By BOBBY HARR
United States senator and democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders (D-VT) held a rally in Pittsburgh at Schenley Plaza Sunday, where he made several inaccurate claims as well as extremely questionable projections.
The rally was held at 5pm on Pitt campus where several thousand attended. Senator Sanders took the stage at 5:49pm following a list of guest speakers prior to him including co-chair of his campaign & former senator, Nina Turner (D-OH).
He immediately kicked off his speech with an extremely “woke” statement to his supporters:
“I’m not afraid to take on Trump’s racism.” Sanders stated.
This was followed briefly by a string of claims by Sanders that Trump was a “pathological liar” in which he often had the crowd chant:
“LIAR! LIAR! LIAR!"
This seemed to somewhat become the central theme of the rally as Sanders would often reference back to the chant to emphasize the many different claims he made against Trump.
A few examples of the “liar” statements on Sunday from Sanders:
“In a democracy, we all have different opinions. Whether you are a democrat, libertarian, conservative, independent, whatever—trust me, you don’t want a pathological liar in office."
“The biggest lie he told was that he would help working class families. That was a lie.”
“President Trump said that he would provide healthcare to everyone at a rally right here in Pennsylvania. That was a lie.”
It was clear that the presidential candidate is fed up with Trump & his fibs that Sanders claims he’s used to bait his voters, but what happens when you hold the Vermont senator to his own standards?
Few could disagree that it is an undeniably reasonable position to demand that your elected officials practice what they preach, so I decided to give it a shot.
A few more examples of statements made Sunday by Sanders:
“Black owned business in America can’t get approved for loans at affordable rates.”
“Our major national security threat right now is climate change. When we take over with wind & solar, we will create millions of good paying jobs”
“Amazon paid $0 in federal taxes last year because of Trump’s tax bill.”
The first statement regarding black business ownership is entirely laughable. An article published by Small Business Trends in December found quite the contrary to the demagogue’s claims. According to the article, between the years of 2017 and 2018—black business ownership spiked a whopping 400%. Another 66% of black owned businesses boasted that they we’re currently “looking to expand.” Struggling businesses that don’t have access to affordable loans are not in the market to expand. This is self-explanatory. These are incredibly exciting statistics for the black community, and it ought to be be praised and encouraged by our leaders—rather than merely used as political leverage to drive votes and campaign donations.
The second statement regarding climate change is an interesting one as well. Sanders got heated when speaking on climate change—shouting “Climate change is not a hoax!” as the crowd roared behind him. While that statement is both true and entirely useless to anyone, I find the lack of skepticism in Bernie's agenda troubling. Despite this, Bernie supporters were thrilled as ever to attend the rally—many handing out Green New Deal flyers whilst brandishing his t-shirts, but they all failed to ask their socialist leader one simple question:
“Why didn’t you vote for the Green New Deal?”
The third statement regarding Amazon dodging taxes last year due to Trump’s tax bill (TCJA) is a leap and a half to put it lightly. While the TCJA certainly assisted Amazon in lowering their annual bill from Uncle Sam, Amazon has a track record of paying little to nothing in federal taxes dating back to the Obama administration. This is due largely to similar lucrative tax deductions & credits made available to these massive companies—backdating long before the current Trump administration.
Sanders did not follow any of this up with elaboration, but instead dove right into one of the boldest projections we’ve heard yet from a 2020 candidate.
“We’re going to win all of the swing states.” He boasted. This statement was unsurprisingly followed up with an even bolder projection—that he would win the entire 2020 presidential election as well.
For those that may not know, a “swing state” is a state that historically has shown a similar level of partisan voter support on either side of a presidential candidacy. These are often seen as vital states of focus for candidates, as they take the least amount of effort to sway in comparison to many other states.
The "swing states" are comprised of Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin.
In the 2016 election, Donald Trump bagged seven of these twelve states leaving only five to his democratic opponent Hillary Clinton—Bernie’s rival candidate that he fell short of in the primaries. Assuming that Bernie could match Hillary on the swing states, which is still giving him a slight handicap—this still leaves Bernie with only 41.6% of the states he promises to sweep in 2020.
Bernie may want to aim for majority share before he touts the idea of sweeping seven currently republican states from the sitting POTUS.
A likely rebuttal to this would be that Donald Trump’s disapproval rating amongst registered voters has climbed from 37% to 53% since inauguration, which is a fair argument as well as a sizable increase. This possibly will have a detrimental effect on POTUS’S road to 2020 and need be considered, though it's unlikely to be imactful enough to cost him the election. After all, Trump did technically lose the popular vote to Clinton whilst still winning office due to the weight of his electoral votes outweighing Clinton’s.
With that said, such projections would still be sizing up Bernie’s 58.4% "swing state” delta against Trump’s 16% hike in disapproval. Jobs have been added, the economy is in good shape and democrats are running out of ideas. While Trump's spike in disapproval is nothing to add to your resume, you may want to leave your chips on red for this hand.
Seemingly moments after Sanders made these projections and the speech ended, President Trump ironically enough released his Q1 earnings for his 2020 campaign, showing an excess of $30 million raised to date. This means Trump has raised more in the first quarter of 2020 than the top two democratic candidates have combined. It was also released that a reported 99% of donations were less than $200—with the average donation coming in at just $34.
We will likely not see these numbers televised on major news networks due to one troubling statistic—the average donation amount. This statistic tells a story that goes aggressively against some very popular and long repeated narratives on networks like CNN & MSNBC.
An average donation of $34 means that this money came from working class people, and a lot of them. It’s simple math + simple logic. $34 is a very reasonable & predictable amount of income for a working-class family to donate to a campaign. Also, the smaller the donation—the more estimated votes the campaign can account for.
It is a reasonable assumption that one’s donation to a presidential campaign is a significant indicator that they are already sold on their vote.
That’s not exactly the story that we’ve heard from these networks though, along with others over the last two years. We were assured repetedly from the networks along with many of our congressional leaders that Donald Trump’s campaign was funded tremendously by massive corporations and lobbyist groups providing large amounts of capital to the administration.
The allegations of corruption in the administration manifested itself into the now debunked two-year long Mueller investigation claiming that Trump & his administration colluded with the Russian government. The summary of the investigation, done by Attorney General William Barr found no indication that Trump or his administration colluded with Russia in any way in order to influence the election. No criminal activity was found—therefore, Barr recommended no indictments.
This campaign report likely may turn into a similar fictional narrative as the Mueller investigation and will all but definitely have a similar outcome if that be the case. This is all great news for Trump, and detrimental to democratic candidates.
Image source: https://triblive.com/local/pittsburgh-allegheny/bernie-sanders-plans-presidential-campaign-rally-in-pittsburgh-sunday/