'Today We Begin a Political Revolution': Bernie Sanders Launches Presidential Bid in Vermont

October 11, 2020 0 By JohnValbyNation

With a progressive vision that includes breaking up the biggest banks, political transparency, free college education, environmental action, and equity for working and middle class Americans, U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont on Tuesday officially launched his bid for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination.

Speaking at a rally at Waterfront Park in Burlington, the socialist-Democrat kicked off his campaign like any Vermonter would: with free Ben & Jerry’s ice cream and live Zydeco music.

In remarks prepared for delivery, Sanders said: “Today, with your support and the support of millions of people throughout this country, we begin a political revolution to transform our country economically, politically, socially and environmentally. Today, we stand here and say loudly and clearly that: ‘Enough is enough. This great nation and its government belong to all of the people and not to a handful of billionaires, their Super PACs and their lobbyists.”

“Let me be very clear,” he added. “There is something profoundly wrong when the top one-tenth of 1 percent owns almost as much wealth as the bottom 90 percent and when 99 percent of all new income goes to the top 1 percent. There is something profoundly wrong when, in recent years, we have seen a proliferation of millionaires and billionaires at the same time as millions of Americans work longer hours for lower wages and we have the highest rate of childhood poverty of any major country on earth. There is something profoundly wrong when one family owns more wealth than the bottom 130 million Americans. This grotesque level of inequality is immoral. It is bad economics. It is unsustainable. This type of rigged economy is not what America is supposed to be about. This has got to change and, as your president, together we will change it.”

The Burlington Free Press provided this live broadcast from the rally and posted live updates of the event:

Though dubbed a long-shot candidate against Democratic rival Hillary Clinton, in an email to supporters on Tuesday, Sanders expressed confidence in his vision for “political revolution,” saying: “We can make real change. People should not underestimate us.”

“Income and wealth inequality have reached obscene levels, the threat of climate change is more frightening than ever, and the billionaire class is now allowed to spend unlimited amounts of money to buy the candidates they want,” the email reads. “Our country is in serious trouble, and it is up to us to stand up and fight back.”

According to the Burlington Free Press, other speakers at Tuesday’s rally included notable locals such as Ben & Jerry’s founders Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, 350.org founder Bill McKibben, and Mike O’Day, district vice president for Communications Workers of America, among others.

Ahead of the rally, Sanders gave an interview to CNBC in which he outlined some of his hopes for the future.