Bernie Returns to Chicago to Launch 2020 Campaign BERNIE 2020 LAUNCH IN CHICAGO: At the height of the Civil Rights Movement, the time I spent in Chicago changed my life and helped shape me into the ...
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Thank you all very much for being here tonight and thank you for being part of a political revolution which will transform America.
Thank you for being part of a campaign which will be unprecedented in modern American history. Our campaign is not only going to win the Democratic nomination, is not only going to defeat Donald Trump, the most dangerous president in modern American history, but with your help is going to transform this country. Together, we are going to, finally, create an economy and a government which works for all Americans, and not just the 1 percent.
Together, we are going to create a political system which is based on the democratic principles of one person - one vote - and end a corrupt system which allows billionaires to buy elections. Yes. We are going to overturn Citizens United and move to public funding of elections.
Today, I want to welcome you to a campaign which says, loudly and clearly, that the underlying principles of our government will not be greed, kleptocracy, hatred, authoritarianism and pathological lying. It will not be the racism, sexism, xenophobia, homophobia and religious bigotry spewed forth by the Trump administration. That is going to end. The principles of our government will be based on justice: economic justice, social justice, racial justice and environmental justice.
Today, I want to welcome you to a campaign which tells corporate America, the billionaire class and the other powerful special interests who control so much of our economic and political life that we will no longer tolerate their insatiable greed greed which has resulted in this country having more income and wealth inequality than any other major country on earth.
Now, I understand that it's not talked about too much in Congress or in the media but, in my view, we can no longer stand idly by and allow 3 families in this country to own more wealth than the bottom half of America. We cannot allow CEOs of major corporations to rake in 300 times as much as their workers? We cannot allow the very rich become much richer, while over 20 percent of our children live in poverty, veterans sleep out on the streets and seniors cannot afford their prescription drugs.
We will no longer accept 46 percent of all new income going to the top 1 percent, while millions of Americans are forced to work 2 or 3 jobs just to survive and over half of our people live paycheck to paycheck, frightened to death about what happens to them financially if their car breaks down or their child becomes sick.
We will no longer accept a situation in which, in the wealthiest country in the history of the world, our younger generation will have a lower standard of living than their parents - lower wages, higher debt, unaffordable housing, less mobility. I have 4 kids and 7 grandchildren. Downward mobility is not acceptable to me, and it's not acceptable to the American people. This campaign is about moving our people up, not down.
Today, we fight for a political revolution.
Make no mistake about it. This struggle is not just about defeating Donald Trump. This struggle is about taking on the incredibly powerful institutions that control the economic and political life of this country. And I'm talking about Wall Street - where 6 financial institutions have assets equivalent to 54% of our GDP. I'm talking about the insurance companies, the drug companies, the fossil fuel industry, the military-industrial complex, the prison-industrial complex and agri-business.
There is too much concentration of wealth and power in this country, and this is a fight we're not going to run away from. We believe in democracy, not oligarchy.
Today, we say to the private health insurance companies, whether you like it or not, the United States will join every other major country on earth and guarantee healthcare to all people as a right. All Americans are entitled to go to the doctor when they're sick and not go bankrupt after staying in the hospital. Frankly, we cannot afford to maintain a dysfunctional health care system which costs us twice as much per capita as most other countries, but provides us with lower life expectancy and poorer outcomes.
Yes. Healthcare is a right not a privilege, and we will pass a Medicare-for-all, single-payer program.
Today, we say to the pharmaceutical industry, that you will no longer charge the American people the highest prices in the world for prescription drugs, the result being that one out of five Americans cannot afford the prescriptions their doctors prescribe. The outrageous greed of the pharmaceutical industry is going to end. We are going to lower prescription drug prices in this country.
Today, we say to WalMart, the fast food industry and other low wage employers: Stop paying your employees starvation wages.. Yes. We are going to raise the federal minimum wage to a living wage - $15 an hour. Nobody who works 40 hours a week in this country should live in poverty. And yes. We're going to make it easier for people to join unions, not harder.