Bernie Sanders is an University of Chicago Alumnus. Perhaps that's why he went with a smaller venue which only held 1700-- the Rockefeller Chapel-- an extraordinarily beautiful edifice, over 100 years old-- also, the biggest indoor venue at the U of C. And the attendees were about 95% students.
I was sat in the media row, right behind the network cameras. The journalist sitting next to me was a writer for Montreal's La Presse. I asked him what Canadians think of Sanders. "He's nothing special. He advocates for single payer health care. We've had that for years. He's not unusual," he replied.
I asked a freshman sitting behind me what she thought of Bernie. She replied that she was checking him out to see whether he would be viable as a candidate. I pointed out that he's not really a Democrat, that he'd run as an independent and had won 70% of the votes in Vermont. This was news to her.
David Axelrod introduced Bernie, making clear that this was a non-partisan event, that all candidates had been invited.
Bernie arrived to a standing ovation.
Here are my notes and extensive transcription of Bernie's remarks. The full video of his talk is at the end.
Bernie started out reminiscing about being a student.
"I learned a lot from off-campus activities-- from folks who spent decades in the civil rights movement, the peace movement, the trade union movement.
I learned here about Democratic socialism" meeting people who had spent their lives dedicate their lives to the fight for social justice, to making the world better for their kids.
What I learned then, and what I believe today, and it is the kernel of my political views, is that Change never takes place from the top down. it always takes place from the bottom on up.
Here are some excerpts:
It takes place when people, by the millions, sometimes over decades and sometimes over centuries, determine that the status quo-- the world that they see in front of them-- is not the world that should be. And they come together and sometimes they get arrested and sometimes they are on a picket-line and sometimes they die in the struggle. And what human history is about is passing that torch on from generation to generation to generation-- of young people who pick up the torch that may have begun hundreds or literally thousands of years ago. And young people stand in front of the world today and say this is not the world I am comfortable with. This is the world we are going to change.
In the midst of very, very difficult times for our country I also want you to understand that some very, very positive good things have happened in this country in the last number of decades because people all over this country, at the grass roots level stood up and fought back"
It is not just the fight for racial justice, that continues.
The fight for women's rights continues today.
The fact that we have broken down barriers all over this country so that women can do the work that they want to do-- is huge progress over the past 40 years.
Refers to success in struggle for gay rights.
"WE have made America a much less discriminatory society."
Another example of a struggle that is taking place today.
While we have made significant progress forward in making our country a less discriminatory society. There are major, major, major issues that confront us today. We need your help.
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Rob Kall is an award winning journalist, inventor, software architect,
connector and visionary. His work and his writing have been featured in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, CNN, ABC, the HuffingtonPost, Success, Discover and other media.
Check out his platform at RobKall.com
He is the author of The Bottom-up Revolution; Mastering the Emerging World of Connectivity
He's given talks and workshops to Fortune
500 execs and national medical and psychological organizations, and pioneered
first-of-their-kind conferences in Positive Psychology, Brain Science and
Story. He hosts some of the world's smartest, most interesting and powerful
people on his Bottom Up Radio Show,
and founded and publishes one of the top Google- ranked progressive news and
opinion sites, OpEdNews.com
more detailed bio:
Rob Kall has spent his adult life as an awakener and empowerer-- first in the field of biofeedback, inventing products, developing software and a music recording label, MuPsych, within the company he founded in 1978-- Futurehealth, and founding, organizing and running 3 conferences: Winter Brain, on Neurofeedback and consciousness, Optimal Functioning and Positive Psychology (a pioneer in the field of Positive Psychology, first presenting workshops on it in 1985) and Storycon Summit Meeting on the Art Science and Application of Story-- each the first of their kind. Then, when he found the process of raising people's consciousness and empowering them to take more control of their lives one person at a time was too slow, he founded Opednews.com-- which has been the top search result on Google for the terms liberal news and progressive opinion for several years. Rob began his Bottom-up Radio show, broadcast on WNJC 1360 AM to Metro Philly, also available on iTunes, covering the transition of our culture, business and world from predominantly Top-down (hierarchical, centralized, authoritarian, patriarchal, big) to bottom-up (egalitarian, local, interdependent, grassroots, archetypal feminine and small.) Recent long-term projects include a book, Bottom-up-- The Connection Revolution, debillionairizing the planet and the Psychopathy Defense and Optimization (more...)