(Photo by Maxwell Surprenant)
Saint Sebastian's School

Feeling the Bern on Boston Common: Sanders attempts to win over Massachusetts

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, currently the lead Democratic candidate in the primary polls, drew a crowd of over 10,000 people on historic Boston Common, last Saturday, Feb. 29, just three days before Super Tuesday.

The Boston rally followed another packed rally at MassMutual Center in Springfield, making it two events in Massachusetts in as many days. Right now Sanders is neck and neck with Senator Elizabeth Warren in her home state.

Warren aimed her efforts over the weekend on other Super Tuesday states.

Sanders did not reference Warren but instead focused on the incumbent president.

“We are going to defeat Donald Trump because not only is he a pathological liar, he is a fraud.”

Sanders emphasized the right, responsibility, and power of every person to vote.

“The truth is the only way we will beat Trump is when we put together the largest voter turnout in the history of this country, “he said. “And we are the campaign to do that.”

The crowd waved blue “Bernie” signs, and chanted Sanders’ campaign slogan: “Not me, Us.”

Sanders’ supporters wave blue “Bernie” signs and chant the campaign’s slogan: “Not me, Us.” (Photo by Maxwell Surprenant)

“The people of this country from Boston to California are sick and tired of a government that represents the wealthy and powerful,” Sanders said. “We are going to create an economy that represents all of us not just wealthy campaign contributors.”

According to Sanders, he does not accept donations from super PACs. Thus far, he has more individual contributors- with an average donation of 18 dollars- than any candidate in the history of American politics.

“He has a fire in him,” attendee Rayana Blundell, from Malden, Massachusetts, said. “I’ve never really trusted a politician the way I trust Bernie. He genuinely wants what is best for the people.”

Sanders has been criticized for his extreme views, but he presents his position as “revolutionary, not radical.”

He’s fighting against the insurance industry, pharmaceutical corporations, fossil fuel companies, Wall Street, and billionaires. A self-proclaimed “democratic socialist,” Sanders proposes to impose heavier taxes on the “1 percent” to combat the overwhelming wealth disparity in the US.

His platform for social and economic equality and a strong stance on climate change appeals to the working class and especially young voters. He promises universal health care, free tuition for public colleges and universities, elimination of student loans, and an increase in the minimum wage to 15 dollars/hour.

“I feel like our generation has grown up in a time where there’s a lot of economic inequality and it’s hard for us to move up the economic ladder,” attendee John Shurman, a graduate student at the University of Connecticut, said. “I think that’s a common frustration among young people, and it’s a clear message he [Sanders] puts out.”