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Democratic Socialism: Let Us Finish What FDR and MLK Started


Democratic Socialism: Let Us Finish What FDR and MLK Started

Bernie Sanders

The following are the prepared remarks for a speech given by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) at Georgetown University on Thursday, November 19th, 2015.

In his inaugural remarks in January 1937, in the midst of the Great Depression, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt looked out at the nation and this is what he saw.

He saw tens of millions of its citizens denied the basic necessities of life.

He saw millions of families trying to live on incomes so meager that the pall of family disaster hung over them day by day.


GO BERNIE and yet he failed to call out Saudi Arabia as being the long time funder of wahabism, an extremist version of Islam, that has helped lead to the current catastrophe with our tax dollars now, nor did he fault himself and the congress for supplying the Saudis with horrible destructive military weapons yet again in last week's military appropriations bill - and of course he failed once again to call out the oppressor Israel whom we continue to fund in their intention to maintain apartheid against the Palestinian people. Not a perfect human running for president, but better than all the rest I have seen and he has to be better if he wants my vote next November.


What a great speech.

He should do a shorter one next time and announce that he will leave the Democratic Party and take his voters with him should they choose Wall Street Warmonger Hilary Clinton as their candidate.

That, plus cutting the defense budget by 20% per year for four years should shut down the Permanent War Economy and provide the funding he needs to do everything else.

Then Bernie could qualify as a Green. He sure is trying to sound like one.


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Great speech Bernie.

The oligarchy is a tiny group of criminals, thieves, murderers, polluters and destroyers of society. Only consistently high voter turnouts can stop them. In addition to automatic voter registration, encrypted online voting could be the safest answer to their voter suppression.


Although the demonizing of Assad is a bit unfortunate, I think Mr. Sanders answers those critics who insist that he's just another yes-man for the M.I.C. in this intelligent comment:

"Our response must begin with an understanding of past mistakes and missteps in our previous approaches to foreign policy. It begins with the acknowledgment that unilateral military action should be a last resort, not a first resort, and that ill-conceived military decisions, such as the invasion of Iraq, can wreak far-reaching devastation and destabilize entire regions for decades. It begins with the reflection that the failed policy decisions of the past – rushing to war, regime change in Iraq, or toppling Mossadegh in Iran in 1953, or Guatemalan President Árbenz in 1954, Brazilian President Goulart in 1964, Chilean President Allende in 1973. These are the sorts of policies do not work, do not make us safer, and must not be repeated."

I agree with about 96% of this speech. What other leader touches on all of these items?

Let's hope Mr. Sanders creates enough momentum to ensure that these positive, overdue initiatives cannot be put back into the proverbial genii bottle!


I like your opening sentence.


Bernie has been saying these things since before there was a Green Party, and the Green Party is a loser, it is on its last legs, kaput, over. finished.


Thanks to CD for posting Bernie's remarks with video. I wasn't able to watch it live. I think he is the first Democrat in decades to reference FDR in more than in just passing. FDR is out of favor with most of the Washington, New York, Ivy League crowd, go Bernie.


Yes. Explicit references to FDR's "down the memory hole" agenda of instituting an "economic bill of rights" to complete the existing (political) Bill of Rights, are critical.

That said, the biggest applause line turned out to be "Black Lives Matter".


Sanders refers to the wrong Roosevelt and doesn't mention the very conservative German Chancellor Bismarck.

The problem with FDR is that he used mild Keynesian stimulus (his New Deal) to reduce unemployment from 25% (in 1932) to about 14% in 1936. He then bought into Republican supply-side nonsense and cut government spending to balance the budget (exactly what Republicans want to do today). The result was the country lurched back into recession (negative growth) that didn't end until the government started spending massively to fight WWII.

Teddy Roosevelt proposed steeply graduated income and inheritance taxes to redistribute the wealth and Bismarck famously said: "Either the government will enact social welfare legislation or the socialists will take over the government. The result was that Germany had all kinds of social welfare programs 50 years before FDR produced Social Security in the US.

Bismarck was aware of the French Revolution. The peasants rebelled against the privilege of the nobility and chopped the heads off of the king and aristocrats. They took land away from the nobility and the Church and divided it up among themselves (a Marxist revolution before Marx was even alive).

Republicans simply should be made aware that capitalism results in injustice because wealth becomes concentrated in a few hands. This is bad because, as Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis once said: "You can either have concentration of wealth in a few hands or you can have democracy, but you can't have both."


Bernie Sanders and two other Senators voted against the National Defense Autorization Act:


Appreciate the correction. i was tempted to look up the vote on that bill to refute kiki, but i did not.


i'm either voting for Stein or writing in Bernie.

i'm assuming he will win the nomination, tho. :O)


I won't be voting. I am not going through the motions just to go through the motions, I've done that too many times. Just me.

Edit, thanks to Wereflea, I won't be voting if Bernie is not the nominee of the Democratic Party.


Bernie has given his base some yummy red meat on which to chew. Unfortunately for Bernie there aren't enough of them to counterbalance the average TV addict who depends on commercial networks to tell them what to think about whomever.
Bernie has linked his style of socialism to FDR and MLK Jr. Kiss Dixie and the Midwest (from the Appalachians to the Rockies--except for MN, CO, and maybe NM--good bye).
So is winning the Northeast corridor and the West Coast enough? Count the electoral votes and weep ye progressives! You have been marginalized yet again by the toxic environment of public discourse.
And this is before the opposition research teams funded by organized money roll out their barrage of attacks on behalf of JEB! and Hillary. Enjoy feeling "the Bern" because within 90-120 days it will disappear like the morning mist before the heat of the sun. However, Bernie will get to do a Kucinich (make a speech at the Democratic Convention and then urge everyone to vote for Hillary as the lesser of two evils) and maybe a book and some appearances on the afternoon talk-show circuit.


"To those people in the huts and villages of half the globe struggling to break the bonds
of mass misery, we pledge our best efforts to help them help themselves, for whatever
period is required -- not because the Communists may be doing it, not because we seek
their votes, but because it is right. If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich."
JFK Inaugural address 01-20-61

Just another indication of how much the US has lost its way in the past 54 years


In addition to the backroom influence that guided FDR down a populist path, 10% of those who voted in the US during that era voted for socialist or communist candidates (compared to fewer than 1% today) thereby giving FDR and Congress cover to toss the 99% a few crumbs to keep the US from going commie.

Also, Huey Long was dogging FDR leftward until he was assassinated.


you should clarify this comment to reflect that you meant that you wouldn't vote if Bernie isn't nominated,

It started with Nixon whom I regretted his getting in but it worsened with Reagan whom I seriously regretted getting in but it took Bush/Cheney to convince me that the bigger of two weevils is really really bad.

The Repubs are astoundingly horrible. They rigged an election and started a war simply for oil and sure dems are 'do nothings' but repubs are 'do much worse'.

Just me.


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