Bernie Sanders Defends Platform on The Late Show
Progressive Vermont senator Bernie Sanders’s 2016 presidential campaign has exploded across the United States with people everywhere “feeling the Bern,” despite the taboo surrounding his openly socialist platform. On The Late Show with Stephen Colbert last Friday, Sanders confidently defended his views of the capitalist United States.
“Clearly we want a society which encourages entrepreneurship and innovation,” said Sanders, “but what we also want is a society in which all of our people can enjoy a decent standard of living.”
Sanders’s campaign is rallying citizens everywhere with this belief. Despite the fact he would be the oldest US president in history at 74 years old, Sanders is attracting tens of thousands of spectators at his speeches. While competitor Hilary Clinton has more name recognition, Sanders is 10 points ahead of her in Iowa and 22 points ahead in New Hampshire according to CBS statistics.
The media has expressed their bafflement with Sanders’s huge success, but the presidential candidate is not surprised.
“This is what I expected,” said Sanders, “I knew we had a message that would resonate with the American people. This is the wealthiest country in the history of the world, and yet all of the income and wealth is going to the top 1% and people do not feel good about that.”
Sanders said it was “an outrage” that the income disparity is this large, especially when the United States struggles with childhood poverty rates. According to Sanders, many large corporations are making billions of dollars each year without paying a cent of federal taxes.
“That is the outrage and that has got to change,” said Sanders when asked about concrete plans.
Sanders also referred to the government of Scandinavian countries, where health care is available and a college education is free.
“[Government] should actually represent working people and the middle class, rather than large campaign donors,” he said, “We are the only major, wealthy country that doesn’t guarantee health care to all people…and people are asking why.”
Sanders furthered his belief of a government for the people by sharing that his campaign is fully funded without a Super PAC. Instead, they have over 450,000 individual people contributing, with an average donation of $31.20.
“That’s called a people’s campaign,” said Sanders, “I don’t support the agenda of corporate America or the billionaire class. I don’t want their money.”
When confronted about beliefs that he could never win the election even if he defeated Clinton, Sanders responded, “Republicans win when the voter turnout is low. I think the kinds of crowds and the excitement that we are generating with young people, with working people, will result in very large voter turnouts.”
As for far-right Republican candidate Donald Trump, Sanders said his tactics merely “appeal to the baser instincts among us,” including xenophobia and racism – issues that have been prevalent in the United States for a long time.
“You target some group of people, you go after them. You take people’s anger and you turn it against them. You win votes on that. I think that is disgraceful and not something we should be doing in 2015,” said Sanders.