On August 30, Senator and Democratic Presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders headlined a shrimp-n-grits town hall at the Beck Recreation Center in Georgetown.
The gymnasium was packed with Bernie supporters such as John Plunket of Pawleys Island, who expressed Sanders’ refusal to take money from organizations and corporations as a primary reason for his support. Sanders, he said, only accepts money from individual citizens. Plunket said a lot of the ideas which a lot of people consider radical seem more like common sense to him.
“I like his consistency,” Plunket added. “He’s preached the same message ever since he got into politics.”
While there was plenty of overt Bernie support expressed throughout the crowd, some were there trying to gain information that might help them decide which Democratic nominee whom they should support. Among the undecided was Sheldon Butts, a member of the Georgetown City Council. Butts said his main concern is finding the candidate with the most “electability”; the one most capable of defeating Donald Trump in 2020. He said there are three candidates he is considering.
“Bernie is in that umbrella,” Butts said.
A couple of people spoke prior to Sanders including James Sanderson, President of the local United Steel Workers Union. Sanderson kept referring to the main guest as “President Bernie Sanders” and focused on Sanders’ support of labor unions during his speech.
Sanders was greeted with an emphatic standing ovation during his entrance and it didn’t take long for the nominee to begin digging into the current president.
“This campaign is about defeating somebody I think is the most dangerous president in the history of America,” Sanders said. “We live in a democratic society and people can have their differences of opinion but we should not have a president of the United States who is a pathological liar. We do not need a president who is a bully, we do not need a president who is a racist, who is a sexist, who is a homophobe, who is a xenophobe and is a religious bully.”
Sanders finished his statements on Trump by saying Americans should not have to turn the television off whenever children walk into a room when the president is being featured. The rest of his time was spent expressing his major campaign points. Political philosophies that have increased the wealth of the one percent while the bottom half of Americans lose wealth, was a focal point for Sanders.
“It’s time we had an economy and government that work for all of us, not just the one percent,” he said. He also said the United States, as the most prosperous country in the world, should not have 500,000 citizens sleeping in the streets.
Sanders described the need to create a more robust public educational system. Children are the future, he said. The challenge of keeping talented teachers and encouraging more people to teach is a problem. The importance of youth and education was accentuated by his statement that teachers should be making $60,000 per year.
Sanders also continued to discuss free education, including post-secondary as well as eliminating student debt. Those who choose to pursue higher education should not be crippled by debt as a result, Sanders said.
Taxing Wall Street was another prospect he introduced that would help pay for some of the changes he would try and make as president, including Medicare for all. He echoed the popular debate point saying healthcare should be a human right.
After the speech, Sanders stayed around to take selfies with attendees, many of whom stood in a line that wrapped halfway around the gymnasium’s interior for that opportunity.
For more on Bernie Sanders and his campaign visit berniesanders.com.