Charisma Caucus

This 2016 Presidential Candidate Is Going Back on the Campaign Trail Now

Bernie Sanders Supporters
U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) will soon be traveling around the country, despite facing reelection in his home state next year. (Reuters photo)

If you didn't get enough of U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) traveling around the country in 2015 and 2016, perhaps you'll get your fill sometime this year.

The Democratic Party's also-ran in last year's presidential primary contest with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is up for re-election in 2018. But rather than spend the current Easter recess visiting with his constituents, he announced Tuesday that he's going back on the national stump:

With Trump's election, we live in a pivotal moment in American history. This country will either move in the direction of an authoritarian government where the rich get richer and everyone else gets poorer, or we will successfully fight back and build a strong grassroots movement to create a government which represents all of us, not just Donald Trump and others in the billionaire class.

That's the struggle we now face. No one can sit on the sidelines. Not now. The only way we win is when we stand together and fight back. I need your help to do that.

The bad news is that Trump's agenda—huge tax breaks for billionaires, enormous increases in military spending, massive cuts in health care and programs that protect the elderly, the children, the sick and the poor, horrific attacks on environmental protection and scapegoating the immigrant community—constitutes the most reactionary set of policies in the modern history of our country.

The good news is that the resistance to this extremist Trump/Republican agenda is growing rapidly. We saw that as millions participated in the Women's March in January. We saw that as hundreds of thousands attended rallies and town meetings in February and March to successfully defeat the Republican effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act and throw 24 million Americans off of their health insurance. We are seeing that now as people across the country are mobilizing for Green Day events to take on the fossil fuel industry, combat climate change and transform our energy system to energy efficiency and sustainable energy.

When we launched our presidential campaign two years ago, I told you that victory would require the active participation of millions of Americans in every community across the country. That it would require nothing short of a political revolution to combat the demoralization so many feel about the political process. That's what I believed then. That's what I believe now. And that's what I am attempting to do.

During the last several months, I have visited a number of states where Donald Trump won. My message: Working people must not support a president and a party beholden to powerful special interests and the top 1 percent. We cannot support a party that wants to divide us up by race, gender, religion, national origin or sexual orientation.

I was in Wisconsin where progressives are determined to overcome the Trump victory in that state and elect candidates who, in 2018, will stand with working people and not the 1 percent. I was in Kansas where, in one of the most conservative states in the country, over 5,000 people attended a progressive rally in Topeka. I was in Mississippi, a state today heavily dominated by the Republican Party, where brave workers in the auto industry are fighting for a union. I was in West Virginia, where Trump won a landslide victory, but where many people are beginning to rethink the wisdom of that decision.

And next week I am going back on the road, visiting areas of the country often ignored by Democrats. I will be in Maine, Kentucky, Florida, Nevada, Nebraska, Utah and Arizona. I will be talking about the grotesque level of income and wealth inequality that we face and the need for the rich to start paying their fair share of taxes. I will discuss the Medicare-for-all, single-payer legislation that I will soon be introducing. I will urge people to join the Fight for $15 minimum wage struggle to make sure all Americans enjoy a living wage. I will ask people across the country to help us create millions of jobs by rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure. I will explain the need to aggressively move forward for comprehensive immigration reform and why we must immediately fix our broken criminal justice system.

But, he says, he can't do it alone. He needs his large, now national, base of supporters to kick in some cash to pay his expenses, and the email in which he announced his intention to travel around the country and obtained by Charisma Caucus, in fact, is a fundraising letter in which he asks each recipient to cough up $27 each for his campaign.

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