Senator Bernie Sanders’ full speech at Zellerbach Hall


(audience cheering) – Thank you! Thank you. Thank you, let me begin
by thanking all of you. Love you too! (audience cheering) Let me thank all of you for
coming out this afternoon. Let me thank Bob Reich
for that introduction. I think all of you know,
Bob was one of the great Secretaries of Labor in the
history of the United States. (audience cheering) And is a phenomenal educator,
not only here at Berkeley, but his writings are getting
all over the country. So Bob, thank you so
much for all that you do. (audience cheering) I want to talk a little bit
about the book, but I suspect there are one or two other
things on your minds as well. So I’ll touch on those things. Number one, Donald Trump
lost the popular vote by over two million votes. (audience cheering) And the importance of that
is that you have got to know that sometimes even our
delusional president-elect has got to understand that
he does not have a mandate. He does not have a mandate. Number two, and even more importantly, on every major issue facing this country, poll after poll shows
that the American people prefer a progressive agenda. In other words, in other words, there is a time and a place
where somebody could say, “Well you know what,
nobody agrees with me, “but I’m gonna stand with
this position, I’m right.” And that’s fine, but on every major issue
facing this country, the American people
want progressive change. The American people want to raise the minimum wage to a living wage. (audience cheering) That’s not me, that’s not you,
that is the American people, the American people overwhelmingly
believe it is absurd that in the year 2016, women are making 79 cents on the dollar compared to men. They want pay equity. The American people understand
there is something profoundly wrong when in a highly
competitive global economy, we have a dysfunction
childcare pre-k system, hundreds of thousands
of bright young people are unable to afford to go to college. Millions leave school deeply in debt. The American people want public
colleges and universities to be tuition-free, and for us to substantially
lower student debt. (audience cheering) Again, I say that not
because it’s a good idea, it’s an idea that I believe to be right, or that most of you believe to be right. It is what the American people want. The American people,
Republicans and Democrats, think that it is absurd and grossly unfair that billionaires like
Donald Trump in a given year pay nothing in federal income tax, and that many multi-national corporations making billions in profit
pay nothing in taxes. The American people want
progressive tax reform. (audience cheering) The American people,
whether they are Republican, Conservative, Moderate,
Democrat, Progressives, understand that our current campaign finance system is corrupt. And the American people
understand that too many people, too many brave Americans
have fought and died to preserve American
democracy, and that is it wrong that a handful of billionaires
are now able to spend, as a result of Citizens United, unlimited sums of money to buy elections. The American people know
democracy is one person, one vote, not billionaires
buying elections. (audience cheering) And the American people understand that with 11 million undocumented
people in this country, many of them working tirelessly, many of them getting ripped off on the job because they have no legal protection, the American people do believe that we need to move to
comprehensive immigration reform and a path toward citizenship. (audience cheering) Again, that’s not my idea. I’m not here telling you what I think. I am telling you what the
American people believe. The American people know
that some Conservatives actually have been strong on this issue. That it is totally insane that we have more people in jail today than any other country on Earth. More than China, four times our size. We are spending $80 billion a year locking up 2.2 million Americans. And whether you’re
conservative or progressive, you understand that makes
a hell of a lot more sense investing in jobs and education rather than jails and incarceration. (audience cheering) Now I say that to tell you that we, in terms of our
views, are the majority, and that many, many
people who voted for Trump for whatever reason,
support virtually everything that I have just listed off. Now as we move into the Trump era, let me just say the following. There are areas I think
there can be some compromise. There are areas where
there can be no compromise. And the area of first concern, where there cannot and must be compromise is beating back the Trump campaign where the cornerstone of
that campaign was bigotry. No compromise with bigotry. (audience cheering) No compromise with racism, with sexism, with homophobia, with xenophobia. On that issue we will not compromise. (audience cheering) I don’t have to explain to anybody here at this great university,
the painful and rocky road that this country has traveled with regard to all forms of bigotry, starting before this country
even became a country, when the first settlers
did here, and did terrible, awful things to the
Native American people. Awful, terrible things
which continue to this day. (audience cheering) And I don’t have to tell anybody here about the abomination of slavery, or the fact that African
Americans did not have the right to vote in many
states in this country. I don’t have to explain to anybody here, ’cause you all know history, that 100 years ago today, women in American were
