March 14, 2017
Bernie Sanders Finally Blames Establishment Dems for Trump Victory, Observer 02/07/17
Only grassroots campaigning can save the Democratic Party
By Michael Sainato • 02/07/17
Sen. Bernie Sanders Spencer Platt/Getty Images
On February 2, Sen. Bernie Sanders spoke at the 2017 Sister Giant Conference in Washington D.C. In his speech, he voiced his harshest criticism of the Democratic establishment since his presidential campaign.
“Let me suggest to you, and some will disagree with me and that’s okay, too. But let me suggest to you that what happened on November 8th. Trump’s victory was not a victory for Trump or his ideology. It was a gross political failure of the Democratic Party,” said Sanders, who went on to explain his perspective on why Donald Trump won and where the Democratic Party has gone astray.
“Let me also tell you something again where people may disagree with me. If you think everyone who voted for Donald Trump is a racist or a sexist or a homophobe, you would be dead wrong,” he said. “Many of those folks—and I met them all over this country—are hard-working, decent people, but they are asking questions like how does it happen I am working longer hours for lower wages? How does it happen that almost all of the new income and wealth in this country is going to the top one percent? How does it happen that as a single mother I cannot afford childcare for my baby? How does it happen that my kids will in all likelihood have a lower standard living than I will, and they’re leaving school deeply in debt? How does it happen that I’m working for 9 bucks an hour and nobody gives a damn about whether or not I can put food on the table or pay my rent? How does it happen that the crooks on Wall Street destroy the economy, yet kids who smoke marijuana get prosecuted, but the CEOs on Wall Street who destroyed the lives of millions of people, not one prosecution of a Wall Street executive, how does that happen?”
Sanders called Trump a “pathological liar” with no ideology, but he believes that voters chose Trump because his platform challenges the status quo, as opposed to Clinton’s, which embodied it. “There are people in this country who are hurting, and they are hurting terribly,” added Sanders. “And for years they looked to the Democratic Party, which at one time was the party of working people, and they looked and they looked and they looked and they got nothing in return. And out of desperation, they turned to Donald Trump.”
Sanders explained what progressives must do in order to build a better Democratic Party: “Politically, simply and straightforwardly, we have got to create a Democratic Party that stands with working people, the poor, not with Wall Street and the wealthy. Right now, we are in the middle of that fight, taking on the Democratic establishment. Some of you know I am supporting Keith Ellison to become the next Chair of the DNC, and he is running into tremendous opposition. But what I want to see is a Democratic Party not that spends all its time raising money from the wealthy and powerful, but a Democratic Party that opens its doors to working people, to low income people, to young people. That creates a Democratic Party with a small ‘d’. That mobilizes millions of people to demand that we have a government representing all of us, not just the one percent.”
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