Sanders cites American icons in defense of ‘democratic socialism’

20 Nov 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Bernie Sanders invokes FDR in explaining socialism as ‘foundation of middle class’.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders said Thursday that economic security is essential to Americans achieving true freedom, a central tenet in his political philosophy of “democratic socialism.” “Real freedom must include economic security.Updated, 8:15 p.m. | Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont aggressively confronted voter concerns about his electability as president on Thursday, making a rare formal address to explain his left-wing ideology of democratic socialism and argue that its principles reflected mainstream American values like fairness and equality.He gripped a lectern in front of a crowd of 700 eager students, delivering a rambling talk that was billed as an explanation of his political ideology but in reality turned out to be a tweaked version of his stump speech.

Bernie Sanders laid out a forceful argument for democratic socialism, the largely misunderstood political philosophy to which the Vermont senator ascribes, in a long-awaited speech delivered at Georgetown University Thursday afternoon. Hillary Clinton and her main rival for the Democratic nomination, Bernie Sanders, played to type Thursday, with dueling policy addresses just days after the Des Moines debate. Sanders drew parallels between his own views and those of beloved figures like Franklin Roosevelt, Lyndon Johnson, Martin Luther King Jr. and Pope Francis in an attempt to impress upon the audience that they are already familiar with his philosophy, whether or not they realize it. In signature style, Sanders argued it is not he who is the radical — that it is billionaires and their allies who are the threat to the fundamental American values of fairness and compassion. Sanders, who is hugely popular with liberals but is struggling to attract more voters to his Democratic presidential bid against Hillary Rodham Clinton, made blunt overtures to the party faithful by presenting himself as the heir to the policies and ideals of Franklin Delano Roosevelt and the Rev.

Programs like Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, unemployment insurance, the institution of the 40-hour work week, the abolishment of child labor, and the minimum wage, Sanders said, were all once denounced as socialist. “These programs have become the fabric of our nation and the foundation of the middle class,” he said. Sanders spoke of the fact that the top one-tenth of one percent of Americans own nearly as much wealth as the bottom 90 percent, and cited figures that show median incomes for families and individuals have seen sharp declines over the last several decades. Sanders hopes victories in Iowa and in the New Hampshire primary will help him undermine Clinton’s dominance and create momentum in a lengthy fight for delegates. Roosevelt of our time, noting that the president who guided the nation out of the Depression and through most of World War II had an agenda not all that different from his. For Clinton, the event was a chance to forcefully define her foreign policy in relation to the White House she once worked for while reminding voters — and a small, sober crowd of New York City grandees and reporters — of her unparalleled international experience.

Clinton in recent days has offered a veiled critique of Sanders for his support of a single-payer health care system, which she says will require middle-class Americans to pay higher taxes. Front-runner Hillary Clinton opened up a more than 20-point lead over Sanders a month ago in national polling averages, and the Vermonter has yet to narrow the gap — largely because many Democratic voters question whether he is electable. It begins with the acknowledgment that unilateral military action should be a last resort, not a first resort, and that ill-conceived military decisions, such as the invasion of Iraq, can wreak far-reaching devastation and destabilization over regions for decades,” he said before rattling off U.S.-backed coups throughout the world in the last half-century that had controversial long-term effects. “This type of regime change, this type of overthrowing governments we may not like, often does not work, often makes a difficult political situation even worse,” he said. Democratic socialism means that we must reform a political system that is corrupt, that we must create an economy that works for all, not just the very wealthy.” Though the speech was largely concerned with economic inequality, Sanders earned the most thunderous applause when he addressed issues of racism. “I don’t believe in special treatment for the top one percent, but I do believe in equal treatment for African-Americans who are right to proclaim the moral principle that black lives matter,” he said.

His self-identifying for decades as a socialist is perceived as heavy baggage in a country where the term, when it does come up in politics, is usually in the form of an attack. King’s call for social and economic justice, contrasting them to “socialist-communist” caricatures of his thinking put forward by Republicans to tar the Democratic field. “I don’t believe government should take over the grocery store down the street or own the means of production,” Mr.

Sanders also took aim at GOP candidates’ “appeals to nativism and prejudice” in the speech, singling out Donald Trump before arguing for immigration reform and letting Syrian refugees into the country. “The bottom line is that ISIS must be destroyed, but it cannot be defeated by the United States alone. Donald Trump and others who refer to Latinos and people from Mexico as criminals and rapists — if they want to open that door, our job is to shut that door and shut it tight. The speech cited Roosevelt’s “Second Bill of Rights” from his 1944 State of the Union address which asserted Americans should have the right to a job with a living wage, health care, education and economic protections for the elderly. Despite the Sanders campaign catching fire with liberal Democrats since June, a survey of New Hampshire voters released by WBUR a few weeks ago suggested mainstream voters had not changed their outlook.

Sanders also argued that the government bailouts of Wall Street firms during the Great Recession — and the lack of any prosecutions of industry executives — were a form of state-driven socialism in which a central government propped up and protected the wealthy. The idea for Clinton’s somber, deep-dive address on how to combat ISIL was hers, aides said, and the 30-minute event followed the same format as the last time she gave a detailed address on global issues — when she defended President Barack Obama’s Iran nuclear deal in a speech followed by a Q+A at the Brookings Institution, another well-respected think tank. And that is what we have to do today,” Sanders told the audience. “And, by the way, almost everything he proposed was called ‘socialist.’” Thirty years later, Sanders said, Lyndon B.

