The Criterion

New Haven Feels the Bern!


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Anyone who says Connecticut isn’t “Feeling the Bern”, is dead wrong. Last sunday in New Haven, over 14,000 people gathered at New Haven Green to see the inspirational national figure and presidential candidate Bernie Sanders. The rally opened up around 4pm, but people had been lined up at the Green since morning. The long line of eager Bernie supporters wrapped around the entire park and even folded in on itself, vendors were stationed all along the line, selling “Feel the Bern” shirts, “Bernie ‘16” hats,and buttons depicting Sanders at the Civil Rights march in the ‘60s.

The main viewing area in front of the stage became filled with spectators almost immediately, with our two field reporters barely making it in. The crowd was ecstatic, and frequently chanted for Bernie to come out and start speaking.

A few minutes after 7pm, to the sound of endless cheering and thunderous applase, Bernie Sanders came out onto the stage and kicked off the rally. He started off by talking about his plan to make college affordable for all. Sanders brought up the crucial fact that in terms of hireability, a college degree has become the equivalent of what a high school degree was 30 years ago, and that if education in this country remains at its current state, today’s children will be the first generation in American history to enter adulthood worse off than their parents. As the Vermont senator put it, “Why are we punishing millions of people for getting an education?”, “We must make public colleges and universities tuition-free.” In retort to his critics, he said that “this is not a radical idea”, but having millions of people in massive amounts unpayable debt is.

Sanders also called for an end to the epidemic of heroin and opiate addiction that disproportionately affects ethnic minorities in inner cities. He said that the excessive and life-ruining punishments for owning illegal drugs, especially marijuana, need to be cut down drastically. Sanders also brought up the largely ignored fact that the United States has over 2 million people imprisoned, an amount immensely larger than any industrialized nation.

The long-time Congressman also spoke about the mental-health system in America, or as he might say, the lack of a proper one. “When people need mental health treatment they get it today, not six months from now”, said Sanders. He even made a daring, non-partisan remark about a fellow Democrat, Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy, and how he cut state spending on mental health treatment. The argument was once again made for giving free healthcare to everyone. Sanders plans to expand Medicaid to cover all Americans who can’t afford proper healthcare.

Bernie Sanders concluded his speech by listing several detailed reasons about why his “Democratic” opponent Hillary Clinton, and the Republican front-runner Donald Trump, are terrible choices for the presidency. The rally ended at about 8pm, with even more powerful and resounding applause than it had started.

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The student news site of Bridgeport Central High School
New Haven Feels the Bern!