not running for president, they did not have the right to vote. And I don’t have to explain to people here that 100 plus years ago,
children of 10, 12 years of age were working in factories,
losing their fingers and their hands working on machinery that children should not have been near. But as a result of the struggles in all of these areas and in other areas, if we were sitting here five
years ago, eight years ago, and somebody jumped up and said, “You know Bernie, I think by the year 2015 “gay marriage will be legal in
every state in this country, “the rest of the audience
would have told that person “you’re crazy, it can’t happen.” It did happen because people
stood up and fought back. (audience cheering) So two points, two points that I want
to make in that regard. Number one, this country,
through incredibly brave people, some of who went to jail, were
beaten, some of whom died. This country has made
significant improvements in becoming a less discriminatory society. Do we still have racism
and sexism or homophobia? Of course we do, but we should be proud of the progress that we have made. If we were here 20 years ago, believe me, and somebody jumps up and says, “We’re gonna have an African
American president in 2008, “and re-elect him four years
later with a good vote.” People would have thought that
would have been impossible. We have made progress in becoming a less discriminatory society. And what I say to Mr. Trump, we are not going backwards,
we’re going forwards. (audience cheering) So no compromise on bigotry, none at all. Second area that I think we
have got to be very attentive to and where I also believe that there just cannot be any compromise, Mr. Trump campaigns all over the country and tells the American people
that climate change is a hoax. (audience booing)
Well, Mr. Trump, you’ve got to
start listening to scientists and not just the fossil fuel industry. (audience cheering) Climate change is not a hoax, it is a painful, dangerous reality. Climate change is real. It is caused by human activity. It is already, as most of you know, already causing horrific
problems in our country and around the world. What we are talking about
is the future of the planet. What we are talking about
are the kind of lives that our kids and our grandchildren and future generations will experience. We as human beings, along with
people all over this globe, we are the custodians of
this, our only planet. We cannot turn our backs on this planet. We are gonna take on
the fossil fuel industry and transform our energy system. (audience cheering) And the third area where I think there cannot be any compromise is the very nature of American democracy. Now what democracy is about, is sometimes you win elections, and sometimes you lose elections. But where we are moving right now are two areas of great concern. Number one, as a result
of Citizens United, as I just mentioned,
billionaires can now spend unlimited sums of money to buy elections. What all of you should know, is that for the Koch brothers, and for the billionaire class in general, and for the leadership
of the Republican Party. Citizens United has not gone far enough. Right now what Citizens United means is the Koch brothers
and other billionaires can spend unlimited sums of money in terms of quote unquote,
independent expenditures. So they can put all the ads they want and do all kinds of other things independently of the candidate
who they are supporting. What they want to do, and
they’re very upfront about it, is end all forms of
campaign finance regulation. They want to move toward the day when the Koch brothers can
give a check to an individual. So like somebody’s running
for the Senate in California. Give that person directly a check for a half a billion
dollars or $300 million, or whatever it may be, and say “There is your campaign manager. “There’s your speech writer. “There is your media consultant. “You work for me, you are my employee. “It’s my money, I own you.” That is where the
Republican Party is moving. Second of all, equally important, when Trump sends out a
delusional tweet the other day, and I mean the word delusional, which says, “I, Donald Trump
would have won the popular vote “or did win the popular
vote, except for the fact “that millions of people voted illegally.” That is an insane statement, but, I mean, it’s not, just
not backed up by any fact. Nobody, no Republican believes that. Nobody believes that, but I think I understand what
he was really saying. What he was really
sending out was a message to Republican operatives
and governors and so forth, that you go forward aggressively
in voter suppression. So right now you have
all over this country, states which have worked overtime as a result of a disastrous
Supreme Court decision some years ago, which gutted
the Voting Rights Act, and they will try to make it
harder for people of color, for poor people, for old people, for young people to participate
in the political process. So you’ll add those two things together. Number one, billionaires buying elections. Number two, a major
effort at the state level, and maybe at the national level, trying to make it harder
for people to vote. You will have the Republican
dream of democracy. Money buying elections,
and people in opposition of their ideas not being able to vote. People in this country,
as I’ve said before, have fought and died to
defend American democracy, and I tell Mr. Trump and his friends, we will not surrender American democracy. Democracy is one person, one vote. We are gonna make it easier for people to participate in the
