‘Bern’ Notice: Sanders draws huge crowd
MILFORD – With an opening act – an all-girl rock band, “The Bad Larrys” from Salem, Massachusetts – Bernie Sanders held the equivalent of a rock concert in Milford on Tuesday night.
The electrified crowd cheered after introductions from New Hampshire Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andru Volinsky, and writer and civil rights activist Shaun King, as well as Sanders’ wife Jane, a social worker and college administrator.
The event took place at Hampshire Hills Athletic Club.
“I am sensing that the people of Milford are ready for a political revolution,” Sanders proclaimed, while John Lennon’s “Power to the People,” blasted through the sound system.
Sanders roused the capacity audience as he talked about hot-button issues that have been a trademark throughout his career.
“Where we are, is at an unprecedented moment in American history,” he said. “Last night in Iowa, we received the most votes in the first and second round than any other candidate.
That’s with 62% of the vote in. For some reason in Iowa, they’re having a little trouble counting votes.”
The Vermont senator, who is the longest-serving independent in U.S. congressional history, talked about President Donald Trump’s impeachment, adding that he would be casting his vote in favor of that, on Wednesday.
“I do that without any joy in my heart,” he said. “This is not a happy moment for anybody, no matter what your political views may be. But the truth is, if the Senate does not vote to impeach Trump, and I do not believe the Senate will vote to impeach Trump, what it will do it set a precedent for future presidents until the end of time.”
Sanders said that precedent means that “if you’re president, you’re above the law.”
“I personally believe we have a president who is not only a pathological liar,” he said, “not only a racist and a sexist and a homophobe and xenophobe and a religious bigot, but also somebody who does not understand what democracy and the Constitution of the United States are all about.”
Sanders was confident about one thing: defeating Trump in November.
“With your help next Tuesday, we begin and continue the process,” he said. “Of winning here in New Hampshire, going onto win in Nevada, going onto win in South Carolina, to go onto win in California, to win those states, become the Democratic nominee, and have the privilege together, of defeating the most dangerous president in the modern history of America.”
Sanders continued going after Trump, blaming the president for the massive divisiveness that plagues the nation.
“What this campaign is about, and what our administration will be about is bringing our people together,” Sanders said. “Black and white, and Latino, Native Americans and Asian Americans, gay and straight, we’re going to come together around an agenda that works for all of us. Not just billionaires and wealthy campaign contributors.”
Sanders also emphasiszed Americans should earn a living wage (he proposes a federal minimum wage increase to $15 per hour), and also rallied his supporters by stating equal pay for equal work for men and women. He was also emphatic on the importance of labor unions.
“I am very proud in this campaign of having the support some of the great trade unions in this country,” he said. “We are going to make it easier for workers to join unions, so they can engage in collective bargaining and earn a living wage.”
A sensible agenda, Sanders said, includes education and attracting the qualified teachers — and universal child care for all families.
“All kids regardless of their zip code,” he said of America’s children, “get the quality education that they deserve.”
Sanders added that he would make public colleges and universities tuition-free and said the government can pick up the tab.
“If Congress under Donald Trump can give $1 trillion in tax breaks to the 1% in large corporations,” he said, “we’re going to cancel all student debt in America and we’re going to do it with a modest tax on Wall Street speculation.
Sanders pointed out that 11 years ago, the “crooks on Wall Street nearly destroyed our economy. We bailed them out. Now, it’s their time to bail out the working families of America.”