Eric Bates in The New Republic:
Years ago, there was an old guy in my neighborhood named Pete. His hair was white and disheveled, and he liked to wheel his small shopping cart up and down the street and hand out political flyers to everyone he met. Some days the flyers were about the dangers of nuclear power. Some days they were about the perils of free-trade agreements. But they were always handwritten, they always took up both sides of the page, and there was never a margin in sight. For Pete, margins were a missed opportunity, a plot by the establishment, an artificial convention created by a world that mistook the urgency of the situation. The truth has no use for margins.
Bernie Sanders is a little like Pete. He doesn’t have a shopping cart, and his political positions are significantly more coherent. But like Pete, he has no patience for anything that threatens to distract him or others from the pressing matters at hand. When I arrive at his Senate office for an interview, he does not want to chat about the last time we met, at a tribute in Vermont to the late journalist Michael Hastings. He does not want to look back at his historic campaign for the presidency and consider what he might have done differently. He does not want to talk about Hillary Clinton’s shortcomings or the incivility of some of his supporters. He does not mention that tomorrow is his seventy-fifth birthday. He wants to talk about policy, and the nuts and bolts of organizing, and whatever else is needed to bring a greater measure of justice and equality to human affairs. He lives by the Marxist-Calvinist tradition of everything for the cause. He doesn’t have time for roses. Too many people need bread.