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Sanders writes: "I am writing to let you know I have decided to run for president of the United States. I am asking you to join me today as part of an unprecedented and historic grassroots campaign that will begin with at least a million people from across the country."

Bernie Sanders. (photo: Antonella Crescimbeni)
Bernie Sanders. (photo: Antonella Crescimbeni)

I'm Running

By Bernie Sanders, Reader Supported News

19 February 19

The independent senator from Vermont will reprise his 2016 bid for the Democratic nomination, which channeled grassroots support

am writing to let you know I have decided to run for president of the United States. I am asking you to join me today as part of an unprecedented and historic grassroots campaign that will begin with at least a million people from across the country.

Please join our campaign for president on day one and commit to doing what it takes to win this election.

Our campaign is not only about defeating Donald Trump, the most dangerous president in modern American history. It is not only about winning the Democratic nomination and the general election.

Our campaign is about transforming our country and creating a government based on the principles of economic, social, racial and environmental justice.

Our campaign is about taking on the powerful special interests that dominate our economic and political life. I'm talking about Wall Street, the health insurance companies, the drug companies, the fossil fuel industry, the military industrial complex, the private prison industry and the large multinational corporations that exert such an enormous influence over our lives.

Our campaign is about redoubling our efforts to end racism, sexism, homophobia, religious bigotry and all forms of discrimination.

Our campaign is about creating a vibrant democracy with the highest voter turnout of any major country while we end voter suppression, Citizens United and outrageous levels of gerrymandering.

Our campaign is about creating a government and economy that work for the many, not just the few. We are the wealthiest nation in the history of the world. We should not have grotesque levels of wealth inequality in which three billionaires own more wealth than the bottom half of the country.

We should not have 30 million Americans without any health insurance, even more who are underinsured and a nation in which life expectancy is actually in decline.

We should not have an economy in which tens of millions of workers earn starvation wages and half of older workers have no savings as they face retirement.

We should not have the highest rate of childhood poverty of almost any major country on Earth and a dysfunctional childcare system which is unfair to both working parents and their children.

We should not have a regressive tax system in which large, profitable corporations like Amazon pay nothing in federal income taxes.

Make no mistake about it. The powerful special interests in this country have unbelievable power and they want to maintain the status quo. They have unlimited amounts of money to spend on campaigns and lobbying and have huge influence over the media and political parties.

The only way we will win this election and create a government and economy that work for all is with a grassroots movement – the likes of which has never been seen in American history.

They may have the money and power. We have the people. That is why we need one million Americans who will commit themselves to this campaign.

Stand with me as we fight to win the Democratic nomination and the general election. Add your name to join this campaign and say you are willing to do the hard work necessary to transform our country.

You know as well as I do that we are living in a pivotal and dangerous moment in American history. We are running against a president who is a pathological liar, a fraud, a racist, a sexist, a xenophobe and someone who is undermining American democracy as he leads us in an authoritarian direction.

I’m running for president because, now more than ever, we need leadership that brings us together – not divides us up. Women and men, black, white, Latino, Native American, Asian American, gay and straight, young and old, native born and immigrant. Now is the time for us to stand together.

I’m running for president because we need leadership that will fight for working families and the shrinking middle class, not just the 1 percent. We need a president who understands that we can create millions of good-paying jobs, rebuild our crumbling infrastructure and construct the affordable housing we desperately need.

I'm running for president because we need trade policies that reflect the interests of workers and not multi-national corporations. We need to raise the minimum wage to a living wage, provide pay equity for women and guarantee all workers paid family and medical leave.

I'm running for president because we need to understand that artificial intelligence and robotics must benefit the needs of workers, not just corporate America and those who own that technology.

I'm running for president because a great nation is judged not by how many billionaires and nuclear weapons it has, but by how it treats the most vulnerable – the elderly, the children, our veterans, the sick and the poor.

I’m running for president because we need to make policy decisions based on science, not politics. We need a president who understands that climate change is real, is an existential threat to our country and the entire planet, and that we can generate massive job creation by transforming our energy system away from fossil fuels to energy efficiency and sustainable energy.

