Bernie Sanders headlines democratic tour, charges crowd to come together


Vermont senator and former presidential candidate Bernie Sanders headlined the democratic Come Together Fight Back tour that made a stop at Verizon Theater on Thursday.

I am sitting in Verizon Theater behind a group of men who appear to be in their 60s or 70s. They are wearing button down gingham shirts of various colors, and their white combovers make them look like photocopies of the same man. They aren’t the crowd I expected would be attending the democratic Come Together Fight Back tour, but nonetheless they are obviously comfortable in the political climate.

With 30 minutes left until the event starts, the men begin chanting the name “Bernie,” over and over again. The rally cry is quickly adopted and accelerated by the mosh pit of millennials that has formed directly in front of the stage. Bernie Sanders will be the last speaker at the event, but it is undeniable he is met with the most enthusiasm.

The tour, which came to DFW Thursday, was introduced by the Democratic Party Chairs from Tarrant County and Dallas County, Deborah Peoples and Carol Donovan respectively.  

“We are sick and tired of being sick and tired,” Peoples said.

The Texas Democratic State Party Chair, Gilberto Hinojosa, followed Peoples and Donovan. With much passion, Hinojosa insisted that Democrats will be unable to take on the Trump administration divided. Hinojosa also criticized what he called “bible thumping Republicans” like Ted Cruz.

“On Sunday they pray in church, and on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday they prey on poor people and minorities,” he said.

Hinojosa went on to introduce a Colleyville mother whose son has Cerebral Palsy. The story of how Obamacare is her primary means of providing medical care to her son was met with support from the crowd. She went on to encourage unity in the Democratic party.

Vice Chair of the Democratic National Party, Michael Blake, was the last speaker before Vermont senator, Bernie Sanders, was introduced. Blake introduced himself professionally before breaking into rapid fire, completely unexpected Spanish. The crowd cheered as he asked, “Y’all didn’t know a Jamaican could speak Spanish, huh?”

While Blake began his speech with a sense of relaxation, going as far as to take a selfie with the crowd, he soon shifted gears.

“I am a child of immigrants because we are all children of immigrants,” Blake said.

Several calls to action and digs at Trump later, his speech was over. The overall emphasis was the need to unify the Democratic party in Texas, and in the nation.

As Blake walked off the stage, the chanting of “Bernie” once again started, this time a roar taking over the Verizon Theater. When the highly anticipated guest walked on stage, the audience rose to their feet in applause.

The U.S. senator and former presidential candidate took a moment to look around the theater before greeting the crowd.

“Texas, are you ready for a political revolution?” Sanders asked the adoring crowd.

The first issue addressed was the low voter turnout in Texas. Sanders chastised the non-voters in the room, saying “we are discussing the real issues facing working class people in this country,” and it is our civic duty to vote.

Next, Sanders addressed the division in the party. He paused for a moment, before telling the crowd that the way he sees it, there aren’t Bernie Democrats, Obama Democrats, or Hillary Democrats: There are just Democrats who are working towards change together.

“Politics isn’t a basketball game, a baseball game, a movie, it is not entertainment,” he said. “It is what is going to happen to your life.”

It wouldn’t have been a Bernie Sanders speech if the billionaire class wasn’t addressed. His scathing words accused groups like the Walton family of thievery from the middle class.

The event was politically charged throughout it’s entirety. Although only attended by an estimated 2,000 people, the speakers were received with fervor and enthusiasm for the future of the Democratic party.