Bernie Sanders: Only If ‘Millions and Millions’ Rise Up, Can Progressive Agenda Win

Written by on November 2, 2014 in Government, Politics with 5 Comments

Jon Queally | Commondreams

Bernie Sanders

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) talks with Bill Moyers about the need for the grassroots revolution that is needed to topple the corrupting influence of money in politics. (Image: Screengrab / Moyers & Company)

In an interview with journalist Bill Moyers that will air Friday, U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.)—who has announced he is seriously considering a run for president in 2016—said that though voter turnout is key in order to keep Republicans and their regressive polices from making gains in Congress and local elections nationwide, the real challenge for progressives in the coming days, months, and years is to build a powerful grassroots movement that is able to break the stranglehold that big money and corporate interests have placed on the nation’s democratic insitutions.

“What we have got to do is mobilize the American people in a way that we have not seen in recent history around a progressive agenda,” said Sanders.

When asked by Moyers how such a mobilization might be realized, Sanders admitted that he does “not have any magical solutions,” but said that when people begin to stand up and say “Enough is enough”—and talk about doing well by their kids, protecting the environment, fighting corporate interests, winning healthcare for all, and taking on the billionaire class—the movement from below will inevitably shift the current debate. “When people begin to move, the people on top will follow them,” he said.

“What I do know,” Sanders continued, is that the landscape of U.S. politics will not change for the better “if we do not create an economy that works for ordinary people, if we do not end the fact that 95 percent of all new income now goes to the top one percent. We’ve got to end it, and the only way I know to do that is to rally ordinary people around the progressive agenda. So our job is to create a 50 state, grassroots movement around a progressive agenda.”

Asked by Moyers about similar-sounding populist rhetoric used by President Obama when he first ran for president in 2008, Sanders responded: “I have lot of respect for Barack Obama. But, his biggest mistake is that, after running a brilliant campaign in 2008, where millions of people in fact were galvanized, young people, people of color came out and said, ‘Hey, we’re going to make some real change.’ The day after the election he said, okay, thank you very much. Now I’m going to work inside the Beltway and we’re going to start negotiating with Republicans and all that stuff. The simple truth is, in my view, nothing gets done unless millions and millions of people will demand it. Politics is 365 days a year.”

“Not just voting?” asked Moyers.

Exactly,” said Sanders. “And anyone, you can have the best person in the world as president of the United States, that person will accomplish nothing unless millions of people are standing behind him or her.”

Watch the full interview:

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  1.' Katherine L says:

    Hold on to you hat. Change is afoot. The time is now and the NEW ENERGIES are flourishing. Patience is needed as more and more humans awaken from their slumber.

  2.' bumpercrop says:

    Bernie Sanders apparently supports the genocide and theft of land taking place in Palestine.
    He also has dual citizenship with Israel.
    Even after the brutal murder of the Palestinians this past summer, Sanders votes to send even more money/arms to Israel.
    “Although Sanders may have once been a socialist back in the 80s when he was Mayor of Burlington, today, a socialist he is not. Rather he behaves more like a technofascist disguised as a liberal, who backs all of President Obama’s nasty little wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Pakistan, Somalia, and Yemen.. Since he always “supports the troops,” Sanders never opposes any defense spending bill. He stands behind all military contractors who bring much-needed jobs to Vermont.

    Senator Sanders rarely misses a photo opportunity with Vermont National Guard troops when they are being deployed to Afghanistan or Iraq. He’s always at the Burlington International Airport when they return. If Sanders truly supported the Vermont troops, he would vote to end all of the wars posthaste.”

    •' sharonsj says:

      Repeating crap from the internet doesn’t make it true. Unless you can prove that Bernie Sanders holds two separate passports (one American, one Israeli)–and I bet you can’t–then he doesn’t have dual citizenship.

  3.' bumpercrop says:

    Regarding the much needed awakening of America, ground zero of the New World Order, I just finished watching the 10 hour David Icke presentation at Wembley Stadium, in front of 12,000 people, made in 2012, before the presidential “race” between Obama and Romney. During that election I was still asleep, still believing that an authority figure (messiah) could save us. That was a mere few years ago! So have patience with the “sheep”.
    Now I know it will be as each one of us awakens to the full truth, not just the parts that fit into our former paradigm, but the ugly parts too, and as we understand, we will change intrinsically. This awakening is happening exponentially. But we must be willing to look at the parts of reality, that many New Agers consider “negative”. Just as we must be aware of our own flaws in order to heal, we must also look at the lies we have been programmed to believe. Icke ended the presentation with music, dance and a meditation, very powerful!

  4. Mr Sanders
    I have been waiting for someone in government who knows the issue and is ready to tackle them.
    I thoroughly am inspired by your interview with Mr Moyers and want to thank him as well for having you on the show so that the public can hear your ideas
    I will back you, my family will back you 100% in a presidential election.
    I will also rally in this area, (Amador, Calaveras, Tuolumne and El Dorado counties)
    I would thoroughly enjoy assisting your campaign any way I can.
    Kathleen a. Ball Ph.D.

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