A candidate for the democratic nomination for the presidential race in 2016, Bernie Sanders is currently one of the leading progressive voices in the United States. The longest serving independent in congress, he is one of the senators that is the most popular among his constituents. He broke fundraising records with his focus on grassroots donations and continues to build on the movement he started during the election. The following are an assortment of his quotes on politics, of course, but also other topics such as education and race and life in general.
Election days come and go. But the struggle of the people to create a government which represents all of us and not just the one percent – a government based on the principles of economic, social, racial and environmental justice – that struggle continues.
The cost of college education today is so high that many young people are giving up their dream of going to college, while many others are graduating deeply in debt.
At the current $5.15 an hour, the federal minimum wage has become a poverty wage. A full-time worker with one child lives below the official poverty line.
For many, the American dream has become a nightmare.
Let us wage a moral and political war against the billionaires and corporate leaders, on Wall Street and elsewhere, whose policies and greed are destroying the middle class of America.
The details of what the Fed did were kept secret until a provision in the Dodd-Frank Act that I sponsored required the Government Accountability Office to audit the Fed’s lending programs during the financial crisis.
Difficult times often bring out the best in people.
Every day we are paying more for energy than we should due to poor insulation, inefficient lights, appliances, and heating and cooling equipment – money we could save by investing in energy efficiency.
Low-income people, racial or ethnic minorities, pregnant women, seniors, people with special needs, people in rural areas – they all have a much harder time accessing a dentist than other groups of Americans.
I see a future where getting to work or to school or to the store does not have to cause pollution.
A nation will not survive morally or economically when so few have so much and so many have so little.
Real change never occurs from the top on down, [but] always from the bottom on up.
Finally, let understand that when we stand together, we will always win. When men and women stand together for justice, we win. When black, white and Hispanic people stand together for justice, we win.
What my campaign is about is a political revolution – millions of people standing up and saying, enough is enough. Our government belongs to all of us, and not just the hand full of billionaires.
The problems we face, did not come down from the heavens. They are made, they are made by bad human decisions, and good human decisions can change them.
Now is the time to alter our government. Now is the time to stop the movement toward oligarchy. Now is the time to create a government which represents all Americans and not just the 1%… No more excuses. We must all become involved in the political process.
What democratic socialism is about is saying that it is immoral and wrong that the top one-tenth of 1 percent in this country own almost 90 percent – almost – own almost as much wealth as the bottom 90 percent. That it is wrong, today, in a rigged economy, that 57 percent of all new income is going to the top 1 percent. 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.
The struggle to create a nation and world of economic and social justice and environmental sanity is not an easy one. The struggle to try and create a more peaceful world will be extremely difficult. But this I know: despair is not an option if we care about our kids and grandchildren. Giving up is not an option if we want to prevent irreparable harm to our planet.
Americans’ right to free speech should not be proportionate to their bank accounts.
It’s better to show up than to give up.
I believe when we stand together, when we share the vision that government should work for all of us, there is nothing we can’t accomplish.
Citizens in a democracy need diverse sources of news and information.
Even the alternative weekly newspapers, traditionally a bastion of progressive thought and analysis, have been bought by a monopoly franchise and made a predictable shift to the right in their coverage of local news.
I’m not much into speculation.
People in American jails are disproportionately people of color. That’s the reality in America today. That’s a reality that has to change.
You can have a different point of view on immigration or anything else, but we cannot be attacking people because of their religion.
We must not accept a nation in which billionaires compete as to the size of their super-yachts, while children in America go hungry.
This looks to me like a group of people who are prepared to make a political revolution.
It’s unacceptable that millions of college graduates can’t afford to buy their first home or car because of outrageously high student debt.
Young people in this country know exactly what they’re doing. They know we need big change, not just small steps.
Education should be a right, not a privilege. We need a revolution in the way that the United States funds higher education.
Every person in this country who has the desire and ability should be able to get all the education they need regardless of the income of their family. This is not a radical idea. In Germany, Scandinavia and many other countries, higher education is either free or very inexpensive. We must do the same.
Fifty years ago, great schools like the University of California and the City University of New York – as well as many state colleges – were tuition free. Today college is unaffordable for many working class families. For the sake of our economy and millions of Americans, we must make higher education more affordable.
How can the United States be competitive globally if higher education is unaffordable? Germany, Austria, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Scotland and Sweden have no tuition for college. Other countries have low tuition. We need the best educated workforce in the world. Instead of spending endless amounts on the military, we need to invest in our young people.
Student debt is crushing the lives of millions of Americans. How does it happen that we can get a home mortgage or purchase a car with interest rates half of that being paid for student loans? We must make higher education affordable for all. We must substantially lower interest rates on student loans. This must be a national priority.
At rallies in Vermont and across the country this weekend, our message was clear. We are not going back. Not only are we not going to retreat on women’s rights, we are going to expand them. We are going forward, not backward.
I have a lifetime 100% pro-choice voting record. I understand that people disagree on this issue, but I believe that it is a woman’s decision, it’s a difficult decision, but it’s a decision between her and her physician. I will do everything that I can in 50 states of this country to make sure that women have a choice.
Not only are we going to expand policies that advance gender equality, we are going to fight to pass the long-overdue Equal Rights Amendment and vigorously defend the critical laws and programs which protect all working people in our country.
Rich get richer. Everyone else gets poorer. And all these guys can talk about is war and defunding Planned Parenthood.
The right wing in this country is waging a war against women, and let me be very clear, it is not a war that we are going to allow them to win.
I think the issue of income and wealth inequality is in fact a moral issue.
Nobody who works 40 hours a week should be living in poverty.
If you can’t afford to take care of your #?!# veterans , then don’t go to war.
If the environment were a bank, it would have been saved by now.
A nation will not surve morally or economically when so few have so much, while so many have so little.
Are we prepared to take on the enormous political power of the billionaire class or do we continue to slide into economic and political oligarchy?
Message to the billionaire class: You can’t have it all!
The billionaire class fully understands what is at stake. That’s why a handful of them are pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into the current elections. Their goal is not to strengthen the middle class, but continue the trend in which the rich are getting richer at the expense of everyone else.
Today, the United States is No. 1 in corporate profits, No. 1 in CEO salaries, No. 1 in childhood poverty and No. 1 in income and wealth inequality in the industrialized world.
We will not accept a society in which the very rich get richer, while almost everyone else becomes poorer.