Bernie Sanders: ‘Where we go from here’

BernieSandersBernie Sanders conceded on C-SPAN yesterday, “Well, you know it’s hard to say, it doesn’t appear that I’m gonna be the nominee.” Sanders: ‘It Doesn’t Appear That I’m Gonna Be the Nominee’. It’s the closest Sanders has come to conceding the prolonged Democratic primary race to his opponent.

Sanders is slated to give a speech Thursday in New York to address “where we go from here,” which aides said will not include a concession but will address the kinds of policies Sanders will push the party to enact.

The Vermont senator, who remains a presidential candidate despite his second-place primary finish to Hillary Clinton, will deliver a speech at 7 p.m. Thursday at The Town Hall performance venue in New York City titled, “Where We Go From Here.”

“I expect him to continue to focus on policy — from income and wealth inequality to climate change — and how he hopes the Democratic Party will adopt the most progressive platform ever,” Sanders spokesman Michael Briggs wrote in an email.

In an op-ed article for the Washington Post on Thursday, Sanders laid out what he described as the priorities of the “political revolution” he started with his presidential campaign:

As we head toward the Democratic National Convention, I often hear the question, “What does Bernie want?” Wrong question. The right question is what the 12 million Americans who voted for a political revolution want.

And the answer is: They want real change in this country, they want it now and they are prepared to take on the political cowardice and powerful special interests which have prevented that change from happening.

They understand that the United States is the richest country in the history of the world, and that new technology and innovation make us wealthier every day. What they don’t understand is why the middle class continues to decline, 47 million of us live in poverty and many Americans are forced to work two or three jobs just to cobble together the income they need to survive.

What do we want? We want an economy that is not based on uncontrollable greed, monopolistic practices and illegal behavior. We want an economy that protects the human needs and dignity of all people — children, the elderly, the sick, working people and the poor. We want an economic and political system that works for all of us, not one in which almost all new wealth and power rests with a handful of billionaire families.

The current campaign finance system is corrupt. Billionaires and powerful corporations are now, through super PACs, able to spend as much money as they want to buy elections and elect candidates who represent their interests, not the American people. Meanwhile, we have one of the lowest voter turnout rates of any major country on earth, and Republican governors are working overtime to suppress the vote and make it harder for poor people, people of color, seniors and young people to vote.

What do we want? We want to overturn the disastrous Citizens United Supreme Court decision and move toward public funding of elections. We want universal voter registration, so that anyone 18 years of age or older who is eligible to vote is automatically registered. We want a vibrant democracy and a well-informed electorate that knows that its views can shape the future of the country.

Our criminal justice system is broken. We have 2.2 million people rotting behind bars at an annual expense of $80 billion. Youth unemployment in a number of inner-cities and rural communities is 30 to 50 percent, and millions of young people have limited opportunities to participate in the productive economy. Failing schools all around the country produce more people who end up in jail than graduate college. Millions of Americans have police records as a result of marijuana possession, which should be decriminalized. And too many people are serving unnecessarily long mandatory minimum sentences.

What do we want?  We want a criminal justice system that addresses the causes of incarceration, not one that simply imprisons more people. We want to demilitarize local police departments, see local police departments reflect the diversity of the communities they serve and end private ownership of prisons and detention centers. We want to create the conditions that allow people who are released from prison to stay out. We want the best educated population on earth, not the most incarcerated population.

The debate is over. Climate change is real. It is caused by human activity, and it already is causing devastating damage in our country and to the entire planet. If present trends continue, scientists tell us the planet will be 5 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit warmer by the end of the century — which means more droughts, floods, extreme weather disturbances, rising sea levels and acidification of the oceans. This is a planetary crisis of extraordinary magnitude.

What do we want? We want the United States to lead the world in pushing our energy system away from fossil fuel and toward energy efficiency and sustainable energy. We want a tax on carbon, the end of fracking and massive investment in wind, solar, geothermal and other sustainable technologies. We want to leave this planet in a way that is healthy and habitable for future generations.

What do we want? We want to end the rapid movement that we are currently experiencing toward oligarchic control of our economic and political life. As Lincoln put it at Gettysburg, we want a government of the people, by the people and for the people. That is what we want, and that is what we will continue fighting for.

A question that continues to linger, however, is when and if Bernie Sanders will endorse Hillary Clinton in the weeks before the convention.

10 responses to “Bernie Sanders: ‘Where we go from here’

  1. For Sure Not Tom…Of course! 🙂

  2. I received an email today from Bernie Sanders asking us to weigh in on what we want to see in the Democratic Party platform. This makes a lot of sense. Democrats tend to be timid and incremental, and it would be a positive sign for the party to get specific and fight for some issues.
    The sit-in on the House floor last night was a good start, we should demand votes in the House, and not let them kill off everything behind closed doors.
    In 1994 Newt Gingrich came up with the Contract for America, a list of 10 or so issues that Republicans ran on all over the country. The Democrats could do something similar this year, using the best ideas that we have.
    I think Bernie is still figuring out some of his next moves, but I really like him reaching out to his many supporters and asking for their input.

  3. Sanda Schuldmann

    What we want is a decent and for the people, by the people government, which is out of the question under either candidate.
    So it does not matter what goes on the platform, she will do what is best for her donors and those who will give again for the next time around.
    For us Bernie supporters or Bust, we need to organize ourselves and write in our choice rather than be bullied or made to feel guilt for not getting behind a known corrupt person in service to WALL ST for years!

      • For Sure Not Tom

        When I donated to Sanders I was required by law to state the industry I am employed in.

        So my donation will show up under Banking, because my employer is Too Big Too Fail.

        Trust me, my employer is not supporting Bernie Sanders. Those numbers don’t tell the story you think they do.

        I’m tempted to respond with an equal amount of snark, Cheri, but this is a dead horse at this point, isn’t it?

        • It was snark, to be sure…Dead horse, yes. Either way, I enjoy your comments immensely. THAT wasn’t snark.

          • For Sure Not Tom

            I think a little snark in the comments section keeps things from getting too dry.

            And unless it’s directed at me, then I’m against it! 🙂

        • Just to be clear, it’s the holier than thou, him or nothing that bothers me. As if he has done no wrong in his 30+ year career in govt. I would have voted to him if he was the nominee…not because I loved him or because I thought he could be the one to FINALLY get a handle on dark money, or Wall St or promises of free college (which, by the way, is bullshit…at least with THIS Congress!) I would have done it because even though I think he’s a talker…and not a doer, I would have rather had him in the WH, even on his worst day, than the ignorant, xenophobic,self serving pos that is the Cheeto Jesus. The fact that Sanda doesn’t seem to even care about this…made me crazy.