I’m on the road in the other direction this weekend, but East River Democrats and Independents, if you need another reason to go to the Cities this weekend, go see Democratic Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders speak in Minneapolis Sunday morning! The Vermont independent will make his case for picking him over Hillary Clinton at the Minneapolis American Indian Center (hmm, does that venue choice matter politically?) Sunday, with Sanders starting the town meeting at 10:00 a.m. Get there at 9:30 a.m. for coffee and bagels… or maybe earlier: 2,400 people have signed up online to attend. A Sanders event in Davenport, Iowa, last night drew 2.5 times as many people as expected, and the 73-year-old Sanders stayed past 10 p.m. to answer their questions.
So I wonder: would South Dakota Democrats like to invite Sanders to our county fairs to make some speeches like this:
Today, we stand here and say loudly and clearly that; “Enough is enough. This great nation and its government belong to all of the people, and not to a handful of billionaires, their Super-PACs and their lobbyists.”
Brothers and sisters: Now is not the time for thinking small. Now is not the time for the same old – same old establishment politics and stale inside-the-beltway ideas….
American democracy is not about billionaires being able to buy candidates and elections. It is not about the Koch brothers, Sheldon Adelson and other incredibly wealthy individuals spending billions of dollars to elect candidates who will make the rich richer and everyone else poorer. According to media reports the Koch brothers alone, one family, will spend more money in this election cycle than either the Democratic or Republican parties. This is not democracy. This is oligarchy. In Vermont and at our town meetings we know what American democracy is supposed to be about. It is one person, one vote – with every citizen having an equal say – and no voter suppression. And that’s the kind of American political system we have to fight for and will fight for in this campaign [Bernie Sanders, prepared remarks, 2015.05.26, reported in OB Rag, 2015.05.27].
Senator Sanders sounds an awful lot like former Senate candidate Rick Weiland, our own prairie populist who is fighting to take our country back from the plutocrats. Surely Senator Sanders could draw some crowds for the petition-signing parties Weiland will be hosting for his new organization’s ballot measures when they hit the streets.
Remember: South Dakota is Clinton Country… at least among Democrats. South Dakota was the only state in the north central U.S. to go for Clinton in the 2008 primaries. Insurgents for Bernie might get a stern look from the establishment Dems (we still have a few!). But the degradation of democracy by oligarchs that Bernie Sanders is talking about fits perfectly with the themes that Rick Weiland and we petitioners are developing here in South Dakota. We could benefit from a visit from the Vermont Independent to cheer us on… and he could benefit with a tactical strike against the Clinton campaign in South Dakota to tell us populists, “Hey! I’m your guy!”
Bernie, if you’re listening, let’s talk about bringing you to the Brown County Fair in August….