Our Revolution: A Future to Believe In by Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders

Overview

In Our Revolution: A Future to Believe In, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders outlines his career and political ideals. The book includes an autobiographical sketch of his early life, a discussion of his 2016 campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination, and a summary of his views on important national issues. Sanders believes that the wealthy control government institutions and the national media to their own advantage, and that a popular electoral revolution is needed to rein in corruption and give working people jobs, opportunities, and a decent standard of living including equitable access to quality health care and education.

Sanders was born in Brooklyn, New York, to working-class parents. His older brother Larry taught him a love of reading. Sanders was the first one in his family to attend an elite university when he went to the University of Chicago. There he read progressive publications, educated himself about political concerns, and participated in civil rights activism against racism.

After graduating from college, Sanders moved to Vermont. He worked as a journalist and then made and sold educational videos. He soon became involved in independent politics. He ran several races as a candidate for the Liberty Union Party and lost them all badly. In 1980, he ran for mayor of Burlington as an independent and scored an upset victory. He served for eight years despite political resistance from both Democrats and Republicans. He won a race for the House of Representatives in 1990, served as Vermont’s only congressman for 16 years, and was elected to the Senate in 2005. Sanders remained an independent but worked closely with Democrats.

In 2016, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton enjoyed overwhelming support from the Democratic establishment and was widely expected to win the Democratic nomination for president. Sanders felt that Clinton was a centrist too committed to failed Democratic policies; he also saw that no other progressive candidates were willing to challenge her from the left. He therefore launched his own campaign, which focused on the corrupting influence of money in politics and on bold progressive programs, such as his call for free tuition for all Americans at public colleges.

Sanders received surprisingly strong support throughout the country, especially from young people. He ultimately failed to wrest the nomination from Clinton, but he had a powerful influence on the Democratic platform, which included a proposal for a national $15 minimum wage and many other progressive commitments.

The US political system is strangled by the power of the wealthy. Campaign contributions give the rich the power to unduly influence candidates. Big business controls corporate media, which downplays vital issues, such as climate change and economic inequality. Legislation must end giveaways to corporations, strengthen the social safety net, and limit the power of the wealthy to disproportionately affect elections and policy. Affordable health care and education can be paid for by levying higher, fairer taxes on the rich. Marginalized people must be protected through criminal justice reform and immigration reform.

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