political process, not harder. And our goal is public
funding of elections, not billionaires buying elections. (audience cheering) So among many other issues, many other issues of great
concern to you and to me, those are three where I just don’t see any room for compromise. Not compromise on bigotry, not compromise on climate change, and not compromise on
protecting American democracy. Now, a lot of people are
asking, “How did it happen? “How did Mr. Trump win?” And one of the things that
exists, not a good thing, in our country, is we live
in a siloized society. Where we all talk to our friends, people who share our views by and large. So there are many people who say, “God, I don’t know how
Trump could have won. “Nobody I know voted for him!” And then there are Trump
supporters who say, “I can’t believe that Clinton got “two million more votes than Trump. “Nobody I know voted for Clinton.” And in a sense, both groups are right. But I do want to tell
you one of the reasons, one of the reasons that I think Trump won. Now it is easy to say, and I’ve heard a lot of people saying, “Well you know, everybody
who voted for Trump “is a racist or a sexist or a xenophobe.” I don’t believe that. I mean there are some
people who do believe it, I don’t believe it. Some of those people
definitely did vote for Trump, and we’re seeing eruptions of that, and we gotta deal with that. But I would say that the majority, probably the strong majority
of people who voted for Trump are not racist, and they’re not sexist. What they responded to is Trump’s claim, and this is just how crazy things are, his claim, a multi-billionaire
who doesn’t pay any taxes, that he is going to take on
the establishment, alright. And the way I interpret that, and I’m working hard and I
need your help on this issue. (audience laughing) Is that I don’t see this
as a victory for Trump as much as I see it a defeat for the present Democratic
Party, a party in… (audience cheering) You know, what Democrats were
talking about, and rightly so, is they say, “Look,
hey, the economy today, “we just had some good statistics
come out literally today. “Lower unemployment, the economy today “is better than it was eight years ago.” Democrats are proud of that, proud of Obama’s
achievements and so forth. That’s true, and it’s fair enough. But there is a major point
that many Democrats missed that Mr. Trump did not miss. And that is while the economy today may be better than it was eight years ago, the truth is that for the last 40 years on the Democratic and
Republican administrations, we have seen a middle
class which is shrinking. That today we have 43 million
people living in poverty, and that we have more income
and wealth inequality today, something that Bob Reich
talks about a whole lot, more income and wealth inequality than at any time since 1928. And Trump understood that reality. What Trump was talking to is the fact that median household income, that family right in the
middle of our economy today, is earning about $1,400
less than it was in 1999. What he was talking about is
that the real median income of a full-time male worker is $2,100 less than it was 43 years ago, adjusted for inflation, got that? So full-time male worker in terms of real inflation
adjusted for dollars, earning $2,100 less than 43 years ago. Despite the fact that
technology has exploded and worker productivity. We got workers producing
more, making less. Over the last decade, 81%
of all U.S. households saw a flat or falling incomes. Over the last 15 years, we have seen the closing in this country
of 60,000 factories. Not all of it are attributable to trade. Automation played a role, other reasons. But millions of decent-paying jobs have been lost as a result of
disastrous trade agreements where large, profitable
multi-national corporations shut down in the United States, and went abroad for cheap labor. There is an issue out there that I think Trump also
instinctively understood. And that is the incredible
level of despair, which exists in many
parts of this country. And I’ve said before, we
are a siloized society. 60, 70, $100,000 a year, things are okay. What you may not know is there
are places in this country, and I visited some of
them, I went to a community called McDowell County in West Virginia. Anyone come from McDowell
County, southern West Virginia? This is a county that used
to be a coal mining area. Where people had decent jobs. What is going on in McDowell County, what is going on in Kentucky, what is going on in many
parts of this country, is white working class
people today are dying at an earlier age than their parents in an ahistorical phenomenon. What life expectancy has always been about is that you live longer than
your parents, on average, your parents live longer
than their parents, and so forth and so on. Now that is true all over the world. And it’s true in the
African American community, it’s true in the Latino community. But in areas of this country, white working class Americans have shorter lives today
than their parents. And the reason that most people
think that this is occurring is these are people who are
working for 10, 11 bucks an hour if they’re lucky enough to get jobs. Their kids, in many ways,
are going nowhere in a hurry, and they are turning to alcohol, they’re turning to opiates and heroin, and they are turning to suicide. So there are parts of this country where the despair is so great. The world has left these people behind. They are not part of their communities, they’re not offering anything, they’re not being paid anything, and their futures look very bleak. And that type of despair is also what Trump put his finger on. Now to my mind, I have very little hope that Trump will keep the promises that he made to those people. And we’re already seeing the
