and have a great holiday Jeff!
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