I’m running for president because the time is long overdue for the United States to join every other major country on Earth and guarantee health care to all people as a right, not a privilege, through a Medicare-for-all program.

I’m running for president because we need to take on the outrageous level of greed of the pharmaceutical industry and lower prescription drug prices in this country.

I'm running for president because we need to have the best educated workforce in the world. It is totally counterproductive for our future that millions of Americans are carrying outrageous levels of student debt, while many others cannot afford the high cost of higher education. That is why we need to make public colleges and universities tuition free and lower student debt.

I’m running for president because we must defend a woman’s right to control her own body against massive political attacks taking place at the local, state and federal level.

I'm running for president because we need real criminal justice reform. We need to invest in jobs and education for our kids, not more jails and incarceration. We need to end the destructive "war on drugs," eliminate private prisons and cash bail and bring about major police department reform.

I'm running for president because we need to end the demonization of undocumented immigrants in this country and move to comprehensive immigration reform. We need to provide immediate legal status for the young people eligible for the DACA program and develop a humane policy for those at the border who seek asylum.

I'm running for president because we must end the epidemic of gun violence in this country. We need to take on the NRA, expand background checks, end the gun show loophole and ban the sale and distribution of assault weapons.

I'm running for president because we need a foreign policy which focuses on democracy, human rights, diplomacy and world peace. The United States must lead the world in improving international cooperation in the fight against climate change, militarism, authoritarianism and global wealth inequality.

That is why we need at least a million people to join our campaign and help lead the movement that can accomplish these goals. Add your name to say we’re in this together.

Needless to say, there is a lot of frightening and bad news in this world. Now, let me give you some very good news.

Three years ago, during our 2016 campaign, when we brought forth our progressive agenda we were told that our ideas were "radical" and "extreme." We were told that Medicare for All, a $15 an hour minimum wage, free tuition at public colleges and universities, aggressively combating climate change, demanding that the wealthy start paying their fair share of taxes, were all concepts that the American people would never accept.

Well, three years have come and gone. And, as result of millions of Americans standing up and fighting back, all of these policies and more are now supported by a majority of Americans.

Together, you and I and our 2016 campaign began the political revolution. Now, it is time to complete that revolution and implement the vision that we fought for.

So here is my question for you:

Will you stand with me as part of a million person grassroots movement which can not only win the Democratic primary, not only win the general election, but most importantly help transform this country so that, finally, we have a government that works for all of us and not just the few? Add your name to say you will.

Together we can create a nation that leads the world in the struggle for peace and for economic, racial, social and environmental justice.

And together we can defeat Donald Trump and repair the damage he has done to our country.

Brothers and sisters, if we stand together, there is no limit to what we can accomplish.

I hope you will join me.

Thank you very much.

In solidarity,

Bernie Sanders

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A note of caution regarding our comment sections:

For months a stream of media reports have warned of coordinated propaganda efforts targeting political websites based in the U.S., particularly in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election.

We too were alarmed at the patterns we were, and still are, seeing. It is clear that the provocateurs are far more savvy, disciplined, and purposeful than anything we have ever experienced before.

It is also clear that we still have elements of the same activity in our article discussion forums at this time.

We have hosted and encouraged reader expression since the turn of the century. The comments of our readers are the most vibrant, best-used interactive feature at Reader Supported News. Accordingly, we are strongly resistant to interrupting those services.

It is, however, important to note that in all likelihood hardened operatives are attempting to shape the dialog our community seeks to engage in.

Adapt and overcome.

Marc Ash
Founder, Reader Supported News

-20 # Lilyoo 2019-02-19 10:38
I like Bernie- a lot. I don't think he's the only good candidate for this office at this time; for 2016, yes, but that ship has sailed. Now, he'd be 79 on getting into office-IF he won. I'm a few years younger than he - but I'm ready for one of the excellent younger women who've declared, each of whom is just as capable and have progressive positions. I'm done with older white males for president, even tho I'm happily married an older white man- who also feels as I do about this in 2020.
+15 # Street Level 2019-02-19 12:44
Bernie's ship has come in and me and thousands of others are on board!
We are a planet in big trouble and I hope others will get past voting based on gender or age.
We NEED LEADERSHIP, not chromosomes.
+13 # jimallyn 2019-02-19 14:16
Quoting Lilyoo:
but I'm ready for one of the excellent younger women who've declared, each of whom is just as capable and have progressive positions.

