Arriving at the C subway platform on West 4th street in New York City, you could hear the shouts of “Bernie! Feel The Bernie! Bernie!” from Washington Square Park. Here, Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders (the Democratic Senator from Vermont) held a rally on April 13th. With the popularity the 2016 campaign has received within the past year, it’s safe to say that Americans are feeling at least one of three ways. 1. Conflicted with who to vote for 2. Could care less and are tired of watching another debate on CNN, or 3. Have no idea how Donald Trump has made it so far into winning a majority of the Republican primaries.
Sofia DiPasquale, who is a sophomore at Pace and an active individual within the 2016 presidential campaign, informed me and Aimee Ratka of the Bernie Sanders rally and since neither of us had been to a political function, we figured, what did we have to lose? With police officers and their hounds surrounding the barricades, we managed to find a short cut onto a side street that led up to the park. ‘Do it for the article!’ I repeated to myself. For about thirty minutes, we were at a standstill figuring out a way to somehow enter the park when suddenly, a woman from the Bernie Sanders campaign allowed us to enter the park. Flash-forward to 8.30 p.m. standing on a not-so-sturdy bench with five other people, Spike Lee (a well-known film director and professor at the Tisch School at NYU) finished his speech about the challenges facing racial inequality and the epidemic that is police brutality. Spike then introduced the man of the hour, Bernie Sanders. In that moment, everyone in Washington Square Park had become a united voice in the effort to bring a radical change to America’s political system.
There is no doubt that Senator Sanders knows how to attract and assemble a crowd. His “no nonsense” attitude and demands that the people hear the truth is met with his confident personality when expressing revolutionary ideas for the future. Around 9.30 p.m., Sofia brought up an important point which was “it was great to see the amount of people that support him here in NYC. The media shows you that NYC is full of predominantly Hillary supporters but the 2 rallies full of 27,000-28,000 people proved that wrong.” I asked her the one thing that stood out to her during Bernie’s speech and she said that “The crowds were diverse; it wasn’t just young whites people. Lots of older people and people of color.”
Even though Bernie Sanders lost the New York Primary to Hilary Clinton on Tuesday, it was truly inspiring to hear his plans for tuition-free colleges, fighting for the rights within the LGBTQ community, as well as a sustainable plan to save our planet from the constant climate change. For someone who hopes to go to graduate school and receive a decent paying job after graduation, thinking of how much debt students will have in five years is startling. Going to the rally was the best event to happen all semester because my future wealth, well-being, and safety is at stake and I want someone as President who is going to handle the issues that are facing our society. Besides, who doesn’t love making new friends that share the same views on the Wall Street corruption, LGBTQ equality and woman’s rights? Change needs to happen within Washington and Bernie might be the guy to do it.
Too embarrassed to admit to your friends that you haven’t registered to vote? Go to the USA.gov website and within three minutes, you have the ability to have a deciding factor in the Presidential race. No matter who you vote for, just got out and vote!