In his DNC speech, Bernie Sanders says Democrats must reject incrementalism and embrace transformative change
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At the DNC’s summer meeting, Bernie delivered a speech telling Democrats that in the face of so many economic, environmental and social crises, we must reject the incrementalism of the past, and push an agenda for transformational change. He declared that we must “commit ourselves to being as bold and as brave as the great Democratic Party of history was during past national emergencies.”
You can watch the video on Bernie 2020 co-chair Nina Turner’s Twitter feed, or read the transcript of the speech below.
Bernie Sanders Speech to the DNC Summer Meeting
Brothers and sisters, we are facing the most important election of our lifetime. It is an election to defeat the most dangerous president in American history, but also to confront unprecedented existential crises that threaten our very survival, the burden that we face and that this party faces is a heavy one and we cannot afford to fail.
Let me be as clear as I can be: In my view, we will only be successful if we are capable of rallying an unprecedented grassroots uprising that sweeps Trump and all that he represents out of office. And this is where we are today.
Our healthcare system is designed to make $100 billion in profits for the healthcare industry. While 87 million are uninsured or underinsured, 30,000 a year die, 500,000 Americans go bankrupt. The time is now to pass a Medicare for All single payer program.
Our economy creates a handful of Silicon Valley and Wall Street billionaires while paying millions of American workers starvation wages. The time is now to address the crisis of income and wealth inequality and tell the 1% that yes, they will start paying their fair share of taxes.
Our energy system enriches fossil fuel executives, while their products destroy our planet. The time is now to tell the fossil fuel industry that we will no longer allow them to destroy this planet for their short term profits. We will transform our energy system away from fossil fuels.
Our younger generation for the first time in the modern history of this country may well have a lower standard of living than our generation unless we act. And act we must, by making public colleges and universities tuition free and canceling all student debt.
Our gun laws allow gun manufacturers to make massive profits off weapons of war. And that is why together we will ban all assault weapons in America.
And our racist president emboldens bigots, xenophobes and white supremacists as domestic terrorists commit horrific acts of violence across our country. And that is why as the proud son of an immigrant whose family was murdered by the Nazis, we will defeat white nationalism and completely overhaul our immigration system.
For the future of our country and the Democratic Party, let us be honest with one another. As we head into the 2020 election, there is no longer, in my view, a choice between incrementalism and the transformative change that the working families of this country are crying out for.
Playing it safe according to the old rules is the most dangerous cost of all, and a course of action that could very well cost us this election.
So I’m asking everybody here to stand up (and) make a pledge.
And that is that as a party we commit ourselves to being as bold and as brave as the great Democratic Party of history was during past national emergencies.
This is the party, the great Democratic Party that stood as FDR called out at his time up against the economic royalists. I call them the billionaire class and he stood up against them. And he pushed legislation through that provided millions of jobs, dignity and security to the families of America.
This is the party that stood up to fascism and won WWII.
This is the party that stood up to racism and passed landmark civil rights legislation.
This is the party that stood up to homophobia and passed gay rights legislation.
This is the party that stood up to the conservative and big money establishment and passed Medicare and Medicaid.
In other words, in some of the most pivotal moments in American history, this is the party that rose to the challenge, that refused to be timid and stood up to the most powerful special interests of their time.
And this is the party that won historic election victories as it successfully fought for transformative change. Brothers and sisters, this is our time.
This is our time to stand up for the working families of this country and bring the transformative change that has been so long ignored. This is our moment to invite working people and young people into the Democratic Party to create that grassroots movement we need to sweep Trump and his friends out of office.
So this is the moment in this crucial, unprecedented time in American history that we stand together that we call out to our country and say, yes, we stand for justice.
Yes, we stand for the economic rights of working people.
Yes, we stand for health care for all.
Yes, we stand for women’s right to control their own bodies.
And yes, together we will take on the divisiveness and bigotry of Trump and create an America that goes forward for progress. Thank you all very much.
Bern after reading,