Bernie Sanders’ older brother Larry from Oxford in England, is getting undue applause from the public for having a brother named Bernie campaigning 3,000 miles away to become the next president of the United States.
Sanders Junior happens to be setting the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign on fire with his socialist ideas and revolutionary approach.
Larry Sanders, an 80-year-old retired academic, is a campaigner for the Green Party and has recently been appointed as the party’s national spokesman on health.
Business Insider UK reports:
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders is an outsider who has far exceeded expectations as he battles Hillary Clinton for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination. The left-wing senator has energized thousands of young supporters with his promise to transform the American economy, education and health care systems, and last week gained more momentum by winning the New Hampshire primary.
More than 3,000 miles (4,800 kilometers) away, his brother, a retired academic who has lived in Britain since 1969, finds himself a “sudden celebrity.”
“I was at a meeting the other day and when I stood up to ask a question, half the people in the audience started clapping,” Larry Sanders said in an interview with The Associated Press. “I’ve been going to meetings for 40 years and no one’s ever applauded before.”
Sanders, who ran for a seat in Britain’s Parliament last year (he came fifth of seven candidates), has watched his brother’s growing success with emotions that swing from pride to disbelief.
“Sometimes it’s quite casual — ‘Oh, there he is again with 20,000 people cheering him.’ And other times I say, ‘Oh my God, look at that.'”
He says he has only recently started to believe that underdog Bernie can do it, “go all the way to the White House.”
“Really only in the last month or so did it seem to me that he was going to win the nomination,” he said. “I think once he has won the nomination he will find the general election much easier.
“I’m not entirely surprised by it, actually,” he added. “I didn’t expect it to happen quite so quickly, but I’ve seen him in action: He’s a very powerful politician. And the other thing of course is, the basis of what he’s saying is real. … There has been a shift in wealth and income from the bulk of the population to the very richest, and it goes back 40 years.”
At 80, Larry Sanders is six years older than his brother, his Brooklyn accent mellowed by more than four decades in Britain.
He says the brothers’ politics are rooted in the post-war Brooklyn where they grew up, the children of “staunch New Dealer” parents. Their father, Eli, was a Polish Jew who came to the United States when he was 17, their mother Dorothy the New York-born child of eastern European Jewish immigrants.
“We were not poor — we had everything we needed — but our parents argued, and what they argued about was money,”Sanders said in the kitchen of his modest, century-old house not far from Oxford’s historic city center.
“I think a lot of politicians, if they’ve come from financially secure backgrounds, it doesn’t really resonate what it means to have these arguments and to have this tension. And Bernard, without wanting to have it, has it, and it hasn’t gone away.”
To Sanders, his brother is always Bernard, never Bernie, which just doesn’t “sound right.”
Sanders said that growing up, the brothers were conscious of the shadow of the Holocaust, “because we knew we’d lost relatives, and the consequence of that was that politics was very serious. Lots of kids grow up thinking it’s just game-playing.”