As the New Hampshire polls close, the American dream of making Bernie Sanders a viable candidate has inched ever closer to a reality.
A breakout candidate, Sanders has challenged many of the long held notions on what it takes to win a campaign. In the words of thousands of middle school civics teachers; “Voters tend to vote for whoever’s name they remember most, so candidates with the most money have an easier time advertising to get their names out there, and gain votes.”
Several years past, a Supreme Court ruling made it possible for businesses to influence politics through the “Citizens United” decision, which ruled political donations as free speech, corporations as people, and the Supreme Court justices as out of touch. Political contributions have risen dramatically, along with campaign promises that benefit the corporations providing them. Sanders has chosen to avoid this process, instead relying on smaller donations from grassroots supporters to keep up with the overwhelming support other politicians receive.
Voter response was dramatic.
While riots didn’t break out, one man was arrested after shouting the they would “Bern down the white house.”
The celebrations may be short sighted, though. According to campaign aides, Sanders shortsightedly undid every bit of fundraising his campaign had done over the past several months.
“We were watching the votes being counted, so we weren’t really paying attention to the guy,” said aide Debbie Holtek, who added that “he’s so quiet that his silence didn’t seem abnormal.”
It was only after hoots and hollers ended that attendees noticed the 74 year old candidate was nowhere to be found. “Of course, we immediately got worried that he had been kidnapped,” Holtek explained. “We ran out to search for him and see if he was safe. He was nowhere near our campaign office.”
Sanders was found an hour later in an alley, giving money from his wallet to a homeless man.
“He spent the entire campaign budget,” said campaign accountant Mackenzie Rivers. “Months of fundraising, millions of dollars in donations, and he gave every cent of it to the homeless in New Hampshire.”
Security footage indicates that Sanders never made it to the campaign office. At the back of
the line, the unimposing man stopped to interact with a homeless individual sitting on the sidewalk. After interacting for several minutes, cash was exchanged and Sanders wandered back towards the heart of the city.
“Months of fundraising, millions of dollars in donations, and he gave every cent of it to the homeless in New Hampshire.” – Mackenzie Rivers
Local social worker Mike Lance has praised Sanders’ work in the area. “We’ve had a huge increase in affordable housing applications in the past few days,” he said about the impoverished community. “They’re eating better, buying their medication, and several have even bought bus tickets to return to their families.”
While the Sanders campaign scrambles to refill their coffers, the homeless of New Hampshire have begun to rebuild their lives.
Also of note was Trump’s reaction to his victory. Walking the streets, Trump offered to buy each homeless person a drink, emptied their donation cups, and filled them with free water from local restaurants. The money was not returned.