The tasks of the Biden government

Dora Longo Bahia. Revolutions (calendar design), 2016 Acrylic, water-based pen and watercolor on paper (12 pieces) 23 x 30.5 cm each
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By BERNIE SANDERS*

Corporate Democrats are attacking so-called far-left politics like the medicare for all and the Green New Deal, due to electoral defeats in the House and Senate

I am very proud of the hard work done by the progressive community to elect Joe Biden as our next President.

And let's be clear: this election was not just a normal election between two candidates. It was much more important than that. This election was about keeping our democracy, preserving the rule of law, believing in science, and ending pathological lies in the White House. And with a record turnout, the American people voted to reject Donald Trump's racism, sexism, homophobia, xenophobia, religious intolerance and authoritarianism. This is very good news.

Even so, truth be told, the election results in the House and Senate were disappointing. Despite Joe Biden winning the popular vote by more than 5 million votes, the Democrats have lost seats in the House and, so far, have only managed to increase their Senate share by just one seat.

Now, with the blame game erupting, Corporate Democrats are attacking so-called far-left politics like the medicare for all and the Green New Deal, due to electoral defeats in the House and Senate. They are completely wrong.

Here are the facts: (a) 112 co-sponsors of the medicare for all were on the ballot in November. All 112 won; (b) 98 co-sponsors of the Green New Deal were on the ballot in November. Only one of them lost the election.

It turns out that supporting universal health care during a pandemic and enacting massive investments in renewable energy while we face the existential threat that climate change poses to our planet is not just good public policy. It is also a good policy. According to an exit poll by the Fox News, no bastion of socialism, 72% of voters supported the move "to a government-run health plan" and 70% of voters supported "increased government spending on green and renewable energy".

The lesson is not to abandon popular policies like the medicare for all, New Deal Green, living wages, criminal justice reform, and universal child care, but to realize an agenda that speaks to the economic desperation felt by the working class – black, white, Latino, Asian, and indigenous. People are suffering and crying out for help. We have to respond.

Across America, voters approved progressive policies to improve the lives of millions of people: (a) Florida voters approved an initiative to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour; (b) Colorado voted to grant 12 weeks of paid maternity leave; (c) Arizona voted to raise taxes on those earning more than $250.000 in order to increase funding for public education; (d) Voters in Arizona, Montana, New Jersey and South Dakota voted to leave the "war on drugs" and approved the legalization of marijuana.

The American people are tired of seeing billionaires and Wall Street get richer while seniors sleep on the streets, our infrastructure crumbles and young people leave school completely in debt.

They want a government that works for everyone, not just the few. That's the right thing to do, that's the moral thing to do, and for the Democratic Party, that's the way to win elections.

*Bernie Sanders is a senator of the US Congress from the state of Vermont.

Translation: João Victor Magalhães de Almeida.

 

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