The 2018 midterm results show that the American people have rejected Donald Trump, and his agenda. And as Senator Bernie Sanders says, they’ve also rejected “his racism, sexism, homophobia, xenophobia and religious bigotry.”
Since Democrats will take over control of the House of Representatives in January, Senator Sanders believes it is time for progressives to step forward and promote a true progressive agenda.
In an opinion piece in today’s Washington Post, Sanders wrote:
“It is not good enough for Democrats to just be the anti-Trump party. If they want to keep and expand their majority in the House, take back the Senate and win the White House, Democrats must show the American people that they will aggressively stand up and fight for the working families of this country — black, white, Latino, Asian American or Native American, men and women, gay or straight. This means addressing the crisis of a broken criminal-justice system and reforming inhumane immigration policies. But it also means fighting to expand a middle class that has been disappearing for more than 40 years, reducing inequality in both income and wealth — which has disproportionately hurt African Americans and Hispanics — and aggressively combating climate change, the most urgent threat facing our planet.”
Sanders then refers to the Republicans’ Contract with America from the 1990’s, which was “a radical right-wing agenda full of tax breaks for the wealthy, massive cuts to programs vital to working families, and racist and cruel bills to “reform” welfare and our criminal-justice system.”
He says that now is the time for Democrats to pass their own bold agenda, in similar fashion.
He says that “Starting on the first day of the new Congress, the Democratic leadership in the House, supported by their colleagues in the Senate, should be just as bold in passing an agenda that reflects the needs of working Americans — centered on economic, political, social, racial and environmental justice.”
Then the independent senator from Vermont goes on to list what he believes are they key items that must be addressed by House Democrats during the first 100 days of the new Congress:
- Increasing the minimum wage to $15 an hour and indexing it to median wage growth thereafter.
- A path toward Medicare-for-all.
- Bold action to combat climate change.
- Fixing our broken criminal-justice system.
- Comprehensive immigration reform.
- Progressive tax reform.
- A $1 trillion infrastructure plan.
- Lowering the price of prescription drugs.
- Making public colleges and universities tuition-free and substantially reducing student debt.
- Expanding Social Security.
Sanders concludes by writing:
“Here is the bottom line: Instead of us having a Congress that listens to wealthy campaign contributors, it is about time we had a Congress fighting to create an economy and a government that works for all of us, not just those on top.’
As always, Bernie Sanders’ political instincts are correct. He knows that Democrats were given control of the House to make a difference to the lives of Americans. Although Sanders’ list looks like his campaign platform, it is also a blueprint for success for Nancy Pelosi and other Democrats in Congress.
He knows it’s not enough to oppose Donald Trump by launching investigations and possible impeachment proceedings. If Democrats are to fulfill their promises to America, now is the time for them to step forward and make a real difference and pass legislation that accomplishes every single one of Bernie Sanders’ goals.
If they do this then they will be successful, and they will show the Republican Party — and all of America — that they really mean business.
I am a lifelong Democrat with a passion for social justice and progressive issues. I have degrees in writing, economics and law from the University of Iowa.