CEDAR RAPIDS, January 31, 2016 — At the U.S. Cellular Center in Cedar Rapids, Bernie Sanders led a rodeo revolution. Wherever one is on the political spectrum, the size of the crowd was undeniable. Some candidates conduct town halls in the back rooms of restaurants.
Sanders requires a convention center.
Cultures were clashing at the Cellular Center. Young college revolutionaries came to see Sanders. Middle Americans came to see the rodeo, also held in a different part of the building.
As expected, there were protesters outside, but not of the political variety.
Apparently not everyone loves a good rodeo.
Larry David’s Doppelgänger yelled from beginning to end, as the crowd cheered wildly.
“We are going to make history Monday night.” He is leading a “political revolution that transforms America.”
“Does it look like a fringe campaign tonight?”
Actually, it did.
Sanders has faced criticism for having supporters that are overwhelmingly upper class and white. This crowd was no exception. He is from Vermont, a white state. Iowa is also fairly white, although other candidates on the Republican side have had plenty of minorities at their events.
To create the illusion of diversity, Sanders reached out to the oddest of the oddballs. He was joined onstage by Minnesota Congressman Keith Ellison and Professor Cornel West. Ellison is the only Muslim in Congress, while West leads black studies programs.
Both men have a history of making comments that are less than charitable toward Jews and Israel. Sanders is Jewish, but he is also a Socialist. Leftists bond together on the fringe just as those on the far right do.
Sanders has “15,000 volunteers working right here in Iowa.”
Many of these young college students are being bused in from other states. While they are obviously astroturfers, this strategy is legal. Candidate Barack Obama did the same thing in 2008. Hillary Clinton would approve the strategy if it did not hurt her campaign.
Sanders has “three million donors” and an average contribution of $27 leading him to state:
“I have raised zero dollars from Super Pacs.”
While these types of comments elicit loud cheers from the upper class white idealists, most Americans do not care. This inside baseball issue of money in politics is irrelevant to people just trying to survive financially themselves.
Sanders compared his movement to Abraham Lincoln at Gettysburg. Lincoln was a Republican. The legacy of Democrats is Thomas Jefferson and Andrew Jackson. Democrats are trying to erase these men and Democrat Woodrow Wilson from history due to their rumored bigotry toward minorities.
It is striking that a Democrat for office needed a Republican role model.
Sanders finally took the gloves off against Hillary Clinton. She has leveled charges against him that have been proven false leading to Sanders saying:
- “I’m disappointed by the tone of her campaign.”
- “Dismantle health care? I’ve been fighting for universal health care my entire life”
- “I want to expand funding for planned parenthood.” (Sanders has a “100% rating from Planned Parenthood.”
He went after Republicans with slogans.
- “Republicans win elections when people are demoralized and don’t come out to vote.”
- He vowed to fight the “Right wing reactionary Republican agenda.”
Then came his offer of free everything for everybody.
- He will “expand Social Security.”
- “We want to guarantee health care to every man woman child in this country.”
- He promised young people “public colleges and universities tuition free.”
- He will “lower prescription drug costs.”
He did not say how he will pay for any of these programs. It is all free, that all his followers want hear.
Then he lit into Republicans.
- “The GOP represents corporate America.”
- Donald Trump is “bigotry and hatred. We are going to bring our people together.”
This was an honest statement. He did not promise to bring everyone together, as Hillary Clinton does to rolled eyes. Sanders wants to unite his coalition together.
He then bashed Walmart.
- “The Walton family is the major welfare recipient in America.” Many Walmart employees are on “Medicaid, food stamps, and subsidized housing.”
- He screamed at the Walton family to “Get off of welfare. Start paying your workers a living wage.”
He then turned to social issues, where the two major political parties do have real policy differences. Sanders favors abortion rights and gay marriage. The Republican candidates generally disagree, but with plenty of degrees of separation between them.
On abortion, Sanders said that normally anti-government conservatives “love the government. That my friends is hypocrisy.” Sanders has been married to his wife Jane for 27 years. They have four children and seven grandchildren.
Sanders promised that other families will be able to have the same joy he has when he enacts “three months paid family and medical leave.” He called the lack of this leave an “international embarrassment.”
He spoke about “another international embarrassment that we are going to end” when someone in the crowd yelled out “Trump!” Sanders promised to end that as well, to much laughter.
Sanders continued, saying that the international embarrassment was a disproportionate share of black underemployment and blacks in jail.
“Let’s invest in education and jobs for our kids not jails and incarceration.”
He did not bother to explain that blacks commit a disproportionate share of crime in America. Sanders then attacked more wealthy people who legally earned their money.
“Citizens United is allowing billionaires to buy elections.”
He condemned the Koch Brothers and the 900 million dollars they hade vowed to spend on this election. They are part of the “oligarchy.” There was no mention of George Soros, who funds many liberal causes in America.
Sanders bashed Goldman Sachs, calling them “a major fraudulent financial institution.”
It bothers Sanders that potheads have criminal records while Goldman Sachs, by paying a five billion settlement to the government, does not.
Sanders went to Birmingham, Alabama last month. He saw people who “stood up to domestic terrorism.”
Sanders vowed to stand up to “drug companies and insurance companies and fossil fuel companies.”
As for unarmed black kids shot by police, Sanders will stop that.
Sanders did not mention foreign policy. There was no mention of ISIS, Iran, al Qaeda, Boko Haram, Russia, China, or any other hot spot.
There was also one constituency that Sanders either accidentally or deliberately neglected to mention. He vows to stand up for gays, blacks and Muslims. He does not mention Jews. One line about condemning global anti-Semitism would be morally consistent.
Perhaps Sanders is terrified of fracturing a coalition that consists of blacks and Muslims. Again, leaders like Ellison and West are not friendly in their rhetoric toward Jews. Sanders likes to say that he speaks truth to power, but Jews have faced far more acts of violence against them than blacks or Muslims. Sanders is very meek on this issue.
Sanders has a realistic shot to win the Iowa Caucus, and he currently leads the New Hampshire primary. After that, he faces a tough road. When the states are less white, he has no answers. In many places of America, screaming college students are disliked. Whether Ron Paul or Bernie Sanders, the loudest supporters turn others off.
The Sanders supporters lack self-awareness. They condemn Trump supporters as an angry mob, while denying that this same label applies to the Sanders radicals.
One Sanders supporter dressed as Princess Lea held up a Star Wars sign praising “Bernie Wan Kenobi.” For Sanders supporters, this is their reality. For normal America, this is political Comicon.
Most Americans do not want to be seen wearing t-shirts bragging about how they are proud Communists.
Sanders is entertaining. He believes every word he says. So do his blind and obedient supporters.
Meanwhile, those who want sanity restored to the United States just cringe.
We will all soon know whether the mainstream or the extreme owns the Democrat Party and the entire country.