terms of the appointments, with the nominations that he’s making to important cabinet positions. People who stand for exactly the opposite of what he campaigned on. He said, “We gotta stop Wall Street.” You know, “The power of Wall Street.” Criticize Hilary Clinton
for her ties to Wall Street. Well guess what, this
is surprise of nobody, he just appointed, nominated
his treasury secretary, somebody deep in the heart of Wall Street. Trump said, “Hey, I’m the
only Republican candidate, “I’m not gonna cut Social Security, “Medicare and Medicaid.” And he nominated somebody
to become head of Health and Human Services,
whose main mission in life has been to privatize or cut Medicare. And on and on it goes. So we are going to expose
the hypocrisy of Mr. Trump. We just had a trade situation recently. (audience applauding) You know, he campaigned a whole lot about trade and outsourcing, and yet he just reached
an agreement with Carrier. He said to the American people that he was gonna impose the
really very large tariffs. If you shut down a factory in America, you go do to Mexico man, you’re
gonna pay a hell of a lot to bring that product back
into the United States. Well, sits down with the United Technologies
people who own Carrier, and he said, “Here, I’m gonna
be really touch on you guys. “Okay, you can let half of
the workers out on the street, “you can fire half of them,
we’re gonna go to Mexico. “But for the other half, “We’re gonna give you a
$7 million tax break.” That’s how tough he was
on United Technologies. A corporation that made $7
billion in profit last year. They don’t need any more tax breaks from the American people. (audience applauding) And when we talk about
what goes on in America, and I have this stuff in the book, but you should appreciate this. (scoffs) And this is, if you live in
Fairfax County, Virginia, a wealthy community, if you are a man, you have a life expectancy of 82 years. If you’re a woman, you
live until you’re 85. That’s equivalent to what
they do in Scandinavia. In McDowell County, the
average life expectancy for a man today is 64 years of age. For a woman, 73 years of age. These are communities six
hours apart by automobile. Our job is to not only expose
the hypocrisy of Donald Trump, but it is to revitalize and
bring fundamental reforms to the Democratic Party. (audience cheering) The Democratic Party has
got to open its doors to working people, to young
people, to low income people. (audience applauding) I appreciate very much
the time and the money that many upper-income liberals have attributed to the Democratic
Party, I appreciate that. But the truth of the matter is the Democratic Party will not succeed by being the party of the liberal elite. It has got to be the party of the working people of this country. (audience cheering) So I see our mission now as we go forward, and I mean we, all of us, in
reforming the Democratic Party, two major goals, number one, become an even more diverse party. Bring more women into the party, more African Americans into the party. More Latinos, more people
from the LGBT community, more Native Americans, Asian
Americans, we have to do that. But second of all, what we also have to do is create a party where all of us, white, black, and Latino, are very clear that in fact we will have the
guts to take on Wall Street and the insurance companies
and the drug companies and the fossil fuel industry
and corporate America. (audience cheering) And right now I am working hard, and I need your help on these things. As we talk about transforming
the Democratic Party, to make it a grassroots party, your voices have got to
be part of that process. Some of you may know a congressman from Minnesota
named Keith Ellison. (audience cheering) And Keith is already getting
beaten up by the establishment. I think Keith would
make an excellent chair of the Democratic National Committee. And I think what Keith’s mission would be is to recreate the Democratic Party into a party where we
don’t spend all of our time just raising money from the wealthy, but we spend our time
bringing working people and low income people and
people of color together to fight for a nation and a government that works for all of
us, and not just the 1%. (audience cheering) And I think the most important task of the new Democratic Party
is to think big and not small. To go well beyond what the media and most politicians
define as our options. I’m gonna be going back
to Washington next week, and the choices that I’ll face are how much more do we spend on defense? How much do we cut Medicaid? How much do we cut Medicare? How much more do we give in
tax breaks to billionaires? Those are not the rational
choices that we should be making. The issues that we should be discussing are why are we the only
major country on Earth not to guarantee healthcare
to all people as a right. Why do we pay the highest
prices in the world for prescription drugs, so
that one out of five Americans who gets a prescription from a doctor is unable to afford to
fill that prescription? How do we take on the greed of
the pharmaceutical industry? And let me congratulate
the people of California, you’ve done something very important. I think many of you are
familiar with Proposition 61. (audience cheering) And this is what you did,
