Hey, Donald: Bernie Sanders Just Showed How Protesters Should Be Dealt With

There aren’t many things in this world that will get me to stand in line outside at 6 in the morning on a cold, rainy day. A Radiohead concert or a Bernie Sanders rally… that’s about it. Luckily, one of those things happened here in Binghamton, New York, yesterday.

Bernie Sanders became the first major presidential candidate to visit Binghamton since George W. Bush stopped through on the 2000 campaign trail, sixteen years ago. We’ve had a slew of big political names visit in the years since — President Obama, Bill and Hillary Clinton (together and separately), John Boehner (you could smell the spray-tan clear across the city) — but not as a campaign stop.

Ted Cruz is reportedly planning a rally here on Friday, but Bernie beat him to the punch. Also, it’s doubtful Cruz will pull in the crowd Sanders drew on Monday; People started lining up as early as 3:30 am, with doors scheduled to open at 7 am. He not only filled the Broome County Veteran’s Arena, but hundreds of people were turned away after said arena hit maximum capacity.

Sanders’ speech was pretty much exactly what any politico might expect; a pretty standard campaign stump speech, touching on health care, college tuition, paid family leave, hydrofracking, and other topics you’d expect Bernie Sanders to talk about. The whole audience roared in deafening appreciation of every comment he made, too. Well, almost the whole audience.

One right-wing clown in attendance tried to disrupt the jubilant rally, shouting ignorantly with the hopes of interrupting Sanders. But Sanders gave a textbook lesson in how to deal with hecklers, a lesson Trump would be wise to take a page from: Sanders ignored him and kept talking.Some in the audience yelled for him to be quiet, but most just tuned him out. After a few seconds of annoying the crowd, the bitter, embarrassed moron closed his mouth and walked out of the arena on his own two feet. No one punched him, kicked him, or choked him, or even so much as touched him. No one threatened him with a gun. No one screamed vulgar, racist insults at him. He just quietly, meekly shrunk away and wandered out of the arena, a security guard watching him and following from a distance.

The whole time, Bernie Sanders kept talking about the issues that mattered most to those in attendance. He never skipped a beat, and never addressed the nutty Trump supporter shouting at him. He certainly didn’t do what Donald Trump has been known to do during the ’16 campaign: incite violence and openly encourage his supporters to physically engage with protesters.

Pro-Trump Bernie Sanders Protestor in Binghamton, New York. Screengrab courtesy of Amanda Rozelle

The protester, whom we’ve identified but aren’t naming because he doesn’t deserve the spotlight, is a self-confessed Trump supporter. The man bragged about it later on Facebook, posting on a friend’s wall with a slew of inaccuracies, as shown in the picture above. He never “interrupted” Sanders, who didn’t seem to register the man was even present. And the crowd wasn’t “about 95% college kids,” either. In fact, if more than 30% of the audience was under 25, I would be pretty shocked. But hey, there I go again assuming Trump supporters have some level of intellectual capacity.

If the protester proved one thing, it wasn’t something he wants credit for: the contrast between Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton, versus Donald Trump and Ted Cruz, couldn’t be more stark if it took up residence in Winterfell. On one side, you have intellectual supporters who are focused on serious issues and hope to absorb as much information on those topics as possible. On the other side? Well, you have that asshole.

Photo by aj.hanson1