Bernie Sanders

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What media loves is to focus on the candidates. What the American people, I believe, want is for us to focus on them, not the candidates, not anymore.
Are we happy that 99% of all new income is going to the top 1%? Are we happy that one family in this country owns more than the bottom 130 million people?
All over this country I am seeing millions of people standing up, fighting back, saying, “enough is enough.”

Barnard "Bernie" Sanders (born 8 September 1941) is an American politician and the current United States Senator from Vermont. The "Bernie Sanders presidential campaign, 2016" began with his formal announcement on April 30, 2015.


Women, for their own preservation, are trying to pull themselves together. And it is necessary for all of us that they do so.


  • In Vermont, at a state beach, a mother is reprimanded by Authority for allowing her 6 month old daughter to go about without her diapers on. Now, if children go around naked, they are liable to see each others sexual organs, and maybe even touch them. Terrible thing! If we [raise] children up like this it will probably ruin the whole pornography business, not to mention the large segment of the general economy which makes its money by playing on peoples sexual frustrations.
  • A man goes home and masturbates his typical fantasy. A woman on her knees, a woman tied up, a woman abused.
    A woman enjoys intercourse with her man — as she fantasizes being raped by three men simultaneously.
    The man and woman get dressed up on Sunday — and go to Church or maybe their "revolutionary" political meeting.
    Have you ever looked at the Stag, Man, Hero, Tough magazines on the shelf of your local bookstore? Do you know why the newspapers with the articles like "Girl 12 raped by 14 men" sell so well? To what in us are they appealing?
    Women, for their own preservation, are trying to pull themselves together. And it is necessary for all of us that they do so.
  • There are no "human" oppressors. Oppressors have lost their humanity. On one hand "slavishness," on the other hand "pigness." Six of one, half dozen of the other. Who wins?
    Many women seem to be walking a tightrope now. Their qualities of love, openness, and gentleness were too deeply enmeshed with qualities of dependency, subservience, and masochism. How do you love — without being subservient? How do you maintain a relationship without giving up your identity and without getting strung out? How do you reach out and give your heart to your lover, but maintain the soul which is you?
    • "Man – and Woman" in Vermont Freeman (Mid-February 1972)



If you are serious about real healthcare reform, the only way to go is single-payer.
  • Mr. Speaker, in the brief time I have let me give you five reasons why I'm opposed to giving the President a blank check to launch a unilateral invasion and occupation of Iraq and why I will vote against this resolution.

    One: I have not heard any estimates of how many young American men and women might die in such a war, or how many tens of thousands of women and children in Iraq might also be killed. As a caring nation, we should do everything we can to prevent the horrible suffering that a war will cause. War must be the last recourse in international relations, not the first.

    Second, I am deeply concerned about the precedent that a unilateral invasion of Iraq could establish in terms of international law and the role of the United Nations. If President Bush believes that the US can go to war at any time against any nation, what moral or legal obligation can our government raise if another country chose to do the same thing.

    Third, the United States in now involved in a very difficult war against international terrorism, as we learned tragically on September eleventh. We are opposed by Osama Bin Ladin and religious fanatics who are prepared to engage in a kind of warfare that we have never experienced before. I agree with Brent Scowcroft, Republican former national security adviser for President George Bush senior, who stated and I quote, "An attack on Iraq at this time would seriously jeopardize if not destroy the global counter-terrorist campaign we have undertaken."

    Fourth, at a time when this country has a six-trillion dollar national debt and a growing deficit, we should be clear that a war and a long-term American occupation of Iraq could be extremely expensive.

    Fifth, I am concerned about the problems with so-called unintended consequences. Who will govern Iraq when Saddam Hussein is removed? And what role will the US play in an ensuing civil war that could develop in that country? Will moderate governments in the regions who have large Islamic fundamentalist populations be overthrown and replaced by extremists? Will the bloody conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Authority be exacerbated? And these are just a few of the questions that remain unanswered.


I’m running an issue-oriented campaign.
  • It looks like the South Bronx is prepared to tell the billionaire class they cannot have it all. It looks like the South Bronx wants to create an economy that works for all of us, not just the 1%. What this campaign is about is creating a political revolution. All over this country I am seeing millions of people standing up, fighting back, saying, “enough is enough.”
    • Bernie Sanders, Speaking on a box in South Bronx,
  • Want to get on the front page of the paper? I have to make some vicious attack. I won't do that. I’m running an issue-oriented campaign.
    • Democratic debate (17 January 2016)
  • "We have a president right now who doesn't consider himself a socialist but people call him a socialist as an insult. Are you concerned at all about framing yourself as this?" ...
"Not if we have the opportunity to describe what democratic socialism means. ... You have countries like Denmark, Sweden, Norway ... which have had social democratic governments. ... In those countries, healthcare is a right for all people. ... Tuition is free. ... In those countries, governments are working for the middle class, rather than the billionaire class."
  • Are we happy that 99% of all new income is going to the top 1%? Are we happy that one family in this country owns more than the bottom 130 million people?
    • Late Night with Seth Meyers, (2 June 2015)
  • Warren Buffett, one of the richest guys in the world, openly admits that his effective tax rate is lower than his secretary's. It's time to tell the billionaire class that if they want to enjoy the benefits of America, they have to accept their responsibilities, and they have to start paying their fair share of taxes.
    • Late Night with Seth Meyers, (2 June 2015)
  • In the last thirty years, there has been a massive redistribution of wealth. Unfortunately, it's gone in the wrong direction. ... All that money that has gone from the middle class to the top 1%, I think it should start coming back to the people who need it the most.
    • Late Night with Seth Meyers, (2 June 2015)
  • There are millions and millions of people who are tired of establishment politics, who are tired of corporate greed, who want a candidate that will help lead a mass movement in this country. ... What people are saying is, "Enough is enough. The billionaire class cannot have it all."
  • In my view, and we've introduced legislation to deal with this, if a bank is too big to fail, it is too big to exist.
    • 2016 Presidential Campaign Rally in Madison, Wisconsin, (1 July 2015) at 43:00
  • My friends, the Republican Party did not win the midterm election in November: We lost that election. We lost because voter turnout was abysmally, embarrassingly low, and millions of working people, young people and people of color gave up on politics as usual and they stayed home. That’s a fact. In my view, Democrats will not retain the White House, will not regain the Senate or the U.S. House, will not be successful in dozens of governor races across the country, unless we generate excitement and momentum and produce a huge voter turnout. With all due respect – and I do not mean to insult anyone here – that turnout, that enthusiasm, will not happen with politics as usual. The people of our country understand that given the collapse of the American middle class, and given the grotesque level of income and wealth inequality we are experiencing, we do not need more establishment politics or establishment economics.
  • What happens in Syria, for example, there's some thought about this. When you have drought, when people can't grow their crops, they're going to migrate into cities and when people migrate into cities and when they don't have jobs, there's going to be a lot more instability, a lot more unemployment and people will be subject to the types of propaganda that Al Qaeda and ISIS are using right now and so where you have discontent you have instability, that's where problems arise and certainly without a doubt, a climate change will lead to that.
  • When you look around the world, you see every other major country providing health care to all people as a right, except the United States. You see every other major country saying to moms that, when you have a baby, we’re not gonna separate you from your newborn baby, because we are going to have — we are gonna have medical and family paid leave, like every other country on Earth. Those are some of the principles that I believe in, and I think we should look to countries like Denmark, like Sweden and Norway, and learn from what they have accomplished for their working people.
  • America's first black president cannot and will not be succeeded by a hatemonger who refuses to condemn the KKK.
  • Anybody help me out here, because I don't remember the figures, but my recollection is over 10,000 innocent people were killed in Gaza. Does that sound right? I don't have it in my number... but I think it's over 10,000. My understanding is that a whole lot of apartment houses were leveled. Hospitals, I think, were bombed. So yeah, I do believe and I don't think I'm alone in believing that Israel's force was more indiscriminate than it should have been.
  • We are living in a world where greed has become for the wealthiest people their own religion, and they make no apologies for it.
  • The people in every state in this country should have the right to determine who they want as president and what the agenda of the Democratic Party should be. That’s why we are in this race until the last vote is cast. That is why this campaign is going to the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia with as many delegates as possible to fight for a progressive party platform that calls for a $15 an hour minimum wage, an end to our disastrous trade policies, a Medicare-for-all health care system, breaking up Wall Street financial institutions, ending fracking in our country, making public colleges and universities tuition free and passing a carbon tax so we can effectively address the planetary crisis of climate change.
  • León Krauze: I am sure that you know about this topic: various leftist governments, especially the populists, are in serious trouble in Latin America. The socialist model in Venezuela has the country near collapse. Argentina, also Brazil, how do you explain that failure?
    Bernie Sanders: You are asking me questions...
    Krauze: I am sure you're interested in that.
    Sanders: I am very interested, but right now I'm running for President of the United States.
    Krauze: So you don't have an opinion about the crisis in Venezuela?
    Sanders: Of course I have an opinion, but as I said, I'm focused on my campaign.
  • I am disappointed by the president's decision to continue pushing forward on the disastrous Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement that will cost American jobs, harm the environment, increase the cost of prescription drugs and threaten our ability to protect public health. This treaty is opposed by every trade union in the country and virtually the entire grassroots base of the Democratic Party. ... Secretary Clinton made her strongest statement to date against this deal. In my view, it is now time for the leadership of the Democratic Party in the Senate and the House to join Secretary Clinton and go on the record in opposition to holding a vote on this job-killing trade deal during the lame-duck session of Congress and beyond. We need to defeat this treaty and fundamentally rewrite our trade policies to create good-paying jobs in this country and throughout the world and end the race to the bottom. I will continue to do everything I can to make sure that the TPP does not get implemented.
  • It is an international embarrassment that we put more people behind bars than any other country on earth. Due in large part to private prisons, incarceration has been a source of major profits to private corporations. Study after study after study has shown private prisons are not cheaper, they are not safer, and they do not provide better outcomes for either the prisoners or the state. We have got to end the private prison racket in America as quickly as possible. Our focus should be on keeping people out of jail and making sure they stay out when they are released. This means funding jobs and education not more jails and incarceration.
  • I fear very much that, in fact, government of the people, by the people and for the people is beginning to perish in America.
  • The business model of Wall Street is fraud. In my view, there is no better example than the recently-exposed illegal behavior at Wells Fargo.
  • We have got to end the two-tier justice system — one for the poor and working class and one for Wall Street and the wealthy — that has existed for far too long in this country.
  • Wall Street won’t change until we make it clear that no bank is too big to fail and no CEO is too big to jail.
  • What media loves is to focus on the candidates. What the American people, I believe, want is for us to focus on them, not the candidates, not anymore.
    • as interviewed by Amy Goodman, "Bernie Sanders Warns That Corporate Media Threatens Democracy," Alternet, December 28, 2016

