My Walk on the Wild Side – Attending a Bernie Sanders Rally

Bernie Sanders came to Denver last weekend and for fun I took my family to his Sunday night rally. Since we are all Republicans, this was a true walk on the wild side in the form of opposition research. As Sun Tzu said, “If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles.”

Held at the Colorado Convention Center, the rally “drew thousands” according to local media. There were no lines to get in, other than at the obligatory metal detectors now seen at everything from political rallies to sporting events.

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Since Colorado is part of the upcoming Super Tuesday, other candidates are visiting too, but the Bernie culture is rather unusual compared to other candidates’ supporters.

Volunteers were attempting to register voters. Andrew Romanoff, former Colorado House Speaker, was working the security line, shaking hands and asking for votes for his US Senate bid to unseat Colorado Senator Cory Gardiner.

The Bernie rally started off with some local officials whipping up the crowd, including one young woman with a high-pitched voice screeching unintelligibly, a metaphor for the Democrat party, made worse by the dismal acoustics in the convention center. Finally, Bernie, the man of the hour, took stage and launched into his standard stump speech.

Trump is a racist, sexist, homophobe. (So is Michael Bloomberg based on recent revelations, but Bernie hasn’t gone there, yet.) America is a racist country through and through, he told the raucous throngs. The solutions are the Green New Deal and Medicare for All. As predictable as sunrise and sunset.

It was indeed a walk on the wild side. As Lou Reed sang in the iconic song, “Everybody had to pay and pay. A hustle here and a hustle there.” Every one of Bernie’s proposals was a hustle. Everybody, not just the rich, has to pay and pay. Interestingly, four years ago, Bernie railed against millionaires and billionaires. Now that he is in the former category, he only mentions billionaires. Who of course aren’t “paying their fair share” of taxes.

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His attention was directed particularly at billionaires trying to buy the election, specifically one whose ads appear on television and radio constantly. Mini-Mike is buying everyone and everything in order to secure the nomination, but it’s his money to spend as he wishes, and in accordance with the law. And remember that he is running as a Democrat. It’s their party and if they allow an oligarch to buy the nomination, they can sell that to the Bernie Bros.

Bernie’s rally was uninterrupted, unlike what happened a few hours previously at his Las Vegas rally where several topless women took the stage protesting animal agriculture. Bernie passively stood aside for the boobs for cows ladies, showing he isn’t much of a fighter. He was certainly not a feisty Ronald Reagan at a 1980 presidential debate punching back with “I am paying for this microphone.” Bernie probably doesn’t pay for much of anything (few socialists do).

A fight broke out at the rally between a Bernie Bro and another man wearing a “Black Guns Matter” t-shirt, but nothing like the fight that will break out if the DNC screws Bernie out of the nomination again.

The crowd was younger than what one might see at say a Trump rally. More piercings and tattoos as well, but everyone was mostly polite and enthusiastic over their modern-day Karl Marx. What’s Breadline Bernie’s appeal, other than free stuff?

Over a post-rally dinner with my family, my millennial-aged kids gave their take on the matter. Teenagers are told they must go to college, so they do. Many receive degrees in subjects that are difficult or impossible to monetize, like in the social sciences and humanities.

Graduating with huge debt and no job prospects, other than part time minimum wage work, they often have no health insurance and no savings, a high cost of living, and a crushing debt. With dismal future prospects for financial independence, Bernie’s guaranteed minimum wage, free health care, cancellation of student debt, and social justice platitudes are appealing options.

President Trump’s trade deals, conservative judges, roaring economy, and regulatory rollback offer little appeal when one holds a near-worthless college degree. Bernie is throwing them a lifeline, even if it is simply a piece of rope, attached to nothing. He is selling snake oil, “a hustle here, a hustle there.”

The Bernie hustle is paying off. Bernie has 38 percent odds of winning the Democrat nomination, according to FiveThirtyEight, more than three times higher than his closest rivals, Biden, Bloomberg and Buttigieg, in that order. Interestingly Bernie is tied with “no one” as a primary outcome, which means the oddsmakers think that a brokered convention and a royal s**t show for the Democrats is now just as likely as Bernie winning the nomination.

Following the money, PredictIt has Bernie at 48 cents, compared to Mini-Mike at 32 cents. They also have Trump over Bernie in the general election 53 to 30 cents.

Rasmussen, in their Daily Presidential Tracking Poll, has Trump at 50 percent total approval, the same as Obama exactly eight years ago. This is despite the constant negative media barrage against Trump. The President also has some upcoming campaign rallies where Bernie may draw thousands, but Trump draws tens of thousands.

To his credit, Bernie is consistent, praising the wonders of socialism for decades. Warren and Biden have new political views based on the necessities in a Democrat primary. Bloomberg, once a Republican, is now a Democrat and busy backpedaling on formerly sensible policies like stop and frisk.

Mini-Mike also has MeToo problems and some unwoke comments about racial minorities that he is trying unsuccessfully to run away from. Mayor Pete, like Obama, is a blank canvass where one can project one’s own politics. But he is still a red diaper baby and his communist roots are hard to disguise.

A few weeks before Super Tuesday, Bernie is the clear Democrat frontrunner, not surprising given the enthusiasm at his rally. Will the DNC try to rig the remaining primaries against Bernie? Which is worse, a socialist at the top of the Democrat ticket or telling millions of Bernie Bros to pound sand, again?

A recent NBC poll may provide an answer.

A combined 67 percent say they have reservations or are “very uncomfortable” with a candidate being a socialist.

Fifty-seven percent have reservations/are very uncomfortable with someone who had a heart attack in the last year.

Fifty-three percent have reservations/are very uncomfortable with someone who’s older than 75.

Bernie checks all of those boxes.

Brace yourself: I for one will be voting for Bernie. In the Democrat primary at least. As I am registered “unaffiliated,” I receive the Democrat and Republican ballots. Trump is quite safe in securing the Republican nomination, but Rush Limbaugh’s “operation chaos” looks like more fun.

The November presidential election likely will be a full-on capitalist versus an unabashed socialist. What could be better as the ultimate referendum on America’s future?

Brian C Joondeph, MD, is a Denver based physician and freelance writer whose pieces have appeared in American Thinker, Daily Caller, and other publications. Follow him on Facebook,  LinkedIn, Twitter, and QuodVerum.


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