Fulltext of the speech at Vox.We must see ourselves as part of one nation, one community and one society — regardless of race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, or country of origin. This quintessentially American idea is literally emblazoned on our coins: E Pluribus Unum. From the many, one. And, I should tell you, it is enshrined in the motto of our campaign for the presidency — Not me, Us.Let me be clear. I do understand that I and other progressives will face massive attacks from those who attempt to use the word “socialism” as a slur. But I should also tell you that I have faced and overcome these attacks for decades — and I am not the only one.Let us remember that in 1932, Republican President Herbert Hoover claimed that Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal was, “a disguise for the totalitarian state.” In 1936 former Democratic New York Governor and presidential candidate Al Smith said in a speech about FDR’s New Deal policies, “Just get the platform of the Democratic Party and get the platform of the Socialist Party and lay them down on your dining-room table, side by side.”When President Harry Truman proposed a national health care program, the American Medical Association hired Ronald Reagan as their pitchman. The AMA called the legislation that stemmed from his proposal “socialized medicine” claiming that White House staff were, “followers of the Moscow party line.”In 1960, Ronald Reagan in a letter to Richard Nixon wrote the following about John F. Kennedy: “Under the tousled boyish haircut is still old Karl Marx.” In the 1990s, then Congressman Newt Gingrich claimed President Bill Clinton’s health care plan was “centralized bureaucratic socialism.” The conservative Heritage Foundation has claimed that the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) was “a step towards socialism.” Former Speaker of the House John Boehner claimed the stimulus package, the omnibus spending bill and the budget proposed by President Barack Obama were “all one big down payment on a new American socialist experiment.”In this regard, President Harry Truman was right when he said that: “Socialism is the epithet they have hurled at every advance the people have made in the last 20 years…Socialism is what they called Social Security. Socialism is what they called farm price supports. Socialism is what they called bank deposit insurance. Socialism is what they called the growth of free and independent labor organizations. Socialism is their name for almost anything that helps all the people.”Now let’s be clear: while President Trump and his fellow oligarchs attack us for our support of democratic socialism, they don’t really oppose all forms of socialism. They may hate democratic socialism because it benefits working people, but they absolutely love corporate socialism that enriches Trump and other billionaires...[during the 2008 market crash] Overnight, Wall Street became big government socialists and begged for the largest federal bailout in American history — some $700 billion from the Treasury and trillions in support from the Federal Reserve.But it’s not just Wall Street that loves socialism — when it works for them. It is the norm across the entire corporate world. The truth is corporate America receives hundreds of billions of dollars in federal support every single year, while these same people are trying to cut programs that benefit ordinary Americans.If you are a fossil fuel company, whose carbon emissions are destroying the planet, you get billions in government subsidies including special tax breaks, royalty relief, funding for research and development and numerous tax loopholes.If you are a pharmaceutical company, you make huge profits on patent rights for medicines that were developed with taxpayer funded research...And let me be absolutely clear: democratic socialism to me requires achieving political and economic freedom in every community. And let me also be clear, the only way we achieve these goals is through a political revolution – where millions of people get involved in the political process and reclaim our democracy by having the courage to take on the powerful corporate interests whose greed is destroying the social and economic fabric of our country. At the end of the day, the one percent may have enormous wealth and power, but they are just the one percent. When the 99 percent stand together, we can transform society.These are my values, and that is why I call myself a democratic socialist.
12 June 2019
Bernie Sanders explains "democratic socialism"
Excerpts from a major speech Bernie Sanders delivered today at George Washington University: