Bernie Sanders — the most popular senator in America — and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez — the 28-year-old from the Bronx who made headlines by stunning longtime incumbent Rep. Joe Crowley in a New York congressional primary last month — traveled to the breadbasket on Friday in support of two congressional candidates running under the progressive banner.
Though the first of two rallies held Friday was ostensibly in support of James Thompson, a candidate for Kansas’s 4th Congressional District, the gestalt of the day’s remarks was something bigger than any one race. The speeches — particularly Sanders’s — announced a unifying theme that felt too coherent to have been thrown together for a House primary or two. Individually, the remarks were compelling. Together, they comprised an unabashed declaration of post-partisan movement building — a rebuke to those in power who fetishize every identity-based division in order to diffuse the largest coalition in the country: the working class.