By Len Lazarick
Thousands flocked to Baltimore’s Royal Farms arena Saturday to see Bernie Sanders for the same reason people packed the hall for Bruce Springsteen earlier in the week.
These fans have heard the tunes over and over, but they wanted to see the performance live, “feel the Bern” and catch the vibe of thousands there to chant, “Bernie, Bernie, Bernie, Bernie.”
They wanted to say they saw Bernie Sanders in the flesh, support his “political revolution,” hear his New Yawk accent in the raw, and boo his references to Wall Street, Trump and Hillary.
They ate up the warm-up acts.
“The people united will never be defeated,” said Kwame Rose, an activist, artist and blogger, leading the crowd in that chant.
“Bernie Sanders is fighting for those like me who look like Freddy Gray,” said Rose. Sanders was the only white man who spoke to the diverse but predominantly white crowd.
“This is the only campaign that is truly fighting for America,” said Rose. “This is our last hope.”
Dimunitive Delegate Ana Sol Gutiérrez of Montgomery County, a Salvadoran immigrant and candidate for Congress, was there to represent Latinos but could barely be seen over the high podium. She couldn’t quite get the crowd chanting the Spanish version of Rose’s chant. “El pueblo unido jamás será vencido” More joined her in repeating a throwback from the 2008 Obama campaign, “Si se puede,” “Yes we can.”
Before the speakers, the music included not only pop tunes, Motown but “Entren Los Que Quieran” (Enter those who want to) from a political album by Puerto Rican band Calle 13 — not on the playlist at a Trump rally.
For presidential campaign visits to Baltimore, it was Obama himself who had last filled the arena in 2008. In Sanders case, the top floor and a third of the hall was blocked off after rain forced an overnight change of venue from Druid Hill Park.
Ben Jealous, former NAACP president, introduced Sanders, saying, “only one candidate can defeat Donald Trump.”
Familiar themes, customized to Baltimore
Sanders said “we need to address issues the establishment would prefer that we sweep under the rug.”
In a speech without notes that lasted more than 45 minutes, Sanders laid out familiar themes:
- a corrupt campaign finance system,
- a rigged economy that benefits the few,
- and a broken criminal justice system “with more people in jail than any country on earth.”
All three brought boos and jeers from thousands standing at their seats through much of the speech.
Sanders brought some of his national themes home to Baltimore.
“In Baltimore, Maryland, in the richest country in the history of the world, one out of every four people live in poverty, (boos) where 80 percent of the children in Baltimore public school system are poor enough to qualify for free or reduced-price school lunch (boos) ….
“Where poverty is a death sentence. If you are poor in Baltimore’s poorest neighborhoods, your life expectancy is almost 20 years shorter than if you were born in its wealthiest neighborhoods,” Sanders went on.
“Fifteen neighborhoods in Baltimore have lower life expectancy than North Korea. Two of them have a higher infant mortality rate than the West Bank in Palestine.
“Baltimore teenagers between the ages of 15 and 19 face poor health conditions and a worse economic outlook than those in distressed cities in Nigeria, India, China and South Africa.
“We are talking about the United States of America in the year 2016 in a country in which the top one-tenth of one percent now owns almost as much wealth as the bottom 90%.”
“In this country, we are going to make profound economic changes. The status quo is not acceptable,” the Vermont senator said.
Swipes at Hillary
Sanders was talking like a man who thinks he could become president. He took several swipes at Hillary Clinton. He said a $15-an-hour minimum wage was realistic, not the $12 an hour Clinton has proposed as a stage.
“We have profound differences” on campaign finance, as a pocket of the crowd began chanting “no super PAC.” Sanders said he now has gained seven million donors, and of course the crowd could tell him the average contribution: $27.
“That in itself is a political revolution. We can run a strong national campaign without depending on special interests,” like the $15 million Clinton PACs have gotten from Wall Street.
He railed against perpetual war in the Middle East, against trade pacts that shipped millions of jobs overseas, and against wage inequality for women.
“They don’t want 79 cents an hour. They want the whole dam dollar.”
On climate change, he called for abandonment of fossil fuels and creating more jobs through reliance on renewable sources such as solar.
“I strongly believe we’ve got to phase out fracking in this country,” said Sanders, to some of the loudest applause and cheering his speech.
