Feeling the Bern in Madison

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It’s been a couple of weeks now, but I thought I would share a few things about the huge turn out for Bernie Sanders in Madison, WI back on July 1.  I don’t support Bernie but I do respect a candidate who is true to his principles and wishes to engage in substantive debate.

While he doesn’t have much of a shot at beating Hillary for the Democratic nod, the crowd cheered him on as if he were the front-runner.  Of course, it is interesting to note that I had to wait in quite the long line just to see an underdog…  It was interesting being a conservative in this crowd of progressives and socialists.  I must say, I was treated with respect.  I even made a few friends.  IMG_3717

As for the speech, I wasn’t as impressed as the rest of the crowd was.  I left unconvinced.  I heard attacks on Republicans, class warfare and calls for bigger government.  Apart from a few areas of agreement, it was pretty much what I expected.  Here are my live tweets that pretty much give a summary of my thoughts:

We are going to win this election! – @BernieSanders #FeelTheBern

IMG_3733Bernie says he wants to appeal to Republicans through a progress agenda. I think there’s a problem in his logic… #FeelTheBern

Medicare for all, single payer system. #FeelTheBern

Another point of agreement, college loan debt is out of control and something needs needs to be done #FeelTheBern

It’s there hatred on the left? Absolutely. Just mention the name Scott Walker. #FeelTheBern

Real family values adorably apparently means lots of paid time off. #FeelTheBern

Gop had a warped view of family values. #FeelTheBern

Mocking family values now. #FeelTheBern

If someone works 40 hours a week they shouldn’t have to live in poverty – @BernieSanders #FeelTheBern

WI minimum wage is a “starvation wage.” – @BernieSanders #FeelTheBern

Again, I agree that our criminal justice system should be overhauled so that young black men can walk the streets unfraid of harassment.

Hey, I agree, it would be great to spend money on education than incarceration. #FreeAgency

You can’t get tax breaks when children in this country go hungry. – @BernieSanders #FeelTheBern

Income inequality is the greatest moral issue of our time – @BernieSanders #FeelTheBern

Class warfare, attack the rich. #FeelTheBern

There are so many young people here. He’s inspiring this group to political revolution through grass roots. IMG_3692#FeelTheBern

I agree that there is way too much money in elections today. #FeelTheBern

According to @BernieSanders pro-life folks like me are the real extremists. #FeelTheBern

John Nichols introducing… #FeelTheBern

Just saw a woman literally on her knees begging Ed Schultz to interview @BernieSanders #FeelTheBern

Just ran into Ed Schultz. Nice guy, but I hate his show. #FeelTheBern

Literally just bumped into the mayor of Madison. He didn’t have time for a selfie. He was willing but his handler wasn’t in the mood.

Don’t anyone tell this crowd @BernieSanders is an underdog! #FeeltheBern

Just got interviewed by the Milwaukee Journal Standard. The reporter was surprised to see a conservative here. #Feelthebern

Last sound check, this crowd is excited. #FeelTheBern

I’ll be live tweeting the @BernieSanders rally here in Madison tonight. One hour till showtime, big crowd already.

There is one quick thing I would like to clear up.  As mentioned in my tweets, I was interviewed by the Journal Sentinel.  Here’s how it was reported:

IMG_3651Kevin Thompson, who teaches government at a Christian school in Beloit, said he is leaning toward supporting U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, a Republican from Kentucky, but he came to see Sanders because he is intrigued by his proposal to provide free college education.

“I’ve got to respect a guy who stands on principle, and that certainly is Bernie Sanders,” said Thompson, 38, who lives in Rockford, Ill.

Read the entire article here.

For the record, I did not come because of Sander’s proposal about free college tuition.  As I told the reporter, I came because there was a major presidential candidate in town.  I would have come if it were Martin O’Malley or Ben Carson.  As for my thoughts on free college, I’m not yet on board.  I am interested if it involves the federal government getting out of the load business.  College loan debt is something that is going to have to be addressed sooner rather than later.  But, of course, I am concerned about how it will be paid for and just how much government control it would involve.

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Donald Trump is Not Stupid

No, I will not stand by Donald Trump’s horrible stereotype of Mexicans crossing over our borders.  In fact, I condemn such comments as small-minded.  I’m glad candidates like Jeb Bush and Rick Perry denounced them.  As the Donald loses business left and right and is being eaten alive by the press, you have to wonder – why does he refuse to apologize?

There’s one simple answer – he’s not stupid.  Trump is after one thing – the Republican nomination.  To get the nomination you have to stir up the base and that is exactly what he has done.  He has no appeal to social conservatives, and I don’t see him having the same appeal to the neo-cons that say a Rick Santorum has.  That leaves one base group left – the no amnesty, stop illegal immigration crowd.  These are the people in the party that span all subgroups.  These people are eating up Trump’s comments and see him as a hero.  Upsetting the media and not backing down only scores him more points in a party that is convinced of a left-wing media conspiracy.

That being said, I’m no fan of Trump for many reasons.  If the Republicans nominate him, I’m gone for good.