Bernie Sanders took to the stage Sunday with former Ohio State Senator Nina Turner, Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison, and Minnesota Representative Ilhan Omar, among others. It’s clear that star studded rallies bring out the crowd as the Minneapolis rally had over 14,000 people in attendance. All there to see the likes of Nina Turner, Ilhan Omar, Keith Ellison and Bernie Sanders himself.
Nina Turner Brings Passion to the Sanders Campaign Once Again
The first major speaker was Nina Turner, who hit notes familiar to any who have seen her on the stump before. Her speech was full of calls for a political revolution, decommodifying healthcare, and a campaign based on the principles of justice. All wrapped up in Bernie’s campaign, “what the people want is simple, why can’t we cancel student loan debt? Why can’t we cancel medical debt? Why can’t we save Mother Earth?”
Nina’s rhetoric shows the leftward shift of the Bernie campaign. An active call to decommodify major industries. An active call for the erasure of whole categories of consumer debt, emphasized by the need to do something about climate change and for the planet. These remarks were echoed by the next speaker, Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison.
Keith Ellison’s Call for Community Highlights Sanders Slogan “Not Me, Us”
Keith Ellison started his remarks with an emphasis on Bernie’s campaign’s main slogan “Not Me, Us” and how it embodies all that Bernie’s supporters should strive for. Distilling the “Not Me, Us” message to one as simple as that of “community.” In Ellison’s mind the power of community is the glue which keeps Bernie’s agenda together and what makes Bernie’s whole movement possible. Without that community the structural change Bernie Sanders pushes for simply cannot happen. Ellison spoke to many of those goals, but perhaps the most pressing was the income inequality Bernie Sanders has long railed against.
Ellison distilled the message in a very Bernie Sanders-esque way. “We need a candidate who is angry as you are, and as I am, that three people hold as much wealth as 50% of our country. We need a president who understands that in America, the richest country in the history of the world, not only the richest country in the history of the world, but it’s at its richest point in its own history. America has never been richer than it is right now. But that distribution is so skewed to the very wealthy that you don’t feel rich, do ya?”
Ellison touched on many other points and continued to distill the Sanders campaign message in his own words, before passing the torch to fellow Minnesotan and squad member, Ilhan Omar.
Ilhan Omar Brings Universal Values to the Sanders Campaign
Ilhan Omar endorsed Bernie Sanders with Alexandria Ocascio-Cortez and Rashida Talib, who previously spoke at Bernie rallies in Queens and Detroit respectively. Ilhan Omar delivered a rousing speech on universality and the need to view the struggle of workers around the world as a shared struggle for universal values. From immigration and ending family separation to climate change and the Green New Deal, Omar connected almost every aspect of the left’s agenda to universal principles that all should stand behind.
“When we say that nobody in America should die because they don’t have healthcare, it is because we believe healthcare is a universal human right,” Omar said. “No one in the world should die because of lack of access to healthcare or clean water.” She continued, “just as we have a responsibility to house people here at home we have a responsibility to ensure those migrating and fleeing oppression have a home here in the United States of America. And that when we talk about the Green New Deal or a Global Migration Compact, it’s not just self interest, it’s that we have a responsibility to the world to address the existential threat of climate change.” Every single point Omar hammered away at, was based in universal principles long espoused by documents such as the U.N. Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
From there Omar wrapped it up in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights to prove, as she said, “these aren’t radical ideas and it’s time to make them a reality here in the United States.”
In their own way each speaker brought their own vision to the Sanders campaign and spoke to many of the ideals which have defined the leftward pull of the Sanders’ policy vision. From Nina Turner’s call to decomodify healthcare, to Ellison’s call for community, to Omar’s call for universality, these aren’t new ideas. But the star-studded rallies which allow high profile surrogates to champion these ideals are relatively new. And if the 14,000+ in attendance are any indication, they will prove incredibly effective going forward.