Bernie Sanders did a town hall event Monday morning in Iowa Falls, Iowa. He asked the crowd for testimonials about the difficulties of sustaining a life off of $12,000 a year.
What happened next is both hard to watch/listen to and important. A woman is called on and she emotionally tells the story of her life -- minimum wage jobs despite a degree, on disability and living with her parents. Here's a snippet of what she said:
It’s so hard to do anything to pay your bills, you’re ashamed all the time...when you can’t buy presents for your children it’s really really really hard – and I work 3, 4, 5 jobs sometimes, always minimum wage, I have a degree, divorced and it’s just I’m waiting for disability to come through so my parents have to support me – it’s just hard.
Sanders thanked her and the crowd applauded. Then he said this: "It is not easy for people to stand up and say that but the truth is that until millions of people who are experiencing what you’re experiencing do say that we don’t make change."
Whether you like Sanders or loathe him, it's hard not to be moved by the video above. And, in terms of the campaign to come -- in Iowa and elsewhere -- the clip speaks to not only the difficulties people are still facing in this economy but also how they believe Sanders is speaking to their fears and anxieties.
Raw emotion and passion -- like the sort on display this morning in Iowa Falls -- are the hardest and most valuable thing in politics, particularly when you are asking them to turn out for a complicated (and likely long) caucus process.