Humans of Bernie Sanders


On March 3, the Douglas County Fairgrounds in Lawrence hosted presidential hopeful and U.S. senator Bernie Sanders. Sanders, who’s running for president on a Democratic and very liberal platform, spoke to thousands who had waited in line for hours just to hear him speak.

Express staff members Erin McGowan and Calder Hollond made the trip out to Lawrence to hear Bernie speak and wanted to know just what makes Bernie’s supporters excited about his campaign. They compiled seven portraits of Sanders supporters from all walks of life who all shared one common trait: they feel the Bern.



“I’m a Bernie supporter; I have to be. Bernie is the only candidate who isn’t taking corporate money. Because of that, I think we have a shot at getting some of the change we need. A lot needs to be changed.”



What brings you out to the Bernie rally? “More for you guys than for me, because if things don’t change, there’s going to be some problems. I worked 45 years in health care, and if that doesn’t change… to me, that’s a very, very big problem. That’s got to change. We have grandkids, and I’m very worried for them if things don’t change.”

So you want change for the future? “I want change for right now [laughs], but mostly for the future.”



“This is the first election that I can vote in, so I’m super psyched about it.”

What gets you the most psyched about what is being said here today? “The overall fact that it’s about the people. Everything he decides isn’t for economic gain. It’s not like a business; it’s a family, basically.”



“I’m a big fan of Bernie Sanders. I’ve been actually volunteering in his campaign. I’ve been making phone calls, and I’ve gone to a couple events. I really like his platform and what he stands for and what he wants to accomplish. I love the fact that he stays on the platform instead of attacking Hillary. I think it’s great because there’s a good cross-section of people that are supporting him.”



“I wanted to see Bernie.”

What has you excited about his policy? “Trying to even things out and all the reforms he talks about… making the big corporations and the top one percent pay their fair share of taxes rather than those of us that work. I trust things that he’s said more than the other candidates.”

Are you going to caucus? “I would like to, but it’s a two-hour drive for me to get to my caucus location.”



“I’ve been supporting Bernie when he was running for re-election in Vermont, so it’s been a long association… Who would be my first choice of other candidates? I think it would be Trump, but I hope it doesn’t come to that.”

What do you think makes Bernie appeal to voters? “I think everybody’s ready for change. I know I am.”



“I love Bernie Sanders. He’s a rock star; I love everything he stands for. I think he’s very charismatic. I think he’s idealistic; I love the ideals. I am going to definitely caucus, 3:00 at the Emporia High School gym.

Are you excited that you see a mixture of young and old out here? “I love the diversity I’m seeing out here. I love it when I see the parents that are bringing their kids here and really making this a family this. I think that’s wonderful.”