In Cleveland on Monday, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders railed against economic inequality, the influence of corporate America and argued for expansion of social safety-net programs.
In other words, Sanders’ 30-minute speech, delivered at the Global Center for Health Innovation, wasn’t all that different from the presidential campaign the independent, liberal firebrand from Vermont waged last year in his failed bid to secure the Democratic Party nomination.
Left reeling from Republican President Donald Trump’s improbable victory in November, Sanders are other progressives are jostling to chart out a future path for liberals in America.
Although he fell short in his presidential bid, Sanders clearly has captured the energy of his party’s young, liberal base.
On Monday, Sanders called for a series of policy proposals — a $15 an hour national minimum wage, 12 weeks of guaranteed, paid family leave, tuition-free public college education and a “Medicare for all” single-payer healthcare system — that are reminiscent of European-style social democracies. (Not to mention the 2016 Democratic National Convention platform that Sanders and his supporters pushed for.) He said the policies could be paid for by taxing the rich, or as he put it, making them pay their “fair share.”
“It seems to me that our job is not to just oppose Trump’s reactionary agenda. Although we’ve got to do that and we’ve got to do it vigorously,” Sanders said. “… But in addition to that, what we need to do is put forth a progressive agenda that addresses the needs of working families in the country, an agenda that has a very different moral compass than that of President Trump.
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