Evening conversation at church
In the evening, Sanders heard presentations and took questions from a smaller crowd that packed the Carter Memorial Church of God in Christ for a “Community Conversation on Young Men of Color” featuring Jealous, pastor Jamal Bryant and actor Danny Glover, who got some history wrong earlier in the day when he said Maryland had seceded from the Union in the Civil War.
Sanders was taken aback when Bryant referred to 70,000 heroin addicts in Baltimore; he checked the figure with Jealous, shook his head, covered his face, and then said that the epidemic of heroin and opiate addiction needed to be treated like a health problem and not a criminal issue.
The Baltimore-based Real News Network has a left-leaning interview by senior editor Paul Jay with Sanders and Glover.
Clinton 63.0%, 533,247. Sanders 33.2%, 281,275.
Donna Edwards for senate was represented by Bernie Sander’s proxy surrogate Ben Jealous. Ms. Edwards lost. This was the first test of Bernie’s coattails.
African-Americans already know nothing is free, and that whenever it is, they are relegated to the last position in line.
I was at the rally in Baltimore. The author makes a trite comment about it being an opportunity for people “to say they saw Bernie Sanders in the flesh, support his ‘political revolution,’ hear his New Yawk accent in the raw, and boo his references to Wall Street, Trump and Hillary.” And while slightly dismissive, that is a very fair description.
It could have been something more if the campaign came to Baltimore a month ago, when people could have gotten excited in time for registration and early voting. I also do not understand why they gave no advanced notice of this meeting (no one – even the people on the Bernie mailing list – knew about it until the day before).
But I do understand that the campaign is a lame duck now, and that at least he gave his Baltimore fans some love. It makes me wonder, though, if the campaign resigned itself to losing after Ohio and Illinois.
It’s become obvious to me that most of the disenfranchised Sanders supporters are people who have yet to make their mark in the world. If Sanders manages to get elected they will soon see that the “they” Sanders is railing against is their parents. Nothing in this world is free and waiting in the Sanders’ line for free stuff may sound tempting but true satisfaction and success only comes from working hard and earning your turn to reap the financial benefits of our pluralistic society. There is opportunity out there for anyone who truly seeks it. Sometimes on the way up the mountain the way is blocked. That’s when you move sideways to find another way up. To sit there and moan that the system is rigged against you is the sure way to fail.
Hi Eggman, I am a successful, 53 year old professor who is voting for Bernie. Don’t make these broad and highly uninformed generalizations. Wake up and see what is going on in the country.
Just the mention of your profession tells me that you’re the one who doesn’t know what’s going on in this country. I’m retired from both a successful military and corporate career so have a much broader view of society than someone who’s been ensconced in academia for their whole life. My father was a laboror with an 8th grade education and my mother a secretary. I joined the military during the Vietnam war and used my GI bill benefits to get a degree from the third-rate state college that I could afford with the loan and working two jobs. I parlayed that degree into a commission back in the military and later used that experience to sell myself to a major Pharma where I made a salary well north of six figures for 25 years. Additionally, while in the military I served three years in Congressional Liaison on Capitol Hill dealing with all manner of legislative issues. Uninformed – hardly. Come out from under your cone of political correctness and look around. Sanders is spouting nonsense like a $15 minimum wage. If that were to happen the people that think they stand to benefit from it will find their required fast food meal costing $50. He knows nothing of economics or society being blinded by the ideology of his mispent youth. Unless humanity changes at the genetic level we will always be a hierarchical society and there will always be someone at the top and someone at the bottom. There has never been a successful political system that preached total economic equality and there never will be.
Peace and good will to you sir. I don’t have time for your lecture. Maybe you should get a hobby or a life.
I didn’t think you’d have a cogent reply. You just fell back to the typical leftist strategy of insult and run. I’ve actually had quite an amazing life, thank you. I traveled and lived all over the world, met important and interesting people, married a beautiful and intelligent woman, mastered a martial art and, unlike you, suceeded at several diverse careers. I’m guessing that you teach one of those soft subjects like art history or perhaps sociology where you can rant all day to impressionable 18 year-olds about the evils of having more than the next guy. You certainly don’t teach economics.
