Senator Bernie Sanders is speaking to supporters in a live web video address on his website regarding the future of his campaign and the goal of the ongoing political revolution.
READ THE FULL TRANSCRIPT OF HIS SPEECH
Election days come and go. But political and social revolutions that attempt to transform our society never end. They continue every day, every week and every month in the fight to create a nation of social and economic justice. That’s what the trade union movement is about. That’s what the civil rights movement is about. That’s what the women’s movement is about. That’s what the gay rights movement is about. That’s what the environmental movement is about.
And that’s what this campaign has been about over the past year. That’s what the political revolution is about and that’s why the political revolution must continue into the future.
Real change never takes place from the top down, or in the living rooms of wealthy campaign contributors. It always occurs from the bottom on up – when tens of millions of people say “enough is enough” and become engaged in the fight for justice. That’s what the political revolution we helped start is all about. That’s why the political revolution must continue.
When we began this campaign a little over a year ago, we had no political organization, no money and very little name recognition. The media determined that we were a fringe campaign. Nobody thought we were going anywhere.
Well, a lot has changed over a year.
During this campaign, we won more than 12 million votes. We won 22 state primaries and caucuses. We came very close – within 2 points or less – in five more states.
In other words, our vision for the future of this country is not some kind of fringe idea. It is not a radical idea. It is mainstream. It is what millions of Americans believe in and want to see happen.
And something else extraordinarily important happened in this campaign that makes me very optimistic about the future of our country – something that, frankly, I had not anticipated. In virtually every state that we contested we won the overwhelming majority of the votes of people 45 years of age or younger, sometimes, may I say, by huge numbers. These are the people who are determined to shape the future of this country. These are the people who ARE the future of this country.
Together, in this campaign, 1.5 million people came out to our rallies and town meetings in almost every state in the country.
Together, hundreds of thousands of volunteers made 75 million phone calls urging their fellow citizens into action.
Together, our canvassers knocked on more than 5 million doors.
Together, we hosted 74,000 meetings in every state and territory in this country.
Together, 2.7 million people made over 8 million individual contributions to our campaign – more contributions at this point than any campaign in American history. Amazingly, the bulk of those contributions came from low-income and working people whose donations averaged $27 apiece. In an unprecedented way, we showed the world that we could run a strong national campaign without being dependent on the big-money interests whose greed has done so much to damage our country.
And let me give a special thanks to the financial support we received from students struggling to repay their college loans, from seniors and disabled vets on Social Security, from workers earning starvation wages and even from people who were unemployed.
In every single state that we contested we took on virtually the entire political establishment – U.S. senators, members of Congress, governors, mayors, state legislators and local party leaders. To those relatively few elected officials who had the courage to stand with us, I say thank you. We must continue working together into the future.
This campaign has never been about any single candidate. It is always about transforming America.
It is about ending a campaign finance system which is corrupt and allows billionaires to buy elections.
It is about ending the grotesque level of wealth and income inequality that we are experiencing where almost all new wealth and income goes to the people on top, where the 20 wealthiest people own more wealth than the bottom 150 million.
It is about creating an economy that works for all of us, not just the 1 percent.
It is about ending the disgrace of native Americans who live on the Pine Ridge, South Dakota, reservation having a life expectancy lower than many third-world countries.
It is about ending the incredible despair that exists in many parts of this country where – as a result of unemployment and low wages, suicide, drugs and alcohol – millions of Americans are now dying, in an ahistorical way, at a younger age than their parents.
It is about ending the disgrace of having the highest level of childhood poverty of almost any major country on earth and having public school systems in inner cities that are totally failing our children – where kids now stand a greater chance of ending up in jail than ending up with a college degree.
It is about ending the disgrace that millions of undocumented people in this country continue to live in fear and are exploited every day on their jobs because they have no legal rights.
It is about ending the disgrace of tens of thousands of Americans dying every year from preventable deaths because they either lack health insurance, have high deductibles or cannot afford the outrageously high cost of the prescription drugs they need.
It is about ending the disgrace of hundreds of thousands of bright young people unable to go to college because their families are poor or working class, while millions more struggle with suffocating levels of student debt.