They thought this was Trump country. Hell no

In a dim corridor backstage, Vermont senator Bernie Sanders looked down at Kansas congressional hopeful James Thompson’s denim jeans and black boots. “Hey James,” Sanders said without cracking a smile. “Could I borrow your cowboy shoes?”

Thompson took just a second to recover from the razzing.

“I wear them because the shit’s so deep around here,” he replied.

Through the thick cement walls of this downtown Wichita convention hall, we heard the roar of 4,000 Kansans awaiting speeches by Sanders, Thompson and progressive rocket ship Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in support of Thompson’s run for Congress. It was Ocasio-Cortez’s first political appearance outside New York after her remarkable primary win in June, when the 28-year-old democratic socialist defeated one of the most powerful House Democrats in Washington. Here in the midwest, Thompson – who also has never held office – has tapped into similar yearning for a representative who has more old friends at the local pub than in DC.

The choice of location for Ocasio-Cortez’s debut outside New York is poetic: like Sanders, she and Thompson have refused corporate donations, and this district is home to perhaps the greatest conservative influencers in US history – the Koch brothers, whose political network pledged to spend $400m on conservative candidates before the midterms.

It’s one thing to push the Democratic party left in New York City. It is quite another to rabble-rouse for universal healthcare, wind energy and a livable wage in Charles Koch’s backyard. Doing so takes, my friends in the north-east might say, “hutzpah”.

Or, as my Kansas farmer grandpa might have said: “That Jim is full of piss and vinegar.”

No congressional candidate has ever done what Thompson is doing in this era of unrestricted corporate campaign donations: hold a progressive sword at the precise geographic heart of the dark-money beast. When I asked whether anyone has, say, tried to break his kneecaps, Thompson let out a big laugh.

“I’d like to see them try,” he said. “That’s one good thing about being 6ft 2.”

Such humor – joking in a manner that polite society might view as unseemly – is the necessary roughness that millions of Americans develop to survive on job sites, in barrooms, in their own homes while the air conditioning window unit drips water on to the carpet.

It only makes sense that a progressive movement unifying the working class across lines of race, gender, age, religion and location would contain candidates like Thompson, who is both a civil rights attorney who represented detained immigrants and victims of police brutality and a former bouncer at a Wichita country-western nightclub called InCahoots.

In the war to take back the congress from those Republicans the battle cannot be won by conventional means!! Our focus at The Money Connection/Ted-Ed TV Channel is the 2018 election WHY?? The major portion of how Urban areas survive are through public funding of streets, clean water, police protection, garbage pickup, local school funding, parks, libraries, medical services and other needed public service that have been neglected throughout this administrations existence. Those so called Tax Cuts were not meant for us or the current middle class. So we are focused on November 2018 because it’s very important to all of us!!!

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