Both factions of the Democrats, left and center, want progress. But why settle for watered down progress? We shouldn’t. Why should we strive for a $12 minimum wage when we want $15? Why just change the classification of marijuana from Schedule 1 to Schedule 2 when we want to end the federal prohibition and end the failing war on drugs, which has costed over trillions of dollars and ruined countless lives? In 2008 we were at a similar crossroads: the grandiose, idealistic vision for the future vs. the pragmatic know-how. Where we’ve arrived at this moment in time, despite a Republican-controlled Congress, is quite admirable: gay marriage, the Affordable Care Act, withdrawing from Afghanistan. America is moving left. We have before us a leader who is inspiring a generation to take action, who is working to unite both sides of the political spectrum, and who has a record of doing so. Those who feel the Bern know what the traditional media has largely ignored: that he rallies people with a refreshing honesty, truth, and passion. Something we’ve been sorely missing from our public servants. As Jon Stewart said on the Daily Show, “The problem isn’t that Bernie Sanders is a crazy-pants cuckoo bird. It’s that we’ve all become accustomed to stage-managed, focus-group-driven candidates that authenticity comes across as lunacy.”

To the cynics who agree with Sanders’ principles but say, “America could never vote for a Democratic Socialist,” I’d invite you to focus that energy into action. Get involved. Sanders has spoken time after time that change will not come through him alone, but that change will come when millions of Americans stand together to say “Enough is enough.” When your conviction leads you, solutions will always be found. 2016 will be the year to #FeeltheBern – and I invite everyone to join the movement. It’s time to return the people’s power. And the leader who will get us there is Senator Bernie Sanders.

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” -Margaret Mead