and this is no small thing. The pharmaceutical industry made, the top five companies last year, made $50 billion in profits. They have hundreds and hundreds
of lobbyists in Washington and at state capitols
all over this country. In this one proposition, whether or not prescription drug costs would
be lowered here in California. The pharmaceutical industry, and this is just unbelievable to me, spent a $131 billion, million not billion, $131 million to defeat that proposition, and yet we got 48% of the vote. (audience cheering) But those are the questions, why are we the nation with so much
income and wealth inequality? Why are homeless veterans
sleeping out on the street, when there are those who want to give tax breaks to billionaires? Why do women make 79 cents on the dollar? What are we doing to
combat climate change? So our job is to create a Democratic Party which thinks big, not small. Which has a vision of where this, the wealthiest country
in the history of world, can go when we stand together. And I think when we
bring forth that vision, and when we explain to working people and involve them in the process, that yes, we will take on Wall Street and the other powerful,
powerful corporate interests. I think we can not only win politically, but I believe we can
transform this country into a nation that you and
I know that we can become. We can be the leaders in
this world in so many ways. Think about a nation in
which millions of people here are leading the world,
helping to lead the world, transforming our energy system,
a new transportation system, new weatherization, new
sustainable energies, new innovations to lead the world, to protect this planet. Think about the kind of
effort that we can mount to provide quality healthcare as a right to every man, woman, and child. Think about a pharmaceutical industry which is not making billions in profit, but is providing the
new drugs that we need to conquer cancer, and diabetes,
and Alzheimer’s disease. The potential that we have
as a nation when we bring people together is just
unbelievable, and that is our job. Our job is to understand
that today, as we sit here in Berkeley, there are people hurting, and very hurting badly,
all over this country, and we will not turn our
backs on those people. So I know that–
(audience cheering) I know that as a result of the election, there are a lot of people who are frightened, who are in despair. But I will tell you this, if you study the history of our country, despair is not an option,
it is not an option. Not just for you, but for
your children and your grandchildren, and for
the future of this planet. If there is a lesson that must be learned from Trump’s victory, is that we must increase
our political engagement. We must be involved in all
kinds of creative ways. In creative ways to bring
forth a progressive agenda and to stop Trump’s very bad ideas. So that’s where we are right now. Not a time for despair, a
time to remember the struggles that those who went before us engaged in. Against overwhelming odds, and to remember that today we
are involved in a struggle, but when we stand together,
when we act intelligently, we can be victorious. Thank you all very much. (audience cheering) Okay, and now… (audience cheering) Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. (audience cheering) Okay, I think… I think, oh there you are, alright. Now we’re gonna do some,
I think some of you have written out some questions, and John is gonna throw them at me. – Yeah, Marion and John, I’m
John from Diesel Bookstore. Thank you so much Senator Sanders. (audience cheering) We have a few questions that
we gathered at the beginning, that people dropped off out front. And one is by an inspired
student, as he describes himself, or she describes herself. “After the primaries, and
now the general election, “many people here in Berkeley “went through a mourning period. “Can you speak about the
processes you went through, “and how we can bounce back
into action like you have?” – It is appropriate when you
lose to take a day or two off. (audience laughing) But let me repeat in all seriousness. When you deal with issues like bigotry, and the incredible hurt
that bigotry does to people. When you deal with issues like
climate change and understand that if we do not act very,
very aggressively today, the kind of planet we leave our kids, I’ve got four kids and seven
beautiful grandchildren. When you have kids and grandchildren, that the planet that we leave
those kids will be a much less healthy and habitable planet
than the one that we have. You don’t have an option of
living in remorse or sadness. The only option that you will
have, the only, to my mind, rational sensible option that
you have is to figure out how we can be most
effective in fighting back. And by the way, that’s not just rhetoric. (audience cheering) Here is a truth, it is as old as America. And that is, real change never takes place from the top on down,
and I always get annoyed, people say “Bernie, Bernie, Bernie.” It is not about Bernie, bully. I got to, I want to
break the bad new to you, I don’t have all the answers. It is about us, big time. You and me and him and her. It is about all of us coming together. When people come together, we become a power that cannot be resisted. That is just a fact. So when millions of people… (audience cheering) You know, Trump may believe whatever he believes about climate change, but when millions of people, when states like California
and New York State say, “No sorry, that ain’t gonna happen.” And our job is to figure
out how we can go forward most effectively, what are the tactics? We’re all working on it,
we’re all thinking about that. But I would say that you
don’t have the time to mourn. You don’t have the time
to you know, wonder why. Now is the time, and the
whole world depends upon us, our effectiveness in fighting back. That’s the message of today. (audience cheering) – I’ve got a question over here. This comes to you from a
13 year-old student here, who is admitting to playing hooky today to see you with her mother. – I will write you a note, 13 year-old. (audience laughing) – And the question is, “In
light of all the fake news “that’s been circulating, “we’d like to know what
are your sources for news?” (audience cheering) – This fake news stuff
is a very serious issue. And many millions of people have read during the campaigns,
stuff that was total lies. And we got to figure out
how we deal with that. At the same time, we’re not stepping on First Amendment issues. But the more important issue
is how we do a much better job in raising political
consciousness in this country, and how we do a better job in
educating the American people about the reality of
what’s going on today. In the book, which I guess
many of you have bought, go to the, you know, if you
get bored in the middle, skip to the last chapter. (audience laughing) It’s entitled Corporate Media:
A Threat to Our Democracy. Okay, and what… (audience cheering) And the essence of what
that chapter is about is that for a variety of reasons, starting off with the fact
that corporate America is owned by large
multi-national corporations, whose job is not to propagate
truth or to educate, but to make as much money
as they possibly can, that’s a fact, and the other fact is that you got about
six major conglomerates. Time Warner… News Corp, CBS, you got
a handful of major media, Comcast is the largest, who control about 90% of the
semination of information that we get on radio,
television, and newspapers. How do we deal with that? And I think there are two answers. Number one, we have got to
demand that corporate media start talking about the real issues impacting the lives of
the American people. Now I’m not overly optimistic
that that will happen, because there are such
inbred conflicts of interest. For example, it’s very, when you see so much advertising on television from the fossil fuel industry or the
pharmaceutical industry, the truth is that they’re not
terribly likely to talk much about why we pay the
highest prices in the world for medicine, or the
dangers of climate change. They’re just not gonna do that when so much money comes
in from these industries. But we do our best, and that’s an area where citizens can
become heavily involved. You can demand, you can demand
that they start talking about why the middle class in
this country is in decline. In the book it talks about something, and I don’t mean to be bragging here, ’cause it’s certainly not the case. They talk about, somebody did a study, and they said, it turns out, that I think it was the
Sunday morning news shows, which are very important, that most of the discussion of
poverty during the campaign, a significant percentage of the discussion on Sunday morning shows
came from Bernie Sanders. Now, how does it happen
when 43 million people are living in poverty,
that most of the discussion on that issue comes from one candidate? Where is the media talking about the suffering of millions of people today? How come other people are not talking about that issue, alright. So we have got to demand,
and another study pointed out that over 90% of media
coverage in the campaign did not deal with issues,
but dealt with personalities. Dealt with emails or people’s attitude toward women or whatever. Now to say that those
aren’t important, but when an average person who’s
working 50 or 60 hours a week can’t afford to send his kid to college, or a single mom can’t afford
childcare, she would like some discussion of the
issues relevant to her life. But you can watch television
for decades and not see that. Alright, but the second thing is, and the internet opens
up this opportunity, is how do we communicate effectively with millions and millions of people? How do we talk about the
role of money in politics? So I think that is an area that we also have got to focus on, is how we make sure that the
internet works as a means, not for fake news, but to get
good information out to people who today are simply,
there are states out there where all you hear is Rush
Limbaugh or Sean Hannity. Okay, in fact another issue that we have got to be dealing with, is how does it happen
that in this country, which is split politically, over 90% of talk radio
is extreme right-wing? How does that happen? How does it happen that
in cities in America where the Republicans get 25% of the vote, you can’t find a
progressive radio talk show? So when we talk about getting involved in the political process, figure out a way that you can demand corporate media to talk
about the real issues. That you can demand that radio
stations in your community start allowing progressive
voices to be heard. Figure out a way that we
better use the internet to get ideas out to people who have not been exposed to those ideas. A lot of work to be done in that regard. (audience applauding) – Both you and Trump
are seen as outsiders, and that’s why a lot of
people gravitated to you both. What are the chances of
having a true third party? – Well it’s a good question. You know, you are looking at
the longest-serving Independent in the history of the United
States Congress, okay. (audience cheering) So, you know, I have some
