Sen. Bernie Sanders shook the Wells Fargo Center to its core with his address at the Democratic National Convention. It took him a few minutes for the die-hard Bernie supporters and fellow attendees to calm down to allow him to deliver his remarks.
He thanked his supporters; the 8 million people who gave an average of $27 in individual contributions to his campaign; the 13 million who voted for the “political revolution; and the 1,800+ delegates who were attending the convention. He said that he was very much looking forward to the roll call vote Tuesday night.
Sanders then acknowledged the elephant in the room, which is that he lost to Clinton. He said that he knows people are disappointed, but added, “I think it’s fair to say that no one is more disappointed than I am.” With that said, he said that he hopes his followers take enormous pride in the historical accomplishments that had achieved. He said that they started a revolution to transform America. The struggle for socioeconomic equality continues after this convention, and he looks forward to being part of that struggle.
The disheveled Democratic socialist said that this election is not, and has never been, about Clinton, Trump, or himself. This election is not political gossip, the polls, campaign strategy, or all of the things the media spends so much time discussing, which drew immense applause.
This election is about, and must be about, the needs of the American people and the future we create for our children and our grandchildren; ending the 40-year decline of our middle class; the 47 million men, women, and children live in poverty; changing course so that this generation doesn’t end up with a lower standard of living than their parents; and ending the gross level of wealth inequality we have today–the latter of which Sanders described as immoral. He also said that it’s not acceptable, or sustainable, that the top one percent owns as much wealth as the bottom 90 percent.
Yet, it wasn’t all doom and gloom. He added that progress has been made on a variety of issues but much more progress needs to be done. This election is about which candidate understands the real problems and will offer real solutions, according to Sanders. It’s not about bombast; fear mongering, and divisiveness–a swipe at Trump.
He declared that based on her ideas, Hillary Clinton must become the next president of the United States. Why? Because she understands that the minimum wage must be raised to a living wage. She has justices who will overturn Citizens United and protect a woman’s reproductive health choices.
Sanders invoked the importance of the Supreme Court during this portion of his address, telling those on the fence that one only has to think about the justices Donald Trump would nominate should he win in November to get them out to the voting booths. That was mixed in with slamming Trump over the minimum wage and offering huge tax breaks to people who don’t need them (aka the job creating and investing class). In a bit of hyperbole, Sanders said that Citizens United was one of the worst decisions made by the Supreme Court. I still think Dred Scott takes the cake in that category. A ruling defining free speech is nowhere near as bad as one that lurched the nation closer to civil war.
The Vermont senator also bashed Trump on wanting to cut Medicaid to low-income Americans, along with repealing Obamacare that only shows the GOP’s contempt for working Americans. Clinton, the darling of Wall Street, would add a public option for Americans to choose from in a health care exchange. We also need to pass criminal justice and comprehensive immigration reform.
In all, because Clinton believes all of these things, Sanders promised to do everything he can to ensure that come January 2017 we have a Democratic president, Senate, and House to enact portions of the party’s platform, which is decidedly more left wing. And now the games begin.