Susan’s response was correct. Glad to hear you have done so well for yourself Egg, nice pat on the back. Times have changed. I realize your retired, but since your taking the time to post here, and I can guess you will make sure to vote, how about taking the time to see what is actually happening in this country now.
I also served in the military. I also put myself through college, mostly on scholarship. After college, I started and ran my own business for 15 years. While in the military, I served in Iraq. I’ve also been lucky enough to travel and see many parts of the world after college.
Busy with work for the last 15 years, as will happen, I missed some of the major transformations that have happened in this great nation. As I moved towards retirement, I re-engaged in the political arena at a deeper than surface level and was actually startled at what I saw.
You mention economics. It’s been awhile since I got out of Haas, but when I recently watched the Robert Reich documentary, Inequality for All, it put things in perspective for me. Perhaps you might have the time to watch that documentary and rethink your idea of what is happening in this country.
I agree, total economic equality makes no sense, but when you have income inequality at pre great depression levels like we have now, I guarantee you, something is going to break.
What part of Susan’s response was correct? That I get a life or a hobby, or that I’m uninformed and prone to hasty generalizations? Susan lives in a dome of politically correct myopia and will never have the depth to see the whole picture. But now that we’ve swapped credentials I have seen the Reich documentary and would have expected no less from Clinton’s Secretary of Labor. The trouble is more government isn’t the answer to wealth inequality since these things are cyclical and self correcting over time. Remember the robber barons? It’s also worth examining why the cry of Occupy Wall Street is the clarion call for wealth inequality. A bit of overkill don’t you think the 99% against the 1%? When I was working I lived a very affluent lifestyle as a five percenter. How come we never hear about them? How about the 50 percenter making the U.S. median of 55k? Not a great salary but sufficient to live decently if it’s not Manhatten. Reich, Sanders and their ilk are fomenting dissatisfaction to peddle their tired brand of socialism. It’s not as bad as they say and it will not be resolved by taxing the citizens of the United States into third world status. Maybe our points of view can be different and I understand that. Your war was about terrorism mine was about fighting just that socialism. I just wish that solid guys like you could see through Sanders.
The part where she asked you to wake up and see what is happening in this country.
I pointed out just one of the valid problems we have happening right now, leaving out a myriad of other issues we face to keep things simple. You however have just thrown out a “Fox News” report Socialist tagline as a reason for your view. As an educated man, I think you know the truth there, if you do not, you are turning a blind eye to that truth. I’ve seen that in many that are comfortable in their wealth, sometimes just barely, and retired. That is Clinton’s strongest voting block, she knows they don’t understand what she actually represents.
I happen to think FDR had it right with his “socialist” viewpoint. I’ve also traveled so I know the Scandanavian countries have something figured out that works. As an American, it was actually strange being in countries without rampant poverty, walking the streets in major cities and not seeing homeless, and a population that was just, as a whole, happy. I know, in what we actually face today, Sanders has it right on most of his views.
A 50 percenter in this country that you pointed out, at $55k is also incorrect. Half the people in this country today make less than $35k. To live the lavish lifestyle $55k will get you, you’ll need to be in the top 29%. The problem is real, only getting worse and, we are approaching that cliff.
So, As Susan said, wake up and see whats going on in the country. I was like you in my view just a short while ago until I stopped to take a closer look. There is a reason people spent all last week protesting on the steps of our capital. They have a point. We are approaching that cliff in more than one way.
Instead of checking out next year as I start my long planned early retirement, I want to do my part to make sure future generations have hope. Something to look forward to. I certainly will not vote to more permanently seat the corruption that Washington has become. I want to feel good in my retirement and know I used my vote to help the future generations, not supress them just because I’m comfortable.
