Vermont Senator and 2016 presidential candidate Bernie Sanders is criss-crossing the United States, campaigning for progressives and galvanizing his 2016 base ahead of the midterms.
Many of Sanders’ stops have been on college campuses, where he has urged young progressives to support progressive and social Democrats.
During one such stop, Sanders sat down with The Nation‘s John Nichols for a brief interview.
“Trump is a demagogue. He is a pathological liar. I say that with no pleasure,” Sanders began.
The Vermont senator went on to describe Trump as an authoritarian and a threat to democracy in the United States, criticizing the president’s cozying up to dictators — from Putin, over Kim Jong Un, to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman — but warned his party colleagues that it is not enough to simply address Trump’s extremism.
The Democrats, Sanders claims, need to provide an alternative vision of America to that of Trump’s.
“It’s not good enough to just beat up on Trump. You beat up on Trump and people say, ‘Yeah, you’re right but so what? Why vote?”
According to Bernie Sanders, polls show that most Americans support traditionally progressive causes such as minimum wage, infrastructure improvement, criminal justice reform, Medicare for All, and tuition-free universities.
“All of those ideas are now kind of mainstream ideas,” Sanders said, “our job right now…is to get people, young people, to understand that you have got to get involved. It’s not good enough to believe in these ideas.”
“Resisting” and opposing President Donald Trump and his party’s policies is not enough, according to Sanders, which is why a slew of progressive candidates are entering — and winning — major races across the country: from New York’s Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, over Illinois’ Chuy Garcia, to Michigan’s Rashida Tlaib.
“That’s what the political revolution is about,” Sanders concluded.
The Vermont senator’s comments are somewhat of a departure from last week’s vicious attack on the president, when he described him as “the most racist, sexist, homophobic, bigoted president in history,” according to The Hill.
His comments are, however, in line with former White House Director of Communications Anthony Scaramucci’s remarks.
Much like Sanders, Scaramucci advised the Democratic Party to “stop fact-checking” President Trump and “acting morally outraged,” and to focus on delivering a coherent message to American workers.
“Then you’ll have a fight in 2020. If you don’t do that, he’s going to kill you,” Scaramucci said in an interview with the Inquisitr.
Hillary Clinton’s 2016 takeover of the Democratic Party — which even Senator Elizabeth Warren agreed was “rigged,” according to BBC — seems to have further divided the Democrats.
But Bernie Sanders, according to The Nation, has not given up and may run again in 2020.
As CNN reported, Hillary Clinton appears to be eyeing another run as well, so it remains to be seen whether or not the “rigging” of the primary will stand in Bernie Sanders’ way in 2020.