Reprinted from The Nation
Des Moines, Iowa -- When William Lloyd Garrison launched his crusading abolitionist newspaper The Liberator in 1831 -- at a time when Congress refused even to debate the issue of slavery, and three long decades before America would finally confront the sin of human bondage -- he acknowledged that his call for the "immediate and complete emancipation of all slaves" was going to upset the polite politics and empty calculations of the elites.
After Bernie Sanders delivered a fiery address to the Iowa Jefferson-Jackson Day dinner Saturday night, in which the independent senator contrasted his record with that of more cautious politicians, the official Twitter account of the Democratic presidential contender featured the last line from Garrison's declaration. At a pivot point in the long competition for the Democratic nomination, when many pundits are writing a next narrative for the 2016 presidential race, in which front-runner Hillary Clinton is again recognized by political and media elites as the prohibitive favorite, Sanders is signaling that he intends not just to fight on but to wage an edgier, more aggressive campaign that will not equivocate.
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