The man is 74 years old. For half a century of tilting at the bone-grinding windmills of Darwinian capitalism, you’d think he’d be weary, wised-up, aching for retirement.
But no, here he is in New Hampshire, on short sleep caught on a night flight halfway across the continent, taking another hotly fought step up the dreary electoral incline, to a big White House of justice up there somewhere, maybe, shimmering in the smog.
Well, you’d have to be crazy not to be desperately cynical about politics at this point, right? Or terrifically altruistic. And given the long nightmare of human history, and the odds of a turnaround, altruism itself must be seen as a form of madness — enlightened, civilized, indispensable madness.
Maybe that’s why the kids love him so much: Sanders looks like what we wish our parents and elders could be.
He makes me think of something I learned from Chekhov: There’s nothing so radical as just telling the truth.•
— Robert Tobey,