Thank you for such a complete reply. My point that wealth inequality is an overestimated threat still holds because your refutation of my numbers is incorrect. According to the Bureau of Census the median household income is $53,657 down from a 2007 peak of $57,936. The 50 percenters are doing just fine and so is the country. I do understand that we are both creatures of our environment and my time in the Marines may have formed my views to some extent but no more than your experience at Berkley formed yours. In other words the “Fox Tagline” comment was a cheap shot. As far as FDR his social engineering would have taken the country to ruin if WWII had not given everyone jobs and the U.S. a preeminent place in the world. As far as those European socialist utopias I’ve been there too. Norway has about 5 million mostly homogeneous people. That can’t be compared to the diversity and size of the U.S when you’re looking at comparative political systems. Then there’s socialist Greece – nothing more need be said there. Then there’s the phenomenon of Brixit. The socialist policies of the EU are breaking it apart. All that said, this is America and what’s made it great is its inovative and competitive people. You start peddeling a gigantic, expensive safety net and that competitive edge goes away. And if we’re talking about basic fairness, by what right do people expect those with more to simply surrender their wealth to others? The wealthy aren’t nearly the creatures the media make them out to be all martini’s and inherited wealth. Most of those folks were clever and talented enough to make that money. I have a friend who got his girlfriend pregnent in high school and as was the custom of the day married her. He put himself through college at night taking six years with two kids and a wife with no skills. Today through hard work and talent he owns a 100 million a year medical supply house and employs 150 people in two states. Why should he give Bernie Sanders his money? As far as bashing the well-off remember the old, oft used saying “A poor man never gave anyone a job”.
Sorry if you thought the Fox tagline was a cheap shot, but you took the first cheap shot. Comparing the socialist programs that Sanders believes in like guaranteed healthcare and tuition free college with the communist Vietnam of that time. That sir, was a Fox News worthy slur.
You quote median numbers, I quoted actual income from Social Security reports on what households are making. I can spend no more time trying to convince you of the hard facts of what is really happening in this country. The information is so readily available, educated people that ignore it or explain it away, just do not want to acknowledge it. You are clearly set in your belief system and will find any argument, even if incorrect, to justify your belief. Suffice to say, we are looking at the world and this country from very different perspectives. The old guard is holding onto a belief that just does not fit where we are right now and unfortunately it is damaging the very foundations of our democracy. I cannot abide by the, I got mine, everyone else figure it out mentality when most of the wealth in this country is stuck in the top 1%.
Heres an old article from last year that shows a clear picture of what people perceive wealth distribution looks like, vs what it actually was mid 2015.
Enjoy your retirement.
Sorry if you did not appreciate the Fox news comment. You are the one who went there first comparing Sanders to Communist Vietnam from that era. That is a Fox news type comment.
I quoted real incomes, not median. My numbers were correct. Half of this country makes less than $35,000 per year, not the median income you quote. They are not lazy, they are hard working Americans. Income inequality is in fact at inexcusable levels and you have done nothing to legitimately dispute that. Ten minutes of research on the internet will give you all the facts you need. You keep defending the reality that almost all of the wealth is trapped at the top 1% of this country if it makes you sleep better. I cannot dismiss the facts.
You keep refering to things as if it is all the same as when you made your way in this country. I would guess your about 15-20 years older than me. I recognize at 50 that if I had to do it over in our current society, it would be infinitely harder, if not impossible. Your commentary makes it clear that you are not accepting of the facts as they are today. Your not alone, many in your generation make the same mistake. There is a detachment from what is actually happening in this country. The wealthier they are, the more dismissive. They are stuck in the, if I could do it, you can do it mentality. Everything is fine where it is, only it’s not.
I am taking a more pragmatic approach. I am looking at the situation we are currently in and what the up and coming generations will face and am voting for their future. I am not taking a back seat and voting for a continuation of the same. Income inequality is just one issue. This country has been involved in war for most of my daughters life. She is 27 now. We have known about climate change for decades, and even though we have the technology, we have taken no bold steps. We simply cannot continue down this same road. To me, Sanders is the only sane choice.
Jonathan, I don’t know how I can ever thank you for opening my eyes! Bernie Sanders is a godsend to this country and I don’t know how I could have ever doubted it. As you read this my lawyer is working to liquidate all of my assets into a check for the Sanders’ campaign (except his fee, dirty capitalist bastard!). It will cost me my marriage and my son will have to drop out of university (the little elitist pig!) but it’s worth it. I can’t go another day thinking that some millennial high school dropout, gangbanger or ex-con now on parole have less than I do. I’m also giving away my homes by converting them into communes for Sanders’ millennials and I’m melting my gun collection into plow shears for those communes so they can grow broccoli for the malnourished 51 – 99%. I myself will wander the earth seeking to right economic injustice wherever I may find it like one of those saintly homeless people on TV (they all are you know). My only regret is that I won’t have any taxable income to give to Bernie to redistribute in his great largess.
