IDP Hall of Fame Celebration Speeches—Sen. Bernie Sanders  ... next >
Congratuations to the honorees, and thank you for inviting me to be with you, and thank you all for what you're doing to defeat the most dangerous president in the history of our country.

The American people do not want a president who is a liar, a racist, a sexist, a homophobe, a xenophobe, a religious bigot, and someone who believes that he is above the wall. Together we will put an end to the ugliness and divisiveness that comes from this administration.

Let me be frank with you for a moment. While we are all united in the need to defeat Trump, there are disagreements amongst us as to the best way to do that.

In my view, we will not defeat Donald Trump unless we bring excitement and energy into this campaign, unless we greatly expand voter turnout, and unless we give millions of working people and young people a reason to vote and a reason to believe that participating in politics will improve their lives.

The status quo, same old, same old kind of politics will not do that.

The only way we win is with a Democratic Party that from the top of the ticket to the bottom is prepared to stand up and fight for the working families of this country, black and white, Latino, Native American and Asian American;

A Democratic Party that has the courage to take on powerful special interests, who have so much control over the economic and political life of our country;

A Democratic Party that creates a government and an economy that works for all of us, not just the 1%.

Now, I understand that there are some well intentioned Democrats and candidates who believe that the best way forward is a middle ground strategy that antagonizes no one, that stands up to nobody, and that changes nothing.

In my view, that approach is not just bad public policy, but it is a failed political strategy that I fear could end up with the re-election of Donald Trump.

The American people want change, they want real change, and we have got to provide that change.

And that means, and that means, if we believe in Medicare for All as a human right, we must take on the power of the insurance industry;

If we believe that we must cut prescription drug costs in half, we must take on the greed of the pharmaceutical industry;

If we believe that we must end endless wars, we must take on the political dominance of the military industrial complex;

If we believe we need to combat climate change and save our planet for future generations, we must take on the lies of the fossil fuel industry.

History reminds us that real change never comes easy. It requires millions of people standing up for justice, and together we can do that.

We can create a nation where all people regardless of their income, have health care and unlimited educational opportunities as a right; where veterans, where veterans are not sleeping out on the street, and where children are not going hungry; and where we [music starts] finally put and end to sexism and racism, homophobia and religious bigotry.

Thank you all very much.

See also: prepared remarks
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