Democratic Presidential Debate in Miami (March 9, 2016)[edit]

Transcript by The New York Times (March 9, 2016)
  • Billionaires and Wall Street should not be buying elections.
  • Today in America, the middle class is disappearing.
  • I think that the American people are never going to elect a president who insults Mexicans, who insults Muslims, who insults women, who insults African-Americans. And let us not forget that several years ago, Trump was in the middle of the so- called birther movement, trying to delegitimize the president of the United States of America. You know, I find it very interesting, Karen, my dad was born in Poland. I know a little bit about the immigrant experience. Nobody has ever asked me for my birth certificate. Maybe it has something to do with the color of my skin.
  • Poverty is increasing. And if wages are going down, I don’t know why we need millions of people to be coming into this country as guestworkers who will work for lower wages than American workers and drive wages down even lower than they are right now. ... You have guestworker programs that have been described by the Southern Poverty Law Center, one of the important institutions in this country who studies these issues, as guestworkers programs akin to slavery, where people came in. They were cheated. They were abused. They were humiliated. And if they stood up for their rights, they would be thrown out of the country. I supported the 2013 immigration reform bill. And what I believe right now is not only that we need comprehensive immigration reform. ... In this country, immigration reform is a very hot debate. It’s divided the country. But I would hope very much, that as we have that debate, we do not, as Donald Trump and others have done, resort to racism and xenophobia and bigotry. This idea of suddenly, one day or maybe a night, rounding up 11 million people and taking them outside of this country is a vulgar, absurd idea that I would hope very few people in America support.
  • I applaud President Obama for his efforts on DAPA and DACA. And I think we have got to expand those efforts. ... Now I happen to agree with President Obama on many, many issues. I think he has done a great job as president of the United States. He is wrong on this issue of deportation. I disagree with him on that.
  • When we talk about efforts to assist immigrants, Secretary Clinton prevailed upon the governor of New York, Eliot Spitzer, who wanted to do the right thing and provide driver’s license to these who were undocumented, she said don’t do it, and New York State still does not do it. In Vermont, by the way, I worked with officials and undocumented people in Vermont do have the ability to get driver’s license. When we talk about immigration, the secretary will remember that one of the great tragedies, human tragedies of recent years is children came from Honduras where there’s probably more violence than almost any place in this country, and they came into this country. And I said welcome those children into this country, Secretary Clinton said send them back. That’s a difference.
  • Ted Kennedy was a very close friend of mine. ... Ted Kennedy was kind enough to allow me to hold a hearing in 2008, I believe, in Congress, dealing with the plight of undocumented tomato pickers in Immokalee, Florida. And I went there on my own. Wasn’t an issue really for the state of Vermont to expose the horrendous working conditions and the semi slavery, if you like, that those workers lived under. And the result of that hearing and the work that many, many people did was to significantly improve the wages and working conditions of those workers.
  • Honduras and that region of the world may be the most violent region in our hemisphere. Gang lords, vicious people torturing people, doing horrible things to families. Children fled that part of the world to try, try, try, try, maybe, to meet up with their family members in this country, taking a route that was horrific, trying to start a new life. Secretary Clinton did not support those children coming into this country. I did.
  • I will not deport children from the United States of America.
  • There was a piece of legislation supported by dozens and dozens of members of the House which codified existing legislation. What the secretary is doing tonight and has done very often is take large pieces of legislation and take pieces out of it. No, I did not oppose the bailout or the support of the automobile industry. No, I do not support vigilantes, and that is a horrific statement, an unfair statement to make.
  • The essence of what we are trying to do is to unite families, not to divide families. The idea that a mother is living here and her children are on the other side of the border is wrong and immoral.
