For anyone following the Bernie Sanders campaign, the contents of Bernie’s speech in Springfield should ring familiar. Yes, there was much animated hand-waving and phrases uttered in his characteristic Brooklyn accent, but the words were also 100-percent Bernie. Here are five highlights that struck us as the most undeniably “Bernie-esque.”
“It’s hard to imagine anyone voting for the Republican agenda.”
Sanders railed against Republican talking points, skewering the tenets of tax breaks to the rich, cuts to Social Security and Medicare, and opposition to gay marriage. “This is a fringe agenda,” he said.
“We’re going to create an economy that works for all of us, not just the 1 percent.”
Bernie dove headfirst into the problem of income inequality, which he said is worse in the U.S. than almost any other major country on Earth. He blasted the Waltons, who own Walmart, and advocated for raising the minimum wage to a living wage, as well as closing the income gap between women and men.
“We are listening to young people.”
Courting the “millennial” crowd, Sanders nodded to the difficulties facing the younger generation and hit one of his most famous talking points: free tuition at public colleges and universities. He proposed creating a tax on Wall Street speculation to cover the cost of tuition and reduce student debt.
“Climate change is real.”
Bernie said that we’re dealing with a planetary crisis, and the U.S. needs to take on the fossil fuel industry. He advocated for a tax on carbon and an end to fracking, and he encouraged Hillary Clinton to join him on these points.
“Now is the time to think big, not small.”
The Sanders campaign is listening, he said, to African-American, Latino and Native American communities. Time and time again, oppressed groups of people have risen up and demanded change, and that’s how progress happens. “The establishment will always tell us that real change is impossible,” he said, but his ideas aren’t radical — they’re achievable.