More than 9,100 people “felt the Bern” on Sunday, September 13, when Bernie Sanders hosted his first North Carolina rally in Greensboro.
Sanders, a democratic socialist, is running for the Democratic nomination. Civics teacher Mrs. Watson says that he is as “socially liberal as a politician can be.” The Senator started his career as mayor of Burlington, Vermont and has worked his way up from there.
Symone Sanders, Bernie Sanders’ national press secretary, started the rally by introducing the crowd to Nida Allan, a Muslim student at North Carolina State University. She talked about Sanders being the first good candidate, not a lesser of evils, and one who “actually stands for something.”
The second speaker, Angie Wells, is a flight attendant and serves as the state legislative political coordinator in North Carolina for the Communication Workers of America. She criticized United Airlines, her employer, for its response to the ousting of CEO Jeff Smisek. “If we can give $5 million to a CEO to leave his job, there must be some money to give a hardworking flight attendant a contract,” said Wells to an enthusiastic audience.
After Neil Young’s “Rockin’ in the Free World” came over the speakers and cheers of “Bernie!” erupted, Sanders greeted the crowd with “You look great from here!” His hour-long speech encompassed just about everything he believed, especially his distaste of the “billionaire class” and economic inequality. He ended his speech with his usual message to “think big.”
One student who attended the rally, Monzerrath Avila Noyota (’19), said she supports Sanders because he supports women and Latinos. “He’s making a change in the world.” Avila Noyota did not hesitate to mention that she touched Sanders’ hand at the rally.
The vice president of the Young Democrats of Forsyth County, Jake Browne, said that he personally supports Sanders because the Senator is the only candidate who has consistently supported issues such as LGBT equality, civil rights, and economic inequality.
Whether or not the media takes him seriously, Bernie Sanders has proved to be more than a fringe candidate. Consistently holding rallies with attendance of thousands, especially the rallies in Seattle Portland, and Los Angeles, he has proven that people are excited for his message to “start a political revolution.”