  • I would think that a speech so great that you got paid so much money for, you would like to share it with the American people. So I think she should release the transcript. ... The secretary says it doesn’t influence her. Well, that’s what every politician says who gets money from special interests. The question that the American people have to determine - you know, can you say that Wall Street is greedy, they’re fraudulent, but they’re not dumb. Why are they making those kind of large contributions? What I believe is in fact that we have a corrupt campaign finance system. And it’s not just Wall Street, it’s the drug companies. ... We’ve got to overturn Citizens United and end that. ... I don’t take money from Wall Street. I demand that we break up the large financial institutions. I don’t take money from the pharmaceutical industry because I believe they are ripping off the American people and charging us the highest prices in the world for prescription drugs. I don’t take money from the fossil fuel industry because they are destroying — they are destroying this planet through their emissions of carbon and creating the terrible climate change that we are seeing.
    • About Clinton's Wall Street speeches.
  • A series of articles in the New York Times talked about Secretary Clinton’s role in urging the administration to go forward with regime change, getting rid of Gadhafi in Libya. Gadhafi was a brutal dictator, there’s no question. But one of the differences between the secretary and I is I’m not quite so aggressive with regard to regime change. I voted against the war in Iraq because I had a fear of what would happen the day after.
  • I think the point is look at the record, and it’s a record that I am proud of.
  • It’s a huge question. And one of the — huge, I know.
  • I would rather invest in education and jobs than jails and incarceration.
  • This is the year 2016. Fifty years ago a high school degree got you a good job in the economy. Today, in many respects, a college degree is the equivalent of a high school degree. We have got to go beyond first grade to 12th grade when we talk about public education. So I do believe we should make public colleges and universities tuition-free, and I don’t believe we should punish millions of young and not-so-young people with outrageous levels of student debt. I want children in the third grade to know that if they study hard, no matter what the income of their families, my family didn’t have any income, my parents didn’t go to college, they didn’t have good income. I want every kid to know if you do your school work, study hard, yes, you will be able to get a college education.
  • I have been criticized a lot for thinking big. You know, that’s for believing that we can do great things as a nation. One of the things we should not be doing obviously, is punishing people for doing what we want them to do and that is to get an education.
  • I think when the American people stand up and fight back, yes, we can have it, a Medicare for all health care system.
  • When you have Republican candidates for president and in Congress telling you that climate change is a hoax, which is Donald Trump and other candidates’ position, what they are really saying is, we don’t have the guts to take on the fossil fuel industry. ... You know what happens to that Republican who listens to the scientists? On that day, that Republican loses his campaign funding from the Koch brothers and the fossil fuel industry.
  • We need a political revolution in this country.
  • When millions of people stand up and tell the fossil fuel industry that their profits, their short-term profits are less significant than the long-term health of this planet, we will win. That is the way change always takes place.
  • I believe that we should move towards full and normalized political relations with Cuba. I think at the end of the day, it will be a good thing for the Cuban people. It will enable them, I think when they see people coming into their country from the United States, move in a more democratic direction, which is what I want to see.
  • I think the United States should be working with governments around the world, not get involved in regime change. And all of these actions, by the way, in Latin America, brought forth a lot of very strong anti-American sentiments.
  • Cuba is, of course, an authoritarian undemocratic country, and I hope very much as soon as possible it becomes a democratic country. ... On the other hands, it would be wrong not to state that in Cuba they have made some good advances in health care. They are sending doctors all over the world. They have made some progress in education. I think by restoring full diplomatic relations with Cuba, it will result in significant improvements to the lives of Cubans and it will help the United States and our business community invest.
  • We’ve got to bring people together.
  • Is it acceptable that Wall Street and billionaires are spending hundreds of millions of dollars trying to buy elections? Is that democracy or this that oligarchy? Which is why I believe we’ve got to overturn Citizens United and move to public funding of elections.
  • If we stand up, fight back, we can do a lot better.

