Bernie Sanders won the first Democratic debate and it's because of his sincerity

Bernie Sanders took the victory in Tuesday night’s Democratic debate. The moment he walked out, the whole crowd roared and cheered and whistled for the independent Senator from Vermont. Although it could be said that he was preaching to the choir, considering the makeup of the audience, I think this excitement says something about his campaign—people are ready to start over, politically. The mainstream population is done with politicians with crocodile smiles, false promises and B.S. kowtowing to big money.

Sanders’ campaign is a fresh of breath air in a room of smoke. He does not follow the script his party gives him, nor does he give in to the big money special interest groups that are prevalent in Washington, D.C. And, in the end, I believe that he will really fight for the average American.

I also believe that he will fight to the bitter end on the issues that really matter to Americans, instead of trivial non-issues, like whether or not the president is a Muslim (as if it’d matter if he was). This was made clear to me when Anderson Cooper of CNN brought up Hillary Clinton’s supposed email scandal and Sanders piped up with, “The American people are sick and tired of hearing about your damn e-mails!” Which drew great applause and praise from the crowd and a laugh from Clinton.

It would be to Sanders’ advantage to let Clinton get caught up in the email fiasco, but he took a step up, did “the right thing,” as he put it, and defended a colleague from a pointless attack. After all, she is being investigated and will be testifying, so what’s the use in bringing it up again after months of hearing about it? I’m certain this is what motivated Sanders’ defense of Clinton—or better yet, what motivated his successful attempt to bring us back to the important issues.

The fact that Sanders has previously stated that he does not like attack ads and won’t be using them himself has always been something I’ve admired him for, but to come to the defense of his biggest threat to the nomination—and to do it on the debate stage—speaks volumes about his character.

I’d also like to note Sanders’ opening statement, as he was the only candidate to not speak about himself and opened instead with a passionate and fierce speech about the direction he wants to see the nation take. This also says a lot about his character, without ever having to actually speak to it.

Bernie Sanders puts his principles above all else. With that made absolutely clear from the start, he undeniably won the first debate. If he keeps this up, I have no doubt that he will take The White House.

In closing his speech at Liberty University, Sanders said, “I conclude with this thought, I would hope very much that as part of that discussion and part of that learning process, some of you will conclude that if we are honest in striving to be a moral and just society, it is imperative that we have the courage to stand with the poor, to stand with working people and when necessary, take on very powerful and wealthy people whose greed, in my view, is doing this country enormous harm.”


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