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Sanders writes: "Will we be successful in implementing policies based on hope, love and justice, or will Republicans prevail with messages of fear, hatred and resentment?"

Senator Bernie Sanders. (photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images)
Senator Bernie Sanders. (photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Into Trump Country

By Bernie Sanders, Reader Supported News

25 August 21


he great political challenge our country faces is whether Progressives are able to bring working people — Black, White, Latino, Native American and Asian American — together around an agenda that works for all or whether Trumpism will be successful in dividing us up around issues relating to racism, sexism, homophobia and xenophobia. Will we be successful in implementing policies based on hope, love and justice, or will Republicans prevail with messages of fear, hatred and resentment? The future of the country depends on how those questions are answered.

Later this week I will, as Chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, be holding two town meetings in congressional districts that Donald Trump won, and won big. On August 27 I will be in West Lafayette, Indiana, and on August 29 I will be in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Not only did Trump win both of those states, but Indiana and Iowa have Republican governors, Republican-dominated state legislatures and all four senators from the two states are Republicans. In other words, these are very red states.

Why am I making these trips? The answer is simple. I want voters in red states, blue states and purple states to understand that Congress will soon be voting on the most significant piece of legislation to benefit working families since the New Deal and the Great Depression, and that not one Republican will vote for it. Not one. A few years ago, these very same Republicans were comfortable in voting for massive tax breaks for the rich. They were comfortable in voting to repeal the Affordable Care Act and throw over 30 million Americans off the health care they had. But now, when it comes to supporting legislation that addresses the long-neglected needs of low- and moderate-income families, they are nowhere to be found.

Further, I want Democrats, Republicans and Independents to fully understand what is in this $3.5 trillion Reconciliation Bill, how it will improve life for tens of millions of Americans and why it is so important that it be passed. I want them to understand that in a compassionate, democratic society we can have a government that works for all, and not just the wealthy few and powerful campaign contributors. I want them to understand that we can take a giant step forward in addressing such structural crises as income and wealth inequality, climate change, health care, education and housing and, in the process, create millions of good-paying jobs.

Yes. We are going to end the days of billionaires not paying their fair share of taxes by closing loopholes, while also raising the individual tax rate on the wealthiest Americans and the corporate tax rate for the most profitable companies in our country.

Yes. We will take on the greed of the pharmaceutical industry, which charges U.S. residents the highest prices in the world by far for prescription drugs. Under our proposal, Medicare will finally be allowed to negotiate prescription drug prices with the industry.

Yes. We will end the absurdity of the U.S. having the highest levels of childhood poverty of almost any major nation by extending the Child Tax Credit so families continue to receive monthly direct payments of up to $300 a child. We will radically improve our dysfunctional child care system so that no working family pays more than 7% of its pretax income on child care, and we will provide universal pre-K to every 3- and 4-year-old.

Yes. We will expand higher education and job-training opportunities for students by making community college tuition-free for all Americans.

Yes. We will end the international disgrace of the U.S. being the only industrialized country not to guarantee paid family and medical leave.

Yes. We will expand Medicare for seniors to cover dental needs as well as hearing aids and glasses. We will also make sure that we have enough doctors, nurses and dentists in underserved areas, while expanding Medicaid to provide health care to the uninsured.

Yes. We will give hundreds of thousands of seniors and people with disabilities the ability to get the care they need in their own homes instead of being forced into nursing homes.

Yes. We will address homelessness and the national housing crisis by making an unprecedented investment in affordable housing.

Yes. We will provide undocumented people living in the U.S. with a pathway to citizenship, including Dreamers and the essential workers who courageously kept our economy running in the middle of a deadly pandemic.

And yes. We will finally begin the process of combating climate change by shifting our energy system away from fossil fuels and toward energy efficiency and sustainable energy. This effort will include a nationwide clean-energy standard that moves our transportation system, electrical generation, buildings and agriculture toward clean energy. We will also create a Civilian Climate Corps, which will hire hundreds of thousands of young people to protect our natural resources and fight against climate change.

When Republicans had the majority, they used the reconciliation process to pass enormous tax breaks for the billionaire class and large corporations. We are using reconciliation in a different way — by helping ordinary Americans and creating a government that works for all, not just the few.

We are in this together.

Can you make a contribution to help us build the kind of organizing effort we need to bring the American people together around a transformative agenda that demands that billionaires pay their fair share of taxes so that we can finally address the needs of the working class?

We have come a long way in recent years. Let us continue going forward. Together, we can transform this country.

In solidarity,

Bernie Sanders your social media marketing partner
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