Sen. Bernard Sanders told a Chicago crowd over the weekend that the Democratic Party’s strategy has been an “absolute failure” and is directly responsible for getting President Trump elected.
In a speech to activists at the annual People’s Summit, the failed Democratic presidential candidate said the party needs a complete overhaul if Democrats have any hope of winning future elections.
“I am often asked by the media and others, ‘How did it come about that Donald Trump, the most unpopular presidential candidate in the modern history of our country, won the election?’” Mr. Sanders asked.
“And my answer is that Trump didn’t win the election, the Democratic Party lost the election,” he said to roaring applause.
“Let us be very, very clear: The current model and the current strategy of the Democratic party is an absolute failure,” he continued. “This is not my opinion, this is the facts.
“Over the last nine years, Democrats have lost almost one thousand legislative seats in states all across this country,” he said. “Today, in almost half of the states in America, the Democratic Party has almost no political presence at all. Now if that’s not a failure, if that’s not a failed model, I don’t know what a failed model is.
“The Democratic Party needs fundamental change,” Mr. Sanders said. “What it needs is to open up its doors to working people, and young people, and old people who are prepared to fight for social and economic justice.
“The Democratic Party must finally understand which side it is on. And that cannot be the side of Wall Street, or the fossil fuel industry, or the drug companies,” he said.
Mr. Sanders, a Vermont independent, argued that Democrats need to “knock on every damn door” in search of new votes, CNN reported.
“Strong progressives could do far, far better than anyone imagined and … with proper organization and financial resources we can win in any district in the United States of America,” he said.
Despite his grievances with the Democratic Party, Mr. Sanders saved his harshest criticism for President Trump, whom he said is “perhaps the worst and most dangerous president in the history of our country.”
“Instead of bringing people together to confront the serious problems that we face, what he is doing is trying to divide us up by our religion, by our race, by our gender, or where our families came from,” the senator said.
“This is a man who ran for president, telling the people of this country that he was going to stand up for the working class, that he was going to stand up to the political and economic establishment and then, once he got elected and without a second’s hesitation he brings more billionaires into his administration than any president in history,” he said. “And he hires the former president of Goldman Sachs to be his chief economic adviser. Then four months within his administration, he pushes some of the most destructive pieces of legislation in the modern history of our country — legislation that will cause intense suffering and pain for millions of working class families.”
This is the second annual People’s Summit hosted at the McCormick Place convention center on Lake Michigan, CNN reported. This was Mr. Sanders’ first appearance at the summit.
• Jessica Chasmar can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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