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Let's Stand Together

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Cross-posted from Bernie Sanders Webpage

From commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Bernie_Sanders.jpg: Bernie Sanders
Bernie Sanders
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Poll after poll shows that the American people are united in their anger and frustration with the status quo. They sense, correctly, that the deck is stacked against them. While millions of people are working longer hours for lower wages, almost all new income is going to the top 1 percent. While people in the middle class pay their fair share of taxes, multi-national corporations avoid their tax responsibility by running abroad or taking advantage of loopholes. While young people study hard to get a college education, many of them leave school with crippling debts that severely impact their futures.

Over and over again the pundits and the media tell us how politically divided the American people are, and how we are drifting further and further apart into red and blue states. Frankly, I don't believe it. Yes, there are significant divisions on a number of issues, but on many of the most important challenges facing our country progressives, moderates and conservatives are surprisingly united. We should build on that unity.

Real change comes about when large numbers of ordinary Americans speak, vote and get involved in the democratic process. If we stand together, we win. If we are divided, the big-money interests win. Over the years, when millions of people have stood and fought together we have made some pretty impressive progress: in workers' rights, civil rights, women's rights, gay rights, disability rights and in many other areas. Either elected officials respond to the needs and views of an involved electorate, or they don't remain elected.

Despite the media's insistence that the country is irreparably divided, let me give you a few examples of where the American people are largely united, not divided.

The overwhelming majority of Americans believe that our democracy is being undermined when billionaires can spend unlimited amounts of money to influence elections. Despite Supreme Court rulings to the contrary, people across the political spectrum understand that buying elections is not "freedom of speech." They understand that corporations are not people and that there should be strong limits on campaign spending.

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The overwhelming majority of Americans believe that the middle class of this country is disappearing and that real unemployment is much too high. They very much want the federal government to play a strong role in creating decent-paying jobs by rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure (roads, bridges, rail, water systems, waste water plants, airports, etc.) and by making higher education much more affordable.

The overwhelming majority of Americans believe that the growing wealth and income inequality we are seeing poses a serious threat to the future of our country. They are deeply concerned that 95 percent of all new income generated in recent years has gone to the top 1 percent, and that the United States has, by far, the most unequal distribution of wealth and income of any major country. They very much support tax reform which asks the wealthy to start paying their fair share of taxes, and which eliminates huge tax loopholes enabling one out of four corporations to pay nothing in federal income taxes.

The overwhelming majority of Americans believe that the social safety net that has been established in this country over the last 80 years is vital to the well-being of working families, the elderly, the children, the sick and the poor. At a time when more Americans are living in poverty than ever before, they strongly oppose proposed cuts in Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, veterans' benefits and federal aid to education.

A strong majority of Americans believe that global warming is real and poses a serious threat to our country and planet. They want the federal government to limit carbon emissions and to move forward aggressively in such areas as energy efficiency and sustainable energy.

Let's be clear. What happens politically and in elections impacts the future of our country in a very big way. Elections have consequences and will determine whether the jobs in our country pay a living wage, whether women have pay equity, whether all Americans have health care, and whether we transform our energy system away from fossil fuels. 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.

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Let's not be fooled. If we stand together and fight for the interests of ALL Americans, we win.

 

Bernie Sanders is the independent U.S. Senator from Vermont. He is the longest serving independent member of Congress in American history. He is a member of the Senate's Budget, Veterans, Environment, Energy, and H.E.L.P. (Health, Education, (more...)
 

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There are some simple solutions here in this OEN O... by Michael Dewey on Saturday, Aug 16, 2014 at 7:43:35 AM
Bernie should we Stand Together for the F-35 or St... by Poor old Dirt farmer on Saturday, Aug 16, 2014 at 11:19:52 AM
Exactly. There is no "ALL Americans". Different ... by June Genis on Saturday, Aug 16, 2014 at 1:55:16 PM
This is discouraging, isn't it? I am very upset a... by Pal Palsimon on Sunday, Aug 17, 2014 at 2:17:13 AM
I continue puzzled by the okeydoke accepted here a... by Charles Roll on Thursday, Aug 21, 2014 at 5:20:43 PM
Bernie sure has the typical Dem speech down pat. ... by Samson on Saturday, Aug 16, 2014 at 1:35:12 PM
Bernie's record on Social Security and Medicare sh... by Michael Dewey on Saturday, Aug 16, 2014 at 2:55:40 PM
Looks like we get disappointment everywhere we tur... by Pal Palsimon on Sunday, Aug 17, 2014 at 2:18:20 AM
Th problems, Bernie, is that the disjunction is no... by Deena Stryker on Saturday, Aug 16, 2014 at 1:58:14 PM
....certainly, we have to transform the way VOTES ... by Jill Herendeen on Saturday, Aug 16, 2014 at 8:27:53 PM
Any one Bernie Sanders standing alone is useless. ... by Pal Palsimon on Saturday, Aug 16, 2014 at 2:21:32 PM
It seems to me that asking for SUPPORT in overturn... by Jill Herendeen on Saturday, Aug 16, 2014 at 8:32:02 PM
I know the problem, and it is important. But the b... by Pal Palsimon on Sunday, Aug 17, 2014 at 1:58:53 AM
How can elections be a tool for democracy when the... by Amy Schreiner on Saturday, Aug 16, 2014 at 2:27:33 PM
Exactly. (This is what I get for commenting befor... by Jill Herendeen on Saturday, Aug 16, 2014 at 8:33:05 PM
By all means, dear commenters above, let us not st... by BFalcon on Sunday, Aug 17, 2014 at 2:13:24 AM
IF the choices are between a plutocrat Democrat vs... by Poor old Dirt farmer on Monday, Aug 18, 2014 at 11:28:58 AM
Maybe "our guys" are doing the same thing by votin... by BFalcon on Monday, Aug 18, 2014 at 9:52:13 PM
Too many Americans still believe the lies they are... by intotheabyss on Sunday, Aug 17, 2014 at 9:34:54 AM
Bernie, Bernie, Bernie - spoken like a true Socia... by Scot Srodes on Sunday, Aug 17, 2014 at 8:56:54 PM
Well, Scot. I was with you until you started taki... by June Genis on Sunday, Aug 17, 2014 at 9:58:37 PM
Actually, June, you're just done a great job of ex... by Darren Wolfe on Sunday, Aug 17, 2014 at 10:45:33 PM
I agree about the money part but I don't see a way... by June Genis on Monday, Aug 18, 2014 at 10:23:15 AM
RCV is Ranked Choice Voting which is sometimes cal... by June Genis on Monday, Aug 18, 2014 at 11:53:07 AM
Somehow this didn't come out in the right place. ... by June Genis on Monday, Aug 18, 2014 at 11:55:18 AM
term limits of no more than 2 years will minimize ... by Scot Srodes on Sunday, Aug 17, 2014 at 10:54:40 PM
Back in the 1950s and 1960s (and maybe beyond), Ga... by Charles Roll on Thursday, Aug 21, 2014 at 5:32:48 PM
Implement de facto term limits, by voting out ever... by Scot Srodes on Monday, Aug 18, 2014 at 8:24:11 AM
Yes, sortition - elections by lot - is probably a ... by Charles Roll on Thursday, Aug 21, 2014 at 5:37:10 PM