Reaction to Elizabeth Warren’s town hall meeting in Carson City

by Roger Moellendorf and Brian Bahouth

"Elizabeth Warren"by Gage Skidmore is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Elizabeth Warren conducted a town hall style rally in  the Multi-Purpose Athletic Center (MAC) in Carson City Wednesday evening, June 2, 2019.

An enthusiastic crowd of nearly 1,000 crammed the facility to hear Senator Warren discuss corruption, education, the environment, distribution of wealth and more. Through a raffle, several individuals voiced their concerns and asked questions. Attendees offered Warren several standing ovations.

A Trump supporter briefly interrupted the event with jeering from an elevated walking track. Those in the audience largely answered with peace signs, middle fingers and chants of “lock him up!”

On this edition of The Wild Hare podcast, NCN reporter Roger Moellendorf speaks with three Carson City residents who attended the rally.

See music credits below the text.

What are the big problems the next president has to solve? Carson City resident Betsy Kosier is concerned about the democratic process and resulting governance.

“I think the most overarching issue is the disintegration of democratic governance because I think it affects all of the issues that are important to us in terms of environment, education, disenfranchisement through gerrymandering, and all of the things that she talked about that we really need to sort of get back on track.”

Tim Kosier said the nation needs an honest president.

“Honesty and integrity because those two things have been lost and they override every other decision that is being made in the White House. It has to do with listening to science, it has to do with paying attention to what’s real. I believe that Trump is not paying attention to what’s real and he’s making things up and being influenced by all kinds of other things. The environment and what’s happening with that is extremely important to me, but what comes before is paying attention to the real information the scientists, what they’re saying and what actions we need to take.”

Roger asked Betsy and Tim if either of them have decided on one of the Democratic candidates. Betsy said she has yet to choose. Tim is leaning toward Warren.

“I’m leaning real heavily to Elizabeth Warren. This is because she’s lived a life that represents what I’m saying is important and I don’t think she’s going to be able to be influenced to change that,” Tim said.

Betsy added that she thinks Warren has the temperament and gravitas to be president.

“That’s one of the things that really appeals to me also is that she seems to have an internal and external strength to fight some of the efforts to derail our democratic process.”

What in Elizabeth Warren’s platform addresses the issues of importance for Betsy and Tim?

“I think she’s very astute about how money is influencing so many decisions and I think she has some bigger picture plans monetarily like the wealth tax. That could have a huge impact on some of the huge issues between health care and childcare and early childhood education and equality for all communities,” Betsy said. “I think those kinds of things can be positively affected by some of the bigger ideas she has.”

The details of specific issues and election year hyperbole aside, Tim said he can see that Elizabeth Warren has a depth of character absent in the other Democrats running for president.

“She has lots of plans, and of course reality is going to set in. Not all of those are going to get accomplished. However, that’s what matters to us. You don’t get everything you want all the time and you get a balance. I believe that she’s going to use her terms to fight for what she believes in because she has depth. Not all the Democratic candidates have depth. They’ve just shown up and they’re trying to get things across. Her depth, as she explained tonight, goes clear back through childhood, through her work as a senator. You can really tell who she is because of what she’s been doing for a long time.”

Enacting plans to subsidized college tuition and childcare require funding. Roger asked if the senator was realistic in what she could achieve. Tim said Warren’s plans will require tax reform to pay the bills.

“It’s going to take tax reform. She’s got the idea of the 1 percent and all that, but it’s going to take tax reform because what ticks me off when I pay my taxes is all the businesses, all the wealthy people who use all the tax breaks. They’re still in the system and pay little or hardly any taxes at all. Warren Buffett gives the example that he pays less taxes than his secretary.”

Lyn Zonge is a Carson City resident and attended the rally. She hasn’t decided on a candidate yet but was impressed with Elizabeth Warren. Roger asked Zonge what concerns her the most.

“My eyes were a bit opened from her talk and from the question and answer session that took place afterwards. Healthcare has been really heavily on my mind because it’s impacting so many loved ones. I see it really limiting what people can do, but after hearing her talk, I realized that’s a very small thing compared to the bigger issue, which is the corruption that is happening, which is limiting things such as healthcare and education, which we all want and we all talk about.

“The larger issue is what she brought up … it’s the big money that’s doing all the drivers … it’s really sad that big money doesn’t have the needs of the American people … for what they want to put their energies into. It’s actually a way more self-centered thing.

“After hearing her talk and the discussion around it, I agree that it’s corruption that is the biggest issue. Lobbying and the big money is a really hard thing to fight against. That’s at the core of everything. That’s at the core of why we don’t have health care, why we don’t have good education, why our infrastructure is failing us because the money is getting sucked up by the big corporations. I’m not sure what they’re doing with it, but they’re not giving it back to the American people.”

Whether she chooses to support Elizabeth Warren or not, Zonge was pleased to have the opportunity to experience a presidential candidate close up and personal.

“I’m just really excited that Carson City gets such great people to come and give talks. I feel really blessed to live in such a wonderful community.”

Betsy Kosier was grateful for the opportunity to become a better-informed voter, first-hand.

“It’s really so wonderful to be able to be up close and personal to the candidates. It really makes this process very real and makes us feel like we’re part of the democratic process.”

Music credits as reported through the Public Radio Exchange:

Song: Greenland
Artist: Emanicipator
Album: Safe in the Steep Cliffs
Label: Loci Records
Year: 2010
Duration: 1:25

Song: What Do You Want
Artist: Bill Frisell
Album: Music Is – Bill Frisell
Label: Okeh/Sony Masterworks
Year: 2018
Duration: 1:51

Song: Kentucky Derby
Artist: Bill Frisell
Album: Music Is – Bill Frisell
Label: Okeh/Sony Masterworks
Year: 2018
Duration: 2:05

Song: In Line
Artist: Bill Frisell
Album: Music Is – Bill Frisell
Label: Okeh/Sony Masterworks
Year: 2018
Duration: 1:07

Song: Made to Shine
Artist: Bill Frisell
Album: Music Is – Bill Frisell
Label: Okeh/Sony Masterworks
Year: 2018
Duration: 1:20

Song: Talking Stars
Artist: Laraaji
Album: My Orangeness
Label: Vel Net
Year: 2007
Duration: 5:26