Sanders urges party to go beyond comfort zone

As in ME, there was a standing ovation when the local member of Congress, a Democrat who had backed Clinton, endorsed Sanders's call for "single-payer", Canada-style health care. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., reminisced about his 2016 presidential campaign.

"Sanders kicked off his multi-state ‶Come Together and Fight Back" tour with Democratic National Committee chairman Tom Perez in Portland, ME on April 17.

But as noted by Perez, "The Republicans have no purity test". Yep, It's President Donald Trump.

And accordingly, the crowd that filled The Louisville Palace theater was diverse - a range of ages, backgrounds, and appearances.

Bernie Sanders supporters are well-informed and motivated and they are not going to settle for corporate Democrats in the coming elections. For Charity, a nurse, the primary concern was healthcare. "I think you'd be a fool to think that's all the same". "When you've got people working longer hours for lower wages, when you've got right-wing governors attempting to throw people off of health insurance and tax breaks for billionaires, don't tell me we can not win in each and every state of this country, including in the great state of Texas".

DNC Chairman Tom Perez was on hand to hear the speech and introduced the senator. Standing out was Kyle Henderson, a pipe-fitter, union man from Paducah. While Sanders talked about systemic injustice, Perez fixated on Trump. "The biggest threat to women's reproductive rights is the relentless Republican attacks on women's health care". "I call it a s-ty budget". What it does is provide job retraining for coal miners who are finding themselves at a disadvantage in the economic primacy of cheaper natural gas. When people were out there knocking on doors, they were using the DNC's voter file. Rather than just calling for what's needed - a truly independent investigation into allegations that the Russian government interfered with the USA election - the party line became hyperbolic and unmoored from the available evidence.

So who's among the "least" popular figures in America?

DETROW: You know, I think there's certainly a lot of anti-Trump energy in terms of Democratic voters, grassroots activists. "Are you ready for a radical concept?"

Sanders still does not call himself a Democrat.

He outlined the decline of the middle class over the past 30 years, saying that politics is about is "problem solving, not political ads and gossip", a shot at the 24-hour news cycle that sensationalizes rather than informing. With the 2018 congressional election on the horizon, Democrats are working to capitalize on the liberal movement that's coalesced in opposition Trump's agenda. Sanders also spoke of the omnipresent corporate greed in the USA, highlighting that the Walton family of Wal-Mart fame are actually "the nation's largest welfare recipients", because so many of their employees rely on government assistance due to the retailer's poverty-level wages. Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, for example, is viewed favorably by only 38 percent of respondents and unfavorably by 32 percent of respondents.

A part of the opening act, local Congressman John Yarmuth, D-Kentucky, seemed liberated and encouraged by the space to stand with and openly agree with Sanders.

"We are at a pivotal moment in American history", Sanders opened, followed by a message to Trump voters: "Forget what [Trump] said". "That's not family values", he said.