Rochester, NH—Scores of supporters for Sen. Bernie Sanders lined up around the Rochester Opera House amidst the blistering cold on Saturday, February 8. Some 200 people, unfortunately, were turned away, but Michael Moore, former Ohio state Sen. Nina Turner, and others delivered remarks before introducing the self-avowed democratic socialist to the stage. Sanders had a busy day, with Rochester being one of several stops as Democrats race to the finish line.
The Vermont socialist spoke for almost an hour, where he put climate change and health care at the top of his agenda, but he’s willing to take on the whole machine. He warned that his administration is coming after Big Pharma, the military-industrial complex, the private prison industry, billionaires, and special interests. No one will be safe in Bernie Sanders’ America. It’s a left-wing version of drain the swamp. That’s what so interesting about the Bernie camp. These folks want better trade deals, they despise the elites in Washington, and they’re tired of the working man getting trampled by these special interest actors. Even Trump supporters know our health care industry is a mess. When it comes to these issues, plus the whole blowing up the system, there is overlap, which is why it’s not shocking that a good chunk of Bernie supporters either sat out or voted for Trump in 2016.
Yet, as we’ve seen often in events in the Manchester-Nashua area, Trump supporters are not just sitting at home as Democrats race to the finish line in the Live Free or Die state. They’re animated—just like these Bernie folks are. For one truck driver, Chris Harding, who proudly touts that he works 14 hours a day and gets nothing for free because you have to earn it, saw the lines around the opera house and just had to come back. We actually saw him driving walking into the event. He was in a pick-up truck yelling some pro-Trump chants. He had been grocery shopping and had minimal sleep, but he just had to come out here and let the Bernie crowd know—Trump voters are ready for Election Day.
As Bernie Sanders supporters walked on out, Harding was there with one other Trump supporter, with his Harley motorcycle decked out in MAGA gear. He went through a variety of chants: “Four more Trump,” “amen Trump,” “God bless Trump,” “Keep America strong,” and “bye-bye, Bernie; 89 North” pointing to the highway route that takes you into Vermont. He up the ante on that one when he waved to a bus that might or might not have had the senator onboard. Either way, he waved goodbye the only way he knew how.
He also told some liberal ladies to watch their manners when they yelled "f**k Trump" at him.
Harding was lively and very approachable. It’s this type of passion that should worry Democrats. On the other hand, Bernie supporters have the same feelings about their guy and the same energy towards Bernie as Harding has towards Trump.
And remember what I said about the overlap between Bernie and Trump people, Harding noted that he respects Sanders for what he’s doing when a Passerby tried to goad him into trashing him. He respectfully declined to get nastier, noting that Bernie, in some fashion, is still serving his country and he acknowledged what he has done concerning building a national constituency around him. That’s fine. I feel the same way, but there’s still not enough gold in Fort Knox that could ever make me vote for a Democrat, let alone a democratic socialist.