Arguably the most popular progressive of all time, Bernie Sanders continues to be an outspoken leader in this turbulent, post-election period.
An election result of this magnitude demands serious change for the Democratic Party. That change was the exact focus of Sanders’ speech at the Berklee Performance Center in Boston.
The Leader Progressives Need
When a Latina woman in the audience asked how she could attain success in public office, Sanders’ response was more stern and poignant than it was soft:
“It is not good enough for somebody to say, ‘I’m a woman, vote for me.’ No, that’s not good enough. What we need is a woman who has the guts to stand up to Wall Street, to the insurance companies, to the drug companies, to the fossil fuel industry.”
It’s clear that Sanders’ response is a subtle jab at the ill-fated Hillary Clinton campaign.
Once Hillary won the primary, Sanders proved to be a valuable ally, speaking highly of her and campaigning in key areas. However, supporters of Sanders vividly remember the way he was blackballed by the DNC, a controversial decision that led to the resignation of Debbie Wasserman Schulz.
An End to Identity Politics
Among Sanders’s other suggestions was a call for progressives to evolve past identity politics. Sanders explained that it will take more than a new and different face for the Democratic Party to regain power:
“In other words, one of the struggles that you’re going to be seeing in the Democratic Party is whether we go beyond identity politics. I think it’s a step forward in America if you have an African-American CEO of some major corporation. But you know what, if that guy is going to be shipping jobs out of this country, and exploiting his workers, it doesn’t mean a whole hell of a lot whether he’s black or white or Latino.”
It’s evident that Sanders believes that the appearance of a progressive candidate doesn’t matter if they aren’t willing to fight the establishment.
As rumors circulate regarding whether Sanders himself will run in 2020, it’s clear that he remains an influential figure with a strong vision for the Democratic Party.