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Tuesday, March 22, 2016
Bern Baby Bern
Of all the places I would have expected myself to be on a busy Monday afternoon...it's not at a Bernie Sanders rally.
But because I love my grandson Hayden, there I found myself, in the gymnasium at West High in center Salt Lake, on a bleacher seat among thousands of arch supporters of Sanders, most of them much younger than I and much more colorfully outfitted.
It started out that my son thought the event was to begin at 4 p.m. and asked me on my phone if we had any plans to attend. Hayden wanted to go.
Since my husband is a Democrat, my son thought he might be attending out of idle curiosity or just as an opportunity to check out the opposition and could take Hayden along.
Then the TV news announced the rally as starting at 2:30 and seats were filling up fast so I offered to take Hayden up to it since Marc had to stay at work.
(Hayden's parents have a polling and research business so there's lots of political talk at their house.)
Hayden really wanted to be a part of history.
So I hitched up the wagon and we headed out.
Getting there was no problem. Parking was a little bit of a problem. Finding a seat was no big problem. Waiting until Bernie showed was a major problem.
We were on site around 1:30 in a hot, crowded gym with 4,798 other people.
Bernie didn't come in until 10 or 15 minutes after 4 p.m.
We didn't dare leave and we didn't know how long we would have to stay.
There were numerous false starts as people made the wave with their Bernie signs and several hard-core supporters got up to speak in Bernie's absence.
It was a long time without food and water.
Finally the moment came and the elderly Bernie was in front of us in person.
He spoke eloquently of hopes and dreams and lofty aspirations.
He promised cleaner air, cleaner water, better-paying jobs, health care for everyone, improvement in immigration law, legalization of marijuana, less control by the police, a women's right to maintain control her body, free trips to space (just kidding on that one).
Hayden's eyes grew wide.
I sat down in dismay.
All of those things are great things...except for maybe the marijuana thing... but who pays for it all and how?
I couldn't help but shake my head.
I went to this rally with my eyes wide open but I was still surprised.
How can I support somebody with no sense of reality?
Does anyone seriously believe all of this can be achieved without pain and loss for somebody?
I came away not feeling the Bern.