Of course all of this is just my humorously sarcastic way (perhaps an acquired taste) of saying that although I find you an interesting and intelligent fellow I realize that we are both too invested in our respective political philosophy to ever be swayed by an internet debate with a stranger. Also, your tone is getting increasingly condescending and that’s unfortunate because I was starting to like you. We both have better things to do. If it’s any consolation I do hope Bernie gets the Democratic nomination. He’ll be much easier to beat than Hillary.
Trump is a war criminal wannabe and Hillary “Neocon Lite” Clinton is a known pawn for the profiteers, so even those who reject such will “vote” for them or their ilk if the programmers decide on it.
In strategic population centers of over 40 states, actual counts of real ballots have been replaced by the use of foreign-built devices owned by unaccountable corporations. These electronic systems are proprietary and of undisclosed design, build, programming, and operation. They are vulnerable to easily-concealed manipulations and known to lose, switch, and fake votes. Even mailed, absentee, and other handwritten ballots are manually fed into hackable opscans, and the central tabulators are particularly problematic. Numerous individuals without ID who could be felons or foreigners access the devices in various ways. The systems were unsecured and obsolete when new and that was over a decade ago now. Thus democracy dies via digital disenfranchisement.
Some wonder why more tech savvy young people don’t turn out to vote. Those young people wonder why they try to call it that.
New Haven Ct. rally today…Psyched….#neverhillary
I hope the FBI indicts Hitlery before July 2016!
FEEL THE BERN, HITLERY…FEEL IT!!!
I like Bernie Sanders. If his name is not on my ballot come November, I’m going to write his name in.
The democrat and republican parties both are too corrupt!
Message to all: DO NOT VOTE INCUMBENTS!!!
The only accomplishments from our politicians is getting re-elected. Re-electing these SOB’s is what has created this mess for our country.
AGREED!!! Bill CLITon was responsible for the signing of NAFTA, which as you may be aware, is the beginning of the exodus of jobs to China, India, etc..
Yet, Hitlery is going against her husbands signing of said bill, by LYING about bringing jobs back to America!?
Are people REALLY that dumb, believing she would bring jobs back, when her husband (busy w/Monica Lewinsky under his desk) originally signed the NAFTA agreement?!
FEEL THE BERN!!!
The Bern is on fire keep it alive time for some real change.
Early voting was last week. He should go back to Rome. He deserves another vacation. He had a very busy year. He drove down the favorability of the Democratic Party. Ralph Nader only gave us W. A
^This message brought to you by Correct the Record PAC.
The whole internet is onto Hillary’s possibly illegal coordination with a super-PAC sending trolls out to bash Sanders. Your job will end soon, troll.
Hillary has to pay for internet troll support…lmao
The perpetually dishonest and out of touch Bernie. Can we put the cult of personality back on the shelf, please?
A couple sure signs of trolling activity are the introduction of and response to topical issues by using non sequitars and through ad hominem unfounded personal attacks. Their positions are exposed as vacuous and uninformed once seen for what they are.
Ms Clinton is a war criminal.
Bernie bros in the house. Can’t do math, science, macro, or reality.
Thankyou for your considered response.
An educated person observed recently:
“The French aristocracy never saw it coming either.”
It is coming – the time when the workers own the means of production: the factories and the places of business.
Can you understand that? The Workers; not arrogant and rapacious capital.
The Workers themselves each own a share of the business and participate in a true democracy by voting on decisions for that business.
We want you on our side Melinda. Come to the light. Join us.
Right F’n’ On, Puny. I’m still keeping hope alive that a genuine, peaceful, political (via Bernie Sanders), systemic change can happen. If this one rare candidate, Bernie Sanders, is unable to secure the Dem nomination, I’m not sure what to do. I mean, I’m not voting for chameleon, warmonger Hilary, and I don’t want to not vote, thus vote for Trump/Cruz/Romney. So, what’s a poor boy to do? Street action? I guess I’ll write in The Bern, and I’ll put some funds into Amnesty International, …or some such honorable cause. Com-on BERN — lookin’ for you to triumph. Go Bernie.
Paid Hillary trolls are obvious, nobody like Hillary.
