@NCCapitol

@NCCapitol

Sanders outlines 'radical ideas' for US

Posted March 11

— