Common Dreams | 24 June, 2016
In a 75-minute speech on Thursday night, Bernie Sanders described his “vision of transforming this country”—a vision that depends on the wholesale mobilization of the populist army galvanized by his presidential campaign.
“Never, ever lose your sense of outrage,” Sanders told the New York City crowd in an address titled “Where We Go From Here.”
“You can beat the establishment,” he declared. “They’re not quite as powerful as some make them out to be. In every state we had to take on the entire Democratic establishment. That is not just your state—that’s true in every state in this country and yet we ended up winning 22 of those states.”
“I have no doubt that a strong well-organized grassroots movement can take on the establishment and defeat the establishment and that is precisely what we’ve got to do and what the political revolution is all about,” he said to rowdy applause.
The senator from Vermont touched on key aspects of his campaign platform, calling for campaign finance reform, a $15 minimum wage, a crackdown on Wall Street, free public higher education, and Medicare-for-All.
According to TIME magazine:
He promised a fight over the Democratic Party platform, saying he was committed to making sure it has an assault weapons ban, opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership and Social Security expansion—all proposals where Democrats see room for compromise. “As we speak, literally, there are meetings of the Democratic Party committee,” he said. “The platform that comes out of the Democratic convention will be by far the most progressive platform in the history of the Democratic Party.”
Sanders also predicted that he could bring to the convention floor a modern-day version of the Glass-Steagall Act to separate investment and commercial banking.
And he said that since his live-streamed address last Thursday, in which he declared the political revolution was just beginning, about 20,000 people have signed up on his website seeking more information about running for office or helping people run for office.
After a meeting with close supporters in Burlington, Vermont last week, Sanders said: “What we need is a 50-state strategy, which engages people, young people, working people to stand up and run for school board, to run for city council, to run for state legislature, to revitalize American democracy at the local, state and federal level. Demand that government starts listening to ordinary people rather than campaign contributors.”
Sanders did not formally concede the nomination or endorse rival Hillary Clinton on Thursday night—though he did tell MSNBC on Friday morning that “Yes,” he would vote for Clinton—if only to stop a Trump presidency.