Bernie Sanders

Remarks at the Iowa Democratic Party Hall of Fame Event in Cedar Rapids

June 09, 2019

[As prepared for delivery.]

Thank you for inviting me to be with you and thank you for what you are doing to defeat the most dangerous president in modern history.

The American people do not want a president who is a pathological liar, a racist, a sexist, a homophobe, a xenophobe, a religious bigot and someone who believes that he is above the law.

Together we will put an end to the ugliness and divisiveness that comes from this White House.

Let me be frank with you for a moment. While we are all united in the need to defeat Trump, there are disagreements amongst us as to the best way to do that.

In my view, we will not defeat Donald Trump unless we bring excitement and energy into this campaign, unless we greatly expand voter turnout, and unless we give millions of working people and young people a reason to vote and a reason to believe that participating in politics will improve their lives.

The status quo, same old same old kind of politics, will not do that.

The only way we win is with a Democratic Party that, from the top of the ticket to the bottom, is prepared to stand up and fight for the working families of this country - black, white, Latino, Native American and Asian American.

A Democratic Party that has the courage to take on the powerful special interests who have so much control over the economic and political life of this country.

A Democratic Party that creates a government and an economy that works for all of us, and not just the 1 percent.

I understand that there are some well-intentioned Democrats and candidates who believe that the best way forward is a "middle ground" strategy that antagonizes no one, that stands up to nobody and that changes nothing.

In my view, that approach is not just bad public policy, but it is a failed political strategy that I fear could end up with the reelection of Donald Trump. The American people want change, real change, and we have got to provide that change.

And that means if we believe health care is a human right, we must take on the power of the insurance industry.

If we believe in cutting prescription drug prices in half, we must take on the greed of the pharmaceutical industry.

If we believe in an end to endless wars, we must take on the clout of the military industrial complex.

If we believe we need to combat climate change and save our planet for future generations, we must take on the lies of the fossil fuel industry.

History reminds us that real change is never easy. It requires millions of people standing up for justice -- and together we can do that.

We can create a nation where all people, regardless of their income, have healthcare and unlimited educational opportunities; where veterans are not sleeping out on the street and where children are not going hungry; and where we finally put an end to racism, sexism, homophobia and religious bigotry.

That must be our vision - and if we are prepared to create an unprecedented grassroots movement that is a vision we can accomplish.

Bernie Sanders, Remarks at the Iowa Democratic Party Hall of Fame Event in Cedar Rapids Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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