Quotes about Sanders[edit]

Sanders ... has mobilized a large number of young people, these young people who are saying, "Look, we're not going to consent anymore." And if that turns into a continuing, organized, mobilized force, that could change the country. ~ Noam Chomsky
  • Bernie Sanders is a pretty interesting phenomenon. He's a decent, honest person. That's pretty unusual in the political system.
  • Sanders ... has mobilized a large number of young people, these young people who are saying, "Look, we're not going to consent anymore." And if that turns into a continuing, organized, mobilized force, that could change the country.
  • Bernie Sanders [is] doing good and courageous things. He’s organizing a lot of people. That campaign ought to be directed to sustaining a popular movement that will use the election as a kind of an incentive and then go on, and unfortunately it’s not. When the election’s over, the movement is going to die. And that’s a serious error. ... The only thing that’s going to ever bring about any meaningful change is ongoing, dedicated, popular movements that don’t pay attention to the election cycle.
  • Bernie Sanders, who at least acknowledges our economic reality and refuses to accept corporate money for his presidential campaign, plays the role of the Democratic Party’s court jester. No doubt to remain a member of the court, he will not condemn the perfidy and collaboration with corporate power that define Obama, Hillary and Bill Clinton and the Democratic Party. He accepts that criticism of empire is taboo. He continues, even as the party elites rig the primaries against him, to make a mockery of democratic participation, to hold up the Democrats as a tool for change. He will soon be urging his supporters to vote for Hillary Clinton, actively working as an impediment to political mobilization and an advocate for political lethargy. Sanders, whose promise of a political revolution is as hollow as competing campaign slogans, will be rewarded for his duplicity. He will be allowed to keep his seniority in the Democratic caucus. The party will not mount a campaign in Vermont to unseat him from the U.S. Senate. He will not, as he has feared, end up a pariah like Ralph Nader. But he, like everyone else in the establishment, will have sold us out.
  • Included in the 62 million workers making under $15 hour are members of Bernie Sanders' own staff. According to the senators' website, Interns are paid only $12 an hour. In [Bernie's] bill's summary, the first bullet point reads, "No one working full time should be in poverty. It is time to pay workers a living wage of at least $15 an hour." Apparently, though, Bernie Sanders' interns are excluded from that assessment.
  • Markets are unsettled because of geopolitical risks, the slowdown in China, and because Bernie Sanders has become a viable candidate.

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