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Prepared Remarks...The Political Revolution Continues

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Bernie Sanders
Bernie Sanders
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Election days come and go. But political and social revolutions that attempt to transform our society never end. They continue every day, every week and every month in the fight to create a nation of social and economic justice. That's what the trade union movement is about. That's what the civil rights movement is about. That's what the women's movement is about. That's what the gay rights movement is about. That's what the environmental movement is about.hu

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And that's what this campaign has been about over the past year. That's what the political revolution is about and that's why the political revolution must continue into the future.

Real change never takes place from the top down, or in the living rooms of wealthy campaign contributors. It always occurs from the bottom on up -- when tens of millions of people say "enough is enough" and become engaged in the fight for justice. That's what the political revolution we helped start is all about. That's why the political revolution must continue.

When we began this campaign a little over a year ago, we had no political organization, no money and very little name recognition. The media determined that we were a fringe campaign. Nobody thought we were going anywhere.

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Well, a lot has changed over a year.

During this campaign, we won more than 12 million votes. We won 22 state primaries and caucuses. We came very close -- within two points or less -- in five more states.

In other words, our vision for the future of this country is not some kind of fringe idea. It is not a radical idea. It is mainstream. It is what millions of Americans believe in and want to see happen.

And something else extraordinarily important happened in this campaign that makes me very optimistic about the future of our country -- something that, frankly, I had not anticipated. In virtually every state that we contested we won the overwhelming majority of the votes of people 45 years of age or younger, sometimes, may I say, by huge numbers. These are the people who are determined to shape the future of this country. These are the people who ARE the future of this country.

Together, in this campaign, 1.5 million people came out to our rallies and town meetings in almost every state in the country.

Together, hundreds of thousands of volunteers made 75 million phone calls urging their fellow citizens into action.

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Together, our canvassers knocked on more than 5 million doors.

Together, we hosted 74,000 meetings in every state and territory in this country.

Together, 2.7 million people made over 8 million individual contributions to our campaign -- more contributions at this point than any campaign in American history. Amazingly, the bulk of those contributions came from low-income and working people whose donations averaged $27 apiece. In an unprecedented way, we showed the world that we could run a strong national campaign without being dependent on the big-money interests whose greed has done so much to damage our country.

And let me give a special thanks to the financial support we received from students struggling to repay their college loans, from seniors and disabled vets on Social Security, from workers earning starvation wages and even from people who were unemployed.

In every single state that we contested we took on virtually the entire political establishment -- U.S. senators, members of Congress, governors, mayors, state legislators and local party leaders. To those relatively few elected officials who had the courage to stand with us, I say thank you. We must continue working together into the future.

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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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