Bernie Sanders takes on Houston, Texas
The Bernie Sanders juggernaut continues. He is campaigning like there is no tomorrow. Senator Bernie Sanders did two appearances at Netroots Nation 2015. The first appearance was Saturday morning where a Black Lives Matter protest broke his stride. The second was in the largest hall in the Phoenix Convention Center that evening. He rocked the house with over 11,000 in attendance. Earlier today he appeared in Dallas where he drew another large crowd of over 8,000.
Never doubt the part activism and at times painfully obstructive activism and protest on a real issue can have on shaping a candidate's narrative and platform. By the time Sanders got to Houston his message was much more honed related to racism and police brutality. He began the process in his second speech in Phoenix. He still has some work to do but it is evident he is listening. He was much more nimble than Martin O'Malley who seemed like a deer in the headlights.
For those upset at the painfully disruptive Black Lives Matter protest that temporarily shut down Netroots Nation 2015, be cognizant that sometimes that is the only option left when a rightfully necessary issue is not given the importance it deserves. To be clear, Bernie Sanders, the person, was a civil rights activist in the 1960s and has recently asked for help on how to better pursue and talk about policies to combat racial injustice.
As demonstrated in Sander's speech in Houston, which is very similar to his standard stump speech he has been giving for sometime now, Bernie Sander's populist message resonates more so than any other. That is the reason people are willing to show up so early in the campaign. These early crowds can change an otherwise demoralized psyche that is responsible for the current voter apathy.
When asked at the Houston event if Bernie Sanders could win, Brandon Swaringim, 31, said "Of course. He has the right message if people would listen." Angela Theis, a young 20 year old, not only believed he should win but was blatantly honest about his age. When asked if Bernie Sanders was too old or if young people would think he is too old, she said, "Look, he only needs to live 8 years after winning the presidency. Everyone believes he can at least do that."
Bernie Sanders ended his stump speech with an important message. "We have something that they do not have," Sanders said. "They have the money. But we have the people. And this is what I know. When we reach out to our neighbors, our friends, and our coworkers. When we revitalize American democracy again, more people to be voting. When we stand together and not allow people to divide us, by race or country of origin or sexual orientation or gender. When we stand together there is nothing, nothing, nothing we cannot accomplish. ... This is our country. Let's make sure we take it back."
The nimbleness of the Bernie Sanders messaging operation and the skill of his people mobility operation should give every other candidate pause. He just may be the Barack Obama of 2016.