Name them.

Quoting Lilyoo:
I'm done with older white males for president

So, you're ageist, racist, and sexist.
+8 # Robbee 2019-02-19 15:15
Quoting Lilyoo 2019-02-19 10:38:
(in praise of unnamed) excellent younger women who've declared, each of whom is just as capable (as bernie) and have progressive positions

1) 3 years ago an "excellent younger wom(a)n who declared, just as capable and (has) progressive positions", a/k/a hillary, tried yet was woefully unable to articulate how our system got rigged in favor of billionaires? - tried and failed woefully? wound up campaigning at plate dinner fundraisers?

2) to date the only younger woman who has shown any capability to effectively express bernie's message is elizabeth warren!

3) if you know of any younger woman able to express bernie, other than, of course, ew and aoc - well, i'm "watchful waiting!" - like for a cure for cancer? - maybe one can? maybe one can't?

4) in his wisdom, bernie has decided that he adds something to the dem race that ew doesn't - that's not to say either will run against the other - they won't! - except for converts, they will both run against the rest of the field!

5) dickhead and all repukes hate bernie and ew's message! - and by express implication, every other dem candidate?

6) i'm all in for bernie yet doubtless will continue to applaud everything ew and aoc say!

ps - for some, like bernie "age ain't nothin' but a number!"

pps - in 2016 bernie outworked every candidate for office, no matter what party! - from bernie i expect the same effort! - count on bernie!

ppps - GO BERNIE!
+10 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2019-02-19 16:56
Lilyoo -- The only "younger woman" in the race so far who seems to be genuinely progressive is Tulsi Gabbard. Elizabeth Warren would be 71 if she were to win. Is that "younger"?

Of course, you are right. The newer generation of progressive democrats is really encouraging. But it may take a term of another old white guy to be sure things are established OK.
+9 # EternalTruth 2019-02-19 18:09
“but I'm ready for one of the excellent younger women who've declared, each of whom is just as capable and have progressive positions.”

Some of them have have some progressive positions. Some of them are burnishing progressive positions in an attempt to win the nomination, but if you look at their records, they’re really just corporate Dems playing progressive for the primaries. Bernie may be old and white, but there’s no doubt about his positions or his priorities. We don’t need another corporate Dem who’s identity politics make us feel good. We need a genuine progressive who will stand up for the people and the planet.
+9 # Ralph 2019-02-19 13:19
Alright! That's what I'm talking about! Going to go make a donation. Let's take these corporate fascists on - round two.
+11 # drew 2019-02-19 13:35
Save America: kill the Republican party DEAD (politically). They are a cancer on our politics, gov't function, economy, environment, values and national soul. Lying, greedy, racist, callous traitors ALL.
+8 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2019-02-19 14:50
This is very good. The recitations beginning "Our campaign" are all just exactly what the nation needs. We need a government that is based on democracy and justice. This is the end of neo-liberalism which was all about enriching the oligarch, and the end of neo-conservatis m which was all about keeping the permanent war going.

There's no platform to defeating the "existential enemy of the US" as the world class idiot Andy McCabe called Russia.

I think there will be a tremendous momentum following Sanders' announcement. I think he can win. I hope when the time comes, he will choose Tulsi Gabbard as his VP.

