Since we are in one of the most contentious elections in history, I believe it’s important to be as informed of all sides as possible. Because of this, I jump at any chance to be part of political events. I’ve had the opportunity to attend a Bernie rally in Vermont, and a Trump rally in New Hampshire. One thing that struck me most was how incredibly passionate the people at these events were for their candidates.
When I went to the Bernie rally the primary elections hadn’t taken place yet, so the Bernie fever was at an all-time high. Everyone there was excited, wearing a Bernie shirt or sporting a button, and chatting about the ‘political revolution’. The majority of the people around me were young, with hope in their hearts and change on their minds. Even though it was bitterly cold and we all stood outside for hours, spirits were high and attitudes were pleasant. There were drum circles being formed, people using hula hoops, and a man even had an eight foot paper-mache hand giving out high fives. Once finally inside, the energy in the room became even higher. Ben Cohen from Ben & Jerry’s spoke, Ben Folds played some music, and finally Bernie took the stage. As he spoke, the rally goers were mesmerized, there were spontaneous chants that popped up but overall the arena was quiet, people hanging on his every word.
The Trump rally I attended on October 28, 2016 in New Hampshire was no less excitable. The people wore elaborate costumes such as full American flag suits or tongue-in-cheek shirts supporting Trump or taking jabs at Hillary. The median age of the group was higher than at Bernie’s, however I did see some people my own age. Everyone there was kind and pleasant to talk with. I quickly and easily made friends with the people around me. The crowd overall was louder for Trump, consistently interrupting him to chant his name, or yell out support. His opening acts were far less dazzling, but full of information for voters. Even through the long periods of waiting and the less than exciting openers, his crowd never lost their enthusiasm.
What struck me the most about attending these two events was how similar the people attending were. While they may not agree on policy or on their ideals, they share one important thing in common: they were beyond passionate for what they believe is the right choice, and they have an undying love for their respective candidates. So maybe instead of only thinking of ourselves as completely divided, we can see ourselves as a tad bit united in our passion for our respective candidates. Just maybe.