We Are the Majority

This is an excellent article I’m pushing on everyone today. It dates back to February 2004, but it’s still quite relevant today, if not more so.

We Are the Majority, a speech by Congressman Bernie Sanders (I-VT)

Our struggle, the struggle of millions of people for 150 years, has been for basic human dignity. It has been a struggle to create a country that belongs to all of us and not just the people on top, and that is our struggle of today.

Sometimes progressives say, well, you know, we’re right, but we’re really kind of fringe. Our views are not reflective of a vast majority of the people. After all, Bush, well, was almost elected, and there is rightwing control of the House of Representatives, led by a gentleman named Tom DeLay. There is rightwing control of the United States Senate. Very few people in the media reflect our point of view. So they must be representing the majority of the people, and we’re just a smart minority of the people.

I want you to disabuse yourselves of that notion. You represent mainstream America. We are the majority.

Go out on Main Street, stand at the corner, and ask people a simple question. Tell them you’re doing an informal poll, and ask them if they want 40 percent of the tax breaks, hundreds of billions of dollars, to go to the top 1 percent, or whether those breaks should be spread around more fairly and be used for education or lowering the deficit. Then tell me who is “fringe.” Ask them if we should maintain our disintegrating health care nonsystem or establish a universal health care system that guarantees health care for all. Then tell me who is “fringe.” Ask them if we should continue to let polluters destroy our environment, or move to safe, sustainable energy. Then tell me who is “fringe.”

So how do the rightwingers get elected if they have nothing to say about the most important issues facing the American people? That is the central question of modern American politics. And the answer is that they work day and night to divide the American people against each other so that they end up voting against their own best interests. That is what the Republican Party is all about.

Go read. In 2006 there will be a test.

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