familiarity with this issue. When I was elected Mayor or Burlington, I defeated a Democratic incumbent. And over the years run for Congress against Democrats, Republicans, run for mayor against
Democrats and Republicans. So I know a little bit about the issue. You know, in Vermont in fact, we now have a pretty
strong Progressive Party, which just elected, by the
way, a lieutenant governor. Lieutenant governor of
the state of Vermont will be the most progressive
lieutenant governor, I believe in the United
States of America, okay. So we have three people in
the State Senate out of 30. So in Vermont, we have made some progress. And I think you know, politics
is an art and not a science. And I think you got to look at the situation that you are in. Right now the choice that I have made is that I will do everything that I can, and I’ve recently been made a part of the Democratic leadership, so. (audience cheering) And the responsibility that I
have been given is outreach. And my job, and I need help
on this, let me tell you, ’cause nobody knows how to do this. Certainly it has not been done. How do you create a broad-based
diverse political party? How do we create a mechanism
by which the chair, I would say 98% of the American people have no clue who the chairs, their state chair of the
Democratic or Republican Party. How do we create a vibrant party, where people are feeling
good, are actively involved, are talking about the
issues, are demanding their elected officials get
involved in those issues? Nobody knows how to do
that, it’s never happened. I’m trying to do it, and I’d love to have your ideas and your help,
but the end of the day is, if we can bring millions and
millions of people in there, and say, “You know what, this is my party, “and we are gonna fight
for working families, “we’re gonna fight to create much better “educational opportunities, “we’re taking on climate change. “We’re gonna go for a Medicare for all, “single-payer program.” If we bring people into the
party, we can transform America. And I need your help to do that. So get involved, get involved locally, get involved at the statewide level. That is where I am focusing right now. (audience cheering) – So, what are the chances we can get rid of the Electoral College anytime soon? – Okay, good question. These are really great questions. I don’t know what the chances are, but let’s just look at the facts. Two important considerations. Number one, Hillary Clinton ended up with over two million more
votes than Donald Trump. Donald Trump is gonna be inaugurated. Something is not right
in that picture, alright. We all grew up believing
that majority wins. The person who gets the most votes wins. In this case, Clinton got the most votes, but she’s not gonna be inaugurated. And that on the surface
seems to be unacceptable. Second area, and maybe
I speak just as somebody who gets involved, you know,
and works hard in politics, and in California, you
will appreciate this. The way the nature of the
Electoral College right now is everybody knows that
the state of California is a strongly Democratic state. The state of Vermont is a
strongly Democratic state. the state of Wyoming is a
strongly Republican state. Mississippi is a Republican state. So what ends up happening, is when candidates run for president, they focus on 17 or 18
battleground states. So they spend a lot of time in Michigan and Ohio and Florida. They don’t spend spend a
lot of time in California, or Vermont for that matter, or Wyoming. So the needs of the people of those states really don’t get paid a
whole lot of attention to. So to answer your question, I think we need a serious discussion about how we address that issue. Clearly the status quo
is not working, is wrong. (audience applauding) – How do we get people to understand that they are voting against
their best interests? (audience laughing) And what can I do to
help the disenfranchised to realize they can make a difference? – I think if… Again, I think this issue comes back to the weakness of the Democratic Party. If the Democratic Party had in fact raised the minimum wage to a living wage, if the Democratic Party had provided and passed legislation
for healthcare for all, if the Democratic Party had in fact passed pay equity for women, if the Democratic Party had
put many billions of dollars into rebuilding our
crumbling infrastructure and creating millions of jobs, if the Democratic Party had led the effort in terms of criminal justice reform, or in terms of immigration
reform, people would know which party was fighting for them. But the truth is the Democratic
Party has not done that. They do better than the
Republican Party, to be sure, but it is not good enough
for a major political party to say, “Vote for me, ’cause these guys “are much worse than I am.” That is not an agenda that you can run on. (audience cheering) So you know, what I think is that, and where my mind is right now, and again, we are, I just got this
assignment a week or two ago, and we’re trying to figure
out how best to do it. Yeah, because it has never
really been done before. How do you create a real, with a small d, Democratic Party, where the
ideas and needs of people filter on up to the elected officials, and where the elected officials are held accountable
by the people, alright. (audience cheering) So we’re working on that,
and we need your help. Alright so, maybe that’s all
I’ll say on that one, yeah. Oh.
– It’s me. Alright, I’m getting dizzy, who’s going? – Okay.
– Alright, Mar. – I got a million of ’em.
