On June 16, 2016, Democratic Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders spoke to his supporters for 25 minutes. Since I have been and am a supporter, I signed up, and took notes on the speech, the important points of which are summarized below. A video link is also included at the bottom of the page.
Most of Bernie’s speech was a list of what progressive Democrats want and fought for, what we want our country to be and to do. As such, there are few surprises in the list.These are not “demands”, as we used to say in the 70s. These are the prerequisites for social and economic justice.
I didn’t expect, but was delighted by, Bernie’s call for his supporters to run for local political office: school boards, county commissioners, entry-level offices, however we can get our feet in the door. I applaud this and agree strongly. That is what it will take for real change. From the bottom up -that’s how change happens. As expected, Sanders called for the party to unify to defeat Donald Trump. He has pledged to support this effort, and will do so.
UPDATE: 6700 people responded to Bernie’s call for public service. Per Berniesanders.com, “The 6,685 supporters who expressed interest in running cover 51 percent of state house districts, 69 percent of state senate districts and every congressional district in the country.”
He called for his 1900 delegates to come in to the convention to create the most progressive platform in Democratic history, and to act on it. He called for a 50 state strategy – decrying the lack of support for Democratic candidates, allowing right wingers to take red state governments unopposed.
He called for the Democratic National Committee to open its doors, welcome young people and working people. He called for the DNC to embrace a $15 / hour wage. He called for a party which has “the guts” to take on the pharmaceutical and fossil fuel industries. He called for stopping the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) – it should not come to a vote during a lame duck session of Congress, he said. These are positions which sharply differentiate his policies from those of Hillary Clinton.
What Bernie did not say was more surprising:
- He did not “concede” defeat in the primary election, although that was implied.
- He did not endorse Hillary Clinton’s candidacy, although he emphasized that they have much more in common than not.
- He included very little on foreign policy – only in points 29 and 30 below did he allude to the Department of Defense and wars abroad, and only to emphasize cutting waste in the DoD, and not to spend young people’s lives in unnecessary wars. This was primarily a domestic policy speech.
- He didn’t talk about the drug war or marijuana legalization, although he criticized the prison industry and school-to-prison pipeline in point 27.
- He did not call for an end to superdelegates, lobbyist contributions to the DNC. He did not say what his negotiations with rules committee would be. He did not mention today’s big news that unpopular chairwomanDebbie Wasserman Schultz is stepping aside as party chair to allow Brandon Davis to take over operations.
- He did not mention the numerous allegations of fraud and voter suppression in the Democratic primary.
Here’s what the man did say:
1. The revolution continues – like every movement for social change, civil rights, etc.
2. In every state, we won the overwhelming majority of those under 45.
3. We are mainstream, not a fringe movement. Numbers. 12 million votes, 22 states, Stats on contributions, 75 million phone calls, 5 million doors, 740,000 meetings, etc. Showed that we could run a national campaign without big money contributions. Bulk of contributions came from low income and working people.
4. In every state, we took on the entire political establishment. Senators, Reps, Governors, elected officials.
5. 6:35 This campaign has never been about any single candidate .
6. It’s about ending income inequality. It’s about ending corrupt campaign finance by corporations. Creating an economy for all of us, not just the 1%.
7. Ending status quo: Native American reservation low life expectancy, lower than 3rd world countries. Millions of Americans dying at a younger age than their parents: suicide, drugs, alcohol, highest rate of childhood poverty of any industrialized country on earth. Ending the disgrace, undocumented people exploited on their jobs.
8. Tens of thousands of Americans dying every year from preventable diseases, because lack health insurance, high deductibles, costly drugs.
9. Young single mom in Nevada in tears, asking on $10/hr, How can we make it ? Millions like her.
10. Mom in Flint, Mich. Excessive lead in water, stunted intellectual development of her child. Thousands of CA homes can’t drink tap water.
11. Homelessness is increasing. veterans in streets – lack of affordable housing.
12. Corporations avoid paying a nickel in Federal taxes, stash in tax havens.
13. 6:40 Priority this year is defeating Donald Trump. Makes bigotry the cornerstone of his campaign. Trump wants to give hundreds of B of $ in tax breaks to very rich, is a climate change denier.
14. Major political task: Defeat Trump, badly. My role in that process will begin soon. But can’t be our only goal. Must continue grassroots movement.
15. Must take our energy in to the Dem convention in Philly with >1900 delegates. I met with Sec. Clinton.
16. No secret HRC and I have strong disagreements, on important issues but agree on others.
17. I will make sure that your voices are heard. Democrats will pass the most progressive platform in its history and that we actually fight for that agenda.
18. I look forward to working with Sec. Clinton to form aparty that has the guts to take on the Pharma, Fossil Fuel industries, others.
19. Dem party must support raising Fed. minimum wage to $15 / hr. women .79 / vs men $1. Women must have right to control own bodies. Protect right to gay marriage.
20. As Orlando has made clear, Ban sale and distribution of assault weapons, gun show loophole, and have instant background checks.
21. Stop the TPP, must not come to the floor in a lame duck session.
22. Expand Social security, not cut it.
23. Greed, recklessness of Wall st must end. Pass a modern Glass Steagal. No more “too big to fail”.
24. Aggressively combat climate change, impose a tax on carbon. Must protect our water supply by banning fracking.
25. To compete effectively globally, Make public colleges tuition free reduce student debt.
26. Join rest of industrialized world – Health care a right, not a privilege
27. Stop incarcerating more people than any other country – Rein in prison industry, criminal justice reform.
28. Comprehensive immigration reform for 11 M undocumented people.
29. Cut waste in every department including Department of Defense.
30. Can’t keep throwing young people into perpetual unnecessary wars.
31. 6:47 Revolution means more than Fight for our ideals, defeat D Trump. At every level continue to fight for our nation to be just. Current DNC leadership has turned its back on dozens of states, like red states, allowed right wing to run unopposed, we need a 50 state strategy. Must provide resources to ignored and poor states.
32. Leadership, DNC must open its doors, welcome working people and young people. That is the energy we need to transform the Democratic party and our country. Cold hard fact. Since 2009, some 900 legislative seats have been lost to Republicans. We must Start engaging at local and state level in unprecedented way.
33. Young people deeply concerned about country and community. Start running for office! School boards, commissioners, whatever! Be prepared to engage at that level.
34. 6:50 With energy and enthusiasm our campaign has shown, we can win significant numbers of offices at down ticket level. We need new blood. You are that new blood.
35. Government is not the enemy.(what Republicans say). I disagree. Government must protect us and our planet. But we need to attract dedicated people from all walks of life to run for office.
36. Tens of thousands of new Dr.s, medical personnel, where people lack care.
37. We need child care workers, teachers.
38. We need scientists, engineers, entrepeneurs to work for renewables, efficient and cost effective as possible. Construction.
39. Business people who respect employees and environment.
40. Conclude: we have begun the long and arduous process of transforming America. My hope is that when historians look back and find when we began reversing the trend towards oligarchy. They see that the political revolution began in 2016. 6:53. Dark screen.
Full transcript of Sanders’ speech from Burlington Free Press
To recruit candidates, go to berniesanders.com/win