Sanders, Democrats draw crowd to town
Several democrat senators recently met at the Bavarian Inn to “get back to their roots” after the profound loses in the election, according to Senator, Joe Manchin.
A modest crowd of around 100 people gathered along route 480 in front of the Bavarian to show support for Sanders and his democrat counterparts. The rally was organized on short notice by the West Virginia organizer of the recent Women’s March on Washington.
A few of the Senators attending the retreat paused to come out and greet the crowd, including Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.
“I don’t have to tell anybody here that our country today faces enormous problems and that we have a delusional President who is way out of touch with the needs of the people of West Virginia and working people all over the country,” said Sanders speaking through a megaphone.
Sanders’ comments were greeted with cheers, particularly during his call for a massive nationwide grass-roots effort, similar to the Women’s March in Washington.
Elizabeth Warren began her remarks by saying, “Let’s be clear on this, the Republicans have the power in Washington.” This comment drew boos from the crowd. She continued, “They have the Senate, they have the House, they have the White House. So it is now up to us. We can whimper, we can whine, or we can fight back. Are you ready to fight? The only way we can make democracy work again is when it’s the peoples’ voices that are heard.”
Kamala Harris, Junior United States Senator from California addressed the crowd, saying “We are here in West Virginia rededicating ourselves to you and to our country because we are fighting for the ideals of our country.”
The crowd got riled up with chants of “What does democracy look like? This is what democracy looks like” and even began a chant directed at Manchin, saying, “Are you listening, Mr. Manchin? We’re your state.”
Several students and first-time voters were in the crowd, like Katie Tomlinson and Claire Tryon. “I am a Bernie supporter-100 percent. He speaks to the people more than he speaks to the corporates. I believe that’s really important,” said Tomlinson.
Tryon said, “I supported Bernie. He’s very genuine in his beliefs. There are so many politicians we can’t trust and he’s always been consistent in his beliefs.”
Colin Vote said he was there to exercise his right as a citizen to speak up. “I’m totally worried about Trump he seems to be unbalanced. You talk about a guy who’s manipulatable, he’s the one. You could have somebody Tweet something or somebody say something and this guy (Trump) spends hours dealing with it when our country needs direction. He has signed all these executive orders and hasn’t consulted with any of the Federal agencies that deal with those things. So I’m really concerned about the future.”
There were a handful of Trump supporters in the crowd, as well. Kevin Benson, a Shepherd student said he came out to show support for Trump in Shepherdstown, where there are seemingly few Trump supporters.
“I never liked or supported Hillary,” said Benson. “She doesn’t stand up for women, especially being married to Clinton (Bill). She’s just always about herself.”
Nicholas Mantagna, holding a “Trump-Make America Great Again” sign, said he woke up and heard Sanders was going to be in town so he wanted to join the crowd and display his sign.
“Even though I’m on the opposing view,” said Mantegna, “a lot of people have said they respect that I’m out here. A couple of people have given me a hard time, but then they apologized. I’m not here to start any fights or step on anyone’s toes or disrespect anyone.”