The small number didn’t affect Sanders’ desire to prepare a formal address, though; he pulled prepared notes from his coat pocket shortly after arriving. And the difference in attendees – laid-back, rural older folks instead of the young, spirited voters regularly found at other Sanders events – didn’t change his message, either.
"The reason I decided to run for president is that I believe that the same ol’ same ol’ politics is just not going to work today to solve the enormous problems facing our country. That’s all. If these were normal times? Fine. Establishment politics would be fine. These are not normal times."
The differences in venues, crowd size and types of attendees didn’t change Sanders’ platform points, either. The topics he addressed from his notes, such as income inequality and collapse of the middle class, were big in relevance to this small group, too. For example, Moncks Corner has a median household income almost 20 percent below the national average.
"We’re the richest country in the history of the world. Why is the middle class disappearing? Why are millions of people working longer hours for lower wages? […] (T)he top one-tenth of one percent – one-tenth of one percent – owns as much wealth as the bottom 90 percent."
The small group welcomed each of Sanders’ points and goals, apparently recognizing their needs personally. In their questions, they seemed to happily request he repeat them, even, and asked for more details.
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For example, a 16-year-old, attending with this farming father, wanted to hear Sanders once again call for affordable college education. The senator quickly repeated that goal, tying it in to the criminal-justice issue he also addressed.
"Why are we spending $80 billion a year in this country when youth unemployment of African-American kids is 51 percent? Doesn’t it make a little more sense to invest in jobs and education for the kids rather than more jails?"
This was the second of four South Carolina events attended by Sanders in less than 48 hours. The previous evening, Sanders spoke to over a thousand at Burke High School in Charleston. Shortly after his Moncks Corner appearance on November 21, he joined fellow Democratic candidates Hillary Clinton and Martin O’Malley for the Charleston Democrats’ annual “Blue Jamboree.” That same night, he spoke at a campaign rally on the campus of South Carolina State Univ. in Orangeburg.