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caption: Bernie Sanders supporters cheered on the Vermont Senator at his first Washington rally this election at the Tacoma Dome on Monday, February 17th, 2020.
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Bernie Sanders supporters cheered on the Vermont Senator at his first Washington rally this election at the Tacoma Dome on Monday, February 17th, 2020.
Credit: KUOW PHOTO/ Casey Martin

5 totally Bernie things that happened at Sanders' Tacoma rally

Bernie Sanders supporters are a passionate group, sincere in their faith the Democratic-Socialist senator will deliver on his long-promised political revolution.

His rallies, which feature rock bands and celebrities, are unlike his opponents’. That was certainly the case with his recent event at the Tacoma Dome.

Bernie Sanders' Tacoma Dome challenge: Get young people to jump on board

Here are five things you’d only see at a Bernie rally, and happened in Tacoma last weekend.

1. Sawant called for an end to capitalism

As moderates worry if Bernie Sanders, a socialist who caucuses with senate Democrats, is too far left to beat President Donald Trump in a general election, his surrogates in Seattle are not afraid of the S-word. At Monday’s rally Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant, also a Socialist, said: “we need a powerful socialist movement to end all capitalist oppression and exploitation.” That language might scare away some primary voters but the crowd in Tacoma responded with roars of support.

2. Mosqueda didn’t mince words about health care

One of the biggest debates among Democrats right now is how to handle health care. Some of the primary candidates want to gradually expand the Affordable Care Act, others want to provide medicare for everyone who wants it. Sanders and his surrogates say neither go far enough and private health insurance should be replaced entirely by government-run health care. Seattle City Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda got right to the point: “Don’t give me this crap about union workers not wanting Medicare for all … we do.”

3. Tim Robbins plugged his play

The actor, known for his roles in "Bull Durham" and "The Hudsucker Proxy," made a call to action for people to show up to the polls – and his play.

“I’m in the area this weekend,” Robbins said. “My theatre company, The Actors Gang, is performing a show called 'The New Colossus' at The Moore Theater in Seattle.”

Robbins turned his description of the play into a pitch for Sanders, saying it tells the story of people who won’t tolerate famine, oppression, and…

4. Tim Robbins said he won’t tolerate Communism (at a Bernie Sanders rally)

Robbins almost had the crowd convinced to buy some theater tickets right up until he said a character in the play “won’t tolerate Communism.” This got a very mixed response with murmurs of disagreement, but Robbins quickly recovered by saying he wouldn’t tolerate Nazis.

5. Bernie said he doesn’t have a Ph.D in math

Riffing on his usual message about the abusive power of corporate elites and the 1%, Sanders got a laugh when he reminded the audience about his education.

“And the last I heard … you know, I don’t have a Ph.D in math … but the last I heard 99% is a hell of a larger number than 1%.”