ANN ARBOR, Michigan — Sen. Bernie Sanders told supporters on Sunday that they can see Martin Luther King’s famous arc of the moral university finally bending toward justice as they make change leading to Tuesday’s Democratic presidential primary.
Over 10,000 people gathered in The Diag at University of Michigan to hear Sanders speak two days before the state’s primary about his plans if elected president, which focused heavily on progress for future generations.
“I think of young women like (Rep.) Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and what are the struggles that her and her generation are going to face in the next 30, 40, 50 years,” Sanders said focusing on making lasting change with his campaign.
Rep. Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., who endorsed Sanders in October, was at the rally to support Sanders, saying it’s important to be inclusive in the campaign’s fight against injustice and to make a “rainbow coalition” of everyday Americans.
She told the audience they have to do beat the systems of injustice.
“We must shed the unnecessary clothes of cynicism and exclusion and we must turn toward an embracing structure where all people are welcome into a people’s movement,” Ocasio-Cortez said.
The New York Democrat shared the story of the Rev. Jesse Jackson’s presidential campaign that ran on health care reforms and removing troops from overseas, much like Sanders’s campaign. Earlier that day, Jackson endorsed Sanders, who did the same for Jackson in his failed 1984 bid for the Democratic presidential nomination.
Sanders said brave people throughout history have put their lives on the line, like Rev. Jackson, in the struggle for justice, which is central to his campaign.
Sanders called on his supporters to join him in his fight against Wall Street, drug companies, the fossil fuel industry and other corporations.
“We are capable of making sweeping change if we have the courage to do it,” he said.
If elected, he has plans to implement a $15 minimum wage, free public college education and the most expensive plan of Medicare for All.
The most frequently asked question of Sanders is how he intends to fund his proposed universal health care plan. He said he would reallocate the billions a year on weapons and wars that is now spent to fund his plans.
Michigan student Lauren Conroy said she was weary of the promises Sanders made in his speech and was also concerned of how these plans were going to be funded. The president’s role is more difficult than people realize, she said, and it can be dangerous to make promises that cannot be kept.
“Sometimes it is easy to get swept up in these idealistic scenarios while overlooking the reality of the arduous process of policy implement,” Conroy said.