Sanders is clearly the leader of the move toward progressive politics. He deserves to be the front runner. I just saw that Patrick Leahy has endorsed him. Leahy can bring over a lot of the centrists and people who were once Clinton supporters, as Leahy was. The Biden camp-followers will also go over to Sanders with Leahy as their model.
+7 # fsboos 2019-02-19 15:25
Let us hope for the sake of all of us that Bernie does well. He faces enormous resistance from the party elites, due to the fact that he's entirely sincere and consistent in wanting a level playing field and social services for all. He's less militaristic on foreign policy than the others, and his positions on race, gender, women's issues, tax policy, and the environment are excellent. I expect a barrage of media slurs--he's too old, he's too crabby, he won't attract voters, he's too extreme, . . . But whether or not he makes it to the White House in our divided country, the presence of a Bernie wing of the Democratic Party will move all the others, and society at large, in a better direction.
+9 # Diane_Wilkinson_Trefethen_aka_tref 2019-02-19 17:36
I've signed up to support Bernie because I trust his judgment. I believe that he will act in the best interest of the country, not just on behalf of himself and his own run for the Presidency. If that means stepping aside in favor of a younger candidate who shares his love of America and its people, I think that is what he will do.

As to age, yes that is frequently a problem we humans but I'll be 77 this year, live in the mountains, off the grid, cut my own firewood, plan for getting snowed in, and dig my way out from snow storms when I can. Everyone's genetics is different; a lot of people my age, and Bernie's, have been dead for years :)
+2 # kundrol 2019-02-20 22:32
Hi Diane - I'm also an older woman off the grid in the mountains hauling in firewood every day and dealing with snow.

I support Bernie because I believe he's our best bet for real change. I'm happy to see the younger progressives following his lead and I hope he would pick one of them for VP.
Go Bernie! Free Assange!
+6 # DongiC 2019-02-19 18:08
You platform is wonderful, Bernie, it demonstrates what a beautiful person you really are. I pledge to be one of your million and will fight with all my might to help you achieve the promise of America.
+10 # rxfxworld 2019-02-19 19:39
Me, I'm for the person-- young, old, white,black, green, yellow or blue, of whatever stripe or gender or sexual preference--all of w3hich are personal characteristics that don't mean squat-- who enunciates clear policies that benefit the country and the planet. So far as I can tell Bernie fits the bill pretty well.
+6 # Wise woman 2019-02-19 21:36
This is Bernies time. No more DWS or HRC to dominate the DNC. His best running mate as far as I'm concerned, is Elizabeth Warren who would be about his age now if she took over in 8 years. Bernie has the political skills to navigate congress, the temperament to handle people from all walks of life and the tenacity to never drift away from his ideals for this country which 3 years ago, nobody had even heard of. He is the person for today - wise, committed and just. The only people he will disappoint are the billionaires!!!
+5 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2019-02-20 08:59
For all the WashPo and Bezos lovers on RSN, you should know:

"Washington Post Ran 16 Negative Stories on Bernie Sanders in 16 Hours
Adam Johnson"

This is an article on FAIR. It says the WashPo has come out with all of its big guns blazing against Sanders. The main theme of the Wapo is that Sanders is a clueless old white guy who will never get votes from women, non-whites, LBGTQ, and others of the Identity Democrat cohort.

The Wapo has always considered itself the King Maker. Or in the case of Trump, the King Un-Maker. It knows who it wants to be president and will fight like hell to ram its neo-con/neo-lib candidate down the throats of Americans.

Time to call out the Wapo for what it is -- an oligarch's organ.

PS -- Norman Solomon has a great article on Sanders' here
+2 # EternalTruth 2019-02-21 05:34
Hmmmn... I wonder if this has anything to do with Bernie calling out Amazon for not paying taxes?
-6 # PsychePhixer 2019-02-20 13:20
I just hope Bernie, now that he's in, will be as altruistic as his policies. I've always loved his policies but some of his tactics have given me pause. While he campaigned for Hillary once she got the nomination, prior to that much harm was caused by zealousness of his Bernie or Burn followers posting comments on RSN and elsewhere that were more pernicious than those from the right and Bernie did not even attempt to reign them in. But this is a new time and I hope his more rapid supporters will will not do the same thing this time...and if they do, I hope he will be emulate McCain who stopped the woman saying Obama scared her. McCain told her he's a fine man and would be a fine president but "we just have differences of opinion."

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