Half of them still said they would not vote for a socialist, though that total dropped to 40% when the voters were asked about voting for a “democratic socialist,” which is how Sanders describes himself. Poor and middle-class Americans, by contrast, struggle financially without meaningful government help and end up being arrested on minor drug offenses, Mr.

Just feet from Clinton, the front row was stacked with familiar faces: her former deputy secretary of state Tom Nides, who remains close to her campaign; longtime friend Vernon Jordan; and Mayor Bill de Blasio, who recently ended an awkward political play and endorsed Clinton, his former boss. Too many people have suffered and too many people have died for us to continue to hear racist words coming from major political leaders.” As receptive as the audience at Georgetown was Thursday, Sanders is still waging an uphill battle. A large portion of her senior staff who work in the campaign’s Brooklyn headquarters ventured uptown to watch their candidate give a commander-in-chief style speech from a room decorated exclusively with portraits of white men. King: “This country has socialism for the rich, and rugged individualism for the poor.” “Wall Street C.E.O.s who help destroy the economy, they don’t get police records, they get raises in their salaries,” Mr. As of early Tuesday, however, it was still unclear if Sanders would deliver the speech at all; the day before his campaign announced the event at Georgetown, Politico reported the promised speech had been put on “indefinite hold.” In a Democratic primary race in which it has at times been difficult to distinguish between candidates on some issues, Thursday offered one of the starkest contrasts yet between Sanders and Hillary Clinton.

Her position on increasing the number of Special Forces deployed, as well as embedding American advisers in Iraqi units, have become increasingly mainstream positions. But I am running for president in order for all of us to be able to live in a nation of hope and opportunity.” During a question-and-answer session, Sanders said he identifies as a democratic socialist because “that, in fact, is my vision. She offered more details on her vision to implement a no-fly zone, saying she supported one “principally over northern Syria to close the border.” She made a call for America to lead the fight abroad, but also challenged Turkey to become a full partner in the fight. “This is their fight, and they need to act like it,” said the stern Clinton. “So far, however, Turkey has been more focused on the Kurds than on countering ISIS.” For Sanders, meanwhile, the day came together quickly. While Sanders, like Clinton, declared firmly the terrorist network must be defeated, he sounded a note of caution as well, saying the U.S. must be careful not to repeat the foreign policy blunders of its past.

He further contrasted his own policies with that of his main rival, Hillary Clinton, by stressing his opposition to foreign policy that revolves around regime change. They are not truly free when they are unemployed or underemployed or when they are exhausted by working 60 or 70 hours a week.” He argued the same theme was at the root of the advocacy of the Rev. It means we should not be providing huge tax breaks for the wealthiest people in this country, or trade policies which boost corporate profits that result in workers’ losing their jobs.” Mr.

The independent who caucuses with Democrats has long recognized his need to convince Democratic primary voters of his party bona fides, and his aides only recently convinced him to deliver one major address defining his “democratic socialist” ideology. Sanders, who throughout his campaign has emphasized how crucial grassroots political engagement will be in order to get him elected, closed his speech Thursday acknowledging the “significant alimentation from the political process” many Americans feel, and appealed to the students in the audience. “If you, as young people are prepared to engage in the political process, I know that there is nothing, nothing, nothing that we cannot accomplish.” 2015 may not bring everything that Back to the Future II promised it would: flying cars, self-lacing shoes, we don’t see ’em happening over the next 12 months. (Then again, don’t bet against Nike.) But this year will definitely pack plenty of punch when it comes to cultural happenings. The United States’ response, Sanders said, must begin with an “understanding of our past mistakes” in foreign policy, referencing regime changes over the past 60 years that have resulted in instability. It is transforming American society.” Sanders also addressed the recent attacks in Paris, urging the U.S. to lead a “new and strong coalition of Western powers, Muslim nations and countries like Russia” to fight the Islamic State in a coordinated way. He said that effort should include the sharing of counter-terror intelligence, stop terrorist financing and end the exporting of “extremist ideologies.” No personal attacks or insults, no hate speech, no profanity.

He expressed bewilderment that his embrace of free public education, universal healthcare and an economic system that does not concentrate so much wealth among so few would be perceived as radical. Many Democrats like the message more than the messenger, fearful that Republicans will tag him as a wild-eyed socialist — given his ideology and his calls for a “political evolution” — and crush him in the 2016 general election if he is the Democratic nominee.

Sanders drew comparisons to some past presidential candidates who made speeches in critical moments, like Barack Obama’s remarks on race relations in 2008 — after inflammatory remarks by the Rev. Kennedy’s speech on Roman Catholicism in 1960. “It was a crisis moment in our campaign, and it was difficult because he needed to strongly separate himself from his pastor’s statements without separating himself from the pastor,” Mr.

Sanders emphasized that while he opposed war, democratic socialism did not rule it out, and that he would go to all lengths to protect Americans from terrorists and enemy nations. “I am not a pacifist,” Mr. Sanders’s speech was wrapping himself in the mantle of the former president, though he could not predict whether it would ultimately be effective against Mrs.

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