– Alright. – Are you worried that
any bipartisan, in quotes, cooperation with Trump
will lend legitimacy to his politics of hate? – That’s a very good question. And as I indicated, I
mean the way I see it, and people can disagree with me. The way I see it is, and I
just started my remarks off by saying that no, there can
be no compromise on bigotry. There can be no compromise
on climate change. There can be no compromise on
protecting American democracy. But if Trump comes up,
Trump campaigns on the need to rebuild our infrastructure. Well, our infrastructure is crumbling. Now the proposal that he
seems, he hasn’t come up with a defined plan yet,
seems to be a pretty dumb one. It’s giving tax breaks
to large corporations and privatizing the infrastructure. Something you might expect
from right-wing Republicans. But if in fact a compromise
can be worked out, in which in fact we have
a decent plan to rebuild our infrastructure and create
millions of jobs, yeah. I think that is something
that we can work with him on. I think that in terms of
trade policy, you know, it turns out that he’s backing
away from what he said. But by the way, I don’t know,
everybody here may not agree, but one of the victories
that the progressive movement has made in the last year is the defeat of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the TPP. (audience cheering) So how do we, and this is something that Trump talked about a lot, how do we create a trade policy in which corporate America
reinvests in this country, creates decent-paying
jobs in this country? How do we rebuild our manufacturing base? How do we make sure that
when people lose their jobs because of automation or whatever, they’re not simply
thrown out on the street? Trump talked about new trade policies. If he comes up with something
that’s halfway decent, now he’s already backed off of that, but again, we will hold him accountable. And if he can come up with
something that makes sense, you know, I think we should work with him. But I think on the
basic fundamental issues of bigotry, of climate
change, of democracy, no there cannot be any compromise. (audience applauding) – This is the last question. (audience booing)
Sorry. (audience laughing) Automation-caused unemployment seems more of an issue than TPP. What do you think should
be done to make it possible to learn a living that is a basic income? – Good. And these are exactly the
kinds of questions which need discussion, which get
virtually no discussion at all. And this requires us to
think big and not small. Technology should be a positive. There is nothing wonderful about working in a factory
50 or 60 hours a week. Nothing great about it, but it is better than being unemployed. So the question is, how does it happen that with an explosion of technology and an increase in worker productivity, so many working people
have lost their jobs? So to answer, really answer your question, speaks to about creating a
very different type of America. An America that starts
off with the premise that every one of our people,
man, women, and children in the wealthiest country
in the history of the world will have a decent standard of living. And if some robot comes
along to take your job, we should see that as a positive thing, not a negative thing. If you’re working 30 hours a week rather than 60 hours a week, that’s a good thing, not a bad thing. But you need the income to
take care of your family. We cannot continue to live in a society where technology and greed rule. Hey sorry, we got a new machine, you lose your job,
you’re out on the street. No, we got a new machine,
you have to work less hours, but of course you’re gonna continue to get the income you need
to take care of your family. (audience cheering) I mean, but that really does
require a political revolution. And when I talk in the book,
and I talk about you know, everyday about a political revolution. What is means is there
is no defined revolution. You are the revolutionaries. It means that questions like that, are exactly the difficult questions, not easy stuff, that
we have got to tackle. But I think it gets back to something that FDR, Franklin Delano
Roosevelt talked about, which got no attention at all. Actually, Michael Moore picked up on it, I don’t know if any of you saw that. Michael put it in, I
don’t know where it was, one of his last films, I think. He had a film of FDR talking
about a second Bill of Rights. Are any of you familiar with that? – [Male] Yes. Alright, and what the second
Bill of Rights was about, it’s not just, the first
Bill of Rights is protecting our freedom of religion,
our freedom of speech, all of that stuff, good stuff. The second Bill of Rights
talks about economic rights. It says that people in a
Democratic, civilized society are entitled as a right to have a job. It talks about the right to healthcare, the right to good education. Now the difference between
us and the right-wing people is they believe in a market
economy, where if you have, your goal is to make as much
money a you possibly can, and in the last 15 years, we’ve seen a tenfold
increase in billionaires. And they can make as
much money as they can, and if you have nothing, tough luck. If you don’t have any
healthcare, you’re old, you don’t have enough money to live on, you’re a baby not getting enough food, that doesn’t matter, that’s
not their concern, alright. But our job I think, is
to fight for in fact, that concept of human rights. Healthcare is a right,
a decent job is a right. Protecting the environment
is a human right. (audience cheering) Ending bigotry is a human right, alright. And that’s what our struggle is about. And these are not gonna be easy, you know. People in this room will disagree. Opening it up to I think this,
no I think that, that’s fine. We got to learn how to
work with each other. But I think on all of those issues, as I said at the very
beginning of my remarks, you will find the vast
majority of the American people supporting our agenda,
don’t ever forget that. So we’ve got a lot of work to do in the weeks and months and years to come. We got a lot of work to do,
and let’s go forward together. Thank you all very much. (audience cheering) – Thank you Senator Sanders. Thanks all of you who came today! (audience cheering)

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