You’re one of the paid trolls employed by one of Hillary’s super-PACs, aren’t you?
Click on her name, folks. Look at the number of posts she has.
Unfounded? Where shall we begin? Bernie hates those big banks, he wants to break them up! But supports the biggest bank of all by sinking two audit the Fed bills. Dishonest. Bernie keeps pushing the wage gap myth, from the study that has been thoroughly debunked. Dishonest. Bernie keeps saying he is against war, but keeps funding war machines of both our country and foreign countries. Dishonest. Bernie says he is pro-science and believes that the scientific consensus should be followed yet backs the organic industry fear mongering campaign of labeling GMO. Dishonest. Shall we continue?
For the record, I agree, Clinton is a war criminal. That has nothing to do with what is being discussed though.
Are you one of Hillary’s possibly illegal trolls, Sloan?
Negative, Hillary is just as bad in some areas and worse in others. I confess it is amusing to see Bernie supporters use the “must be a Hillary supporter” and Hillary supporters use the “must be a Bernie supporter” argument. Both are fallacious.
Does Correct The Record pay you guys by the hour or the word?
Senator Bernie Sanders is the opposite of DIS-honest. The opposite. All of his consistent positions on war, campaign finance, Wall Street, environment, education, etc., etc. have been consistent, low-key on personality — unlike Hillary, Obama, Trump, etc. Bernie is not a woman, not cute, not black, not cool, no, …he’s not any of the typical things that get people elected typically. That’s why his typical supporter is well educated, unlike Trump, and although Hillary’s supporters are not UN-educated, Bernie’s are more educated. HHhhhmmmmmmm… What does that say? Does it say the smarter you are, the less likely you are to vote for Hillary, so SHE should be the president? Uh…no. MeThinks not. Vote for Bernie, Hillary supporters — then you too can get a college educaion (for free, just like high school) and be smart. Offended? Well, just look at the stats for WHO, according to educational background, votes for whom. Yes, whom. Feel The Bern!
See my reply above. He has not been consistent except for those who are apologists for him. Also, some interesting news about Bernie and campaign finance: He’s in a bit of hot water with the FEC, you may want to re-think his position on that as well. His released tax returns were a bit interesting too. He drones on about the rich not paying their fair share, yet he is in the top 5% and pays less than the middle class does in taxes. But no, he’s not a dishonest career politician, he’s hope and change you can believe in!!
You are a lying sack if sh*t.
Great way to dispute the facts. He voted for the war like a good politician. He works for socialist interests, for socialist nations, against the interests of the people of the US. He was an obstructionist when it came time to vote for initiatives that supported the people, like a good loyal DNC politician who didn’t want to BERN any bridges with his democratic counterparts. Typical career politician who has accomplished nothing in 40 years. There’s a reason his supporters are naive children. Anyone with half a brain who doesn’t blame others others for their lack of success knows life is what you make it. Work until you succeed and don’t denigrate the success of others. Bernie, making hard working successful Americans the enemy. Baltimore, the city run into the ground by liberals for decades still blaming others for their failures. Seriously, they should have let the residents BERN it to the ground. Once again, they would blame others for their culture of stupidity and violence.
Hmmm. Closed account, few comments…
You look like a shill paid by one of Hillary’s super-PACs to me. If so, wouldn’t that make you a criminal?
I guess it all depends on how you interpret the loophole.
Go away, paid troll.
Ha ha ha, what a typical brain-dead leftie. Blaming their own team for criticizing them. That’s a good little pothead, get nice and paranoid and create divisions among your party. Be sure not to vote for Hillary this fall! Oh yeah how’s that BERN feel now? Like a rash that won’t go away I bet.
Prove me wrong.
Hey Sloan – you don’t have many comments under your belt. Are you one of the paid trolls of the super-PACs working directly and possibly illegally but definitely shamelessly and deceitfully in tight coordination with the Clinton campaign?
Fallacious. I don’t support any Republican or Democratic candidate. Unable to counter the arguments so use a shill gambit?
You sure do sound like one of the trolls she’s paying…
You’re one of her possibly criminal paid trolls, aren’t you, Sloan?
Fallacious argument, but nice try. Care to actually counter my points instead of the tired paid troll argument? Hillary is disgusting to me, just like Bernie.
The Bern! Welcome, Maryland!