Sanders aims for political revolution

Crowd of over 1,000 packs the Redfern to hear presidential candidate speak

“Yes, brothers and sisters, we can transform American, we can take on and defeat the billionaire class, and together, that is exactly what we’re going to do,” Bernie Sanders, democratic candidate for the 2016 election, said while addressing the Keene State College community this past Saturday.

Sanders focused on his ideas regarding the state of the economy, foreign policy and the fear of terrorism and environmental issues to over a thousand students and community members during his town hall held in the Redfern Arts Center.

“You guys are the future of this country, and when I see [this many] young people coming out, demanding to make this country the kind of country we all know that it can become, you are sending a signal to people all across America, that yes, we are going to bring about a political revolution,” Sanders said.

Jake Coughlin / Administrative Execuative Editor

Jake Coughlin / Administrative Execuative Editor

This so-called revolution includes free public college tuition, refinancing student debt, investing more in education than incarceration, recognizing climate change and distributing wealth more equally throughout the country.

Throughout the town hall, Sanders focused heavily on the issues the economy is facing, namely financial issues that college students face as a result of their education.

“There are over hundreds of thousands of bright young people in this country who have done well in high school, who are qualified to get into good colleges, but are unable to do so for one reason… and that reason is their family’s lack the funds. That is absurd,” Sanders said. “That is why I have introduced legislation and will fight to make happen as president, a process by which every public college university in America tuition-free.”

This was followed by a standing ovation from the crowd, the applause echoing throughout the Redfern. Sanders continued that student interest rates are also absurd. His policy includes paying for these rates with a tax on Wall Street speculation.

KSC first-year and campaign volunteer Thomas Labore said that these issues were very important to him as he introduced Sanders at the event. “As a student and a member of a middle-class family, the political revolution really means a lot to me,” Labore said.

“The middle-class bailed out Wall Street in their time of need, and now it’s Wall Street’s time to bail out the middle class,” Sanders said.

KSC junior Rory Carbone said that the issue of helping the middle class was one of the most important points that Sanders made.

Tim Smith / Photo Editor

Tim Smith / Photo Editor

“Growing up with a single mom has been really eye-opening to the fact that the middle class is struggling a lot. I think he has the right ideas for what needs to happen and I think he really has good ideas on how to put them in motion,” Carbone said.

In addition to financial issues, Sanders focused heavily on foreign policy and defending the country from terrorism. He said that Isis must be destroyed, but we cannot do it alone. According to Sanders, warfare in Muslim countries must be done primarily by Muslim nations, although other countries including ours can be actively supportive.

Students said that this idea resonated with them as well.

KSC junior Connor Havron said, “We shouldn’t be sending our own people over there…obviously the way it’s going isn’t working.”

Overall, the student response was positive.

KSC junior Madison Strausser said that, while she was leaning more toward Hilary Clinton, she was still interested in hearing what Sanders had to say.

“He knows how to communicate with us Americans. I think he could get things done,” Strausser said.

Additionally, KSC sophomore Courtney Janvrin said that she was excited that she got the opportunity to see Sanders speak.

“I freaked out because I knew he came over the summer, so I didn’t think he was going to be able to come again. When I found out I cleared my schedule,” Janvrin said.

She continued, “I thought he hit a lot of really good, hard points. I felt that the crowd was definitely on his side…I think he’s really influential and inspiring.”

Bernie 2016 Regional Field Director Megan Harris said that anyone interested in joining the campaign could visit their office located at 20 Central Square in Keene, open daily.

“Whatever your skill, whatever your availability, we promise we will find a way to elect Bernie Sanders and transform America,” Harris said.

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