Perhaps it was a coincidence that all twenty Democratic candidates ended up in the same D.C. Salvation Army that pivotal weekday morning. Perhaps it was fate. Some were there to shake a few honest working hands, others hoped to stock up on “approachable” blue-collar clothing to boost their favorability. But no poll could predict how radically their lives were about to change.

Nineteen mouths dropped open as Bernie Sanders emerged from the dressing room in a form-fitting pair of vintage Levis.

“That bad?” Bernie muttered, self-consciously hugging his midsection in response to the stunned gasps of his fellow candidates.

Elizabeth Warren had to readjust her rimless glasses to make sure she was seeing straight. “Bernie,” she whispered shakily. “Look in the mirror.”

Sanders slowly turned around. When he met his reflection, he couldn’t believe his eyes. The jeans looked fucking amazing. The classic boot cut gave him legs for days. The frayed hems added an effortless edge. The vintage fit was tight but not too tight, hugging his curves in all the right places.

“Bern, you have to buy those jeans,” Warren staunchly asserted.

Sanders shook his head. “I don’t know. If I wear jeans my Twitter bullies will say I’m pandering.”

Nevertheless, she persisted: “Screw the bullies. Get the jeans.”

Kamala Harris piped in, “She’s right. Those jeans are damn near perfect.”

“If you love them so much, why don’t you try them on?” Sanders tossed the jeans to Harris.

“You’re eight inches taller than me,” Harris scoffed as she entered the dressing room. “This is gonna be a waste of time.”

But to everyone’s surprise, the pants weren’t too long for Kamala. In fact, they weren’t too long for anyone. Somehow, miraculously, the pants fit every single candidate, from Tulsi Gabbard to Cory Booker to all the white guys who look like your dad’s friend Jason, the one who fell asleep in the pool on the Fourth of July.

“These are no ordinary pants,” Marianne Williamson mused with a knowing smirk. “These are pants that have been impregnated with buckets of divine love.”

In this instance and this instance only, Williamson kind of made sense. The candidates all had different ideas, political strategies, and body types, but these pants united them like the states of America. Right there in that musty Salvation Army, they all joined hands and formed The Democracy of the Traveling Pants. They penned the following rules:

  • Each candidate must keep the Pants for exactly one week, then ship them to the next candidate wherever they are along the campaign trail.
  • You must write the most exciting thing that happened while wearing the Pants in Sharpie on the left leg. (Example: “A casual, candid photo of me enjoying a music concert like a regular human went viral.”)
  • You must never tweet in the Pants without first consulting an intern.
  • Joe Biden may not kiss anyone while wearing the Pants.
  • You must never mispronounce “Buttigieg” while wearing the Pants.
  • Beto O’Rourke may not pair the Pants with a leather jacket. We all know you were in a punk band, Beto. Grow up.
  • If anyone tears the Pants, Elizabeth Warren will come up with a plan to fix them.
  • When wearing the Pants in public, you must layer slightly larger pants (or pantyhose) over them so constituents don’t suspect anything.
  • You must never wash the Pants (to preserve the American spirit).
  • Remember: Pants = love. Love your fellow candidates. Love yourself.

So how did twenty men and women of all shapes and sizes fit into the same pair of jeans? Were they really magic? Or did they just contain a lot of that stretchy Lycra material? That’s all part of the mystery. One thing’s for sure, though — these candidates needed a miracle in order to restore a little more faith in America’s future. And this summer, they got one.