Rasmussen: The people in politics dedicating their lives to helping others


Caitlin Yamada/ Iowa State Daily

Columnist Olivia Rasmussen worked alongside the staff of Sen. Bernie Sanders’ campaign before the Iowa caucus and recalls their immense dedication to others.

Olivia Rasmussen

You mainly hear about the politician rather than the people inside of the campaign, so what’s it like to work inside Bernie Sanders’ campaign? I worked on the Sanders campaign for roughly four months while we were gearing up for the Iowa caucus. During my time on the campaign, one thing consistently stuck out to me: the people on this campaign show up to work every day and aim their focus on others in need. Whether it be standing up for unrepresented communities, lending a hand to struggling groups of people or empowering minorities and the working class, the employees of his campaign take action and speak up, even with the heavy-hitting blows of the media and the myth of the “Bernie Bro.”

Of course, the goal at hand is to rally behind the candidate who embodies the same policies and ideologies as you, but the folks that make up the campaign are the soul of the movement and man, is it a soulful movement. High stress is among every campaign, but the stress and frustration go beyond who wins what primary. The folks I spent time with care mostly about one thing: the people of this country. They are constantly worrying about the people who will remain uninsured and those who could die without “Medicare for All.” They are wondering how we’ll retain a habitable earth without a candidate with hefty plans to tackle the climate crisis. They are scared for the minority groups facing hatred and discrimination. Their hearts go out to impoverished communities and working families who live paycheck-to-paycheck. They care deeply about the everyday people of this nation.

I know some of the people working on his campaign who lose sleep over the fact that without major change and a Sanders presidency, plenty of people will give up hope for a better tomorrow. A Sanders presidency could really save and improve the lives of lots of people in this nation. Sanders’ team truly wants nothing more than a secure future and living conditions for everyone.

Where does a lot of the frustration stem from? For me and some others on the campaign, the biggest struggle is trying to explain to nonsupporters why they should care about others. Empathy is a very difficult emotion to teach and most of the frustration lies there. But, like the hard and dedicated workers they are, Sanders’ team does not give up. When the going gets rough, they are on the frontlines, reminding others about what’s fueling them and their movement: helping people in need, uplifting the working class, canceling student debt, providing free education via public colleges and trade schools, empowering rural communities, bridging the gap between the rich and the poor, insuring everyone in our nation, enacting plans and policies to save the health of our planet, putting the power back into the hands of the people and then some.

The people behind Sanders’ campaign are some of the most selfless, devoted, compassionate people I’ve ever met. It made me support Sanders even more knowing that his staff lives out the same attitude and ideas as him. The saying goes that you are the company you keep and folks, our future is in good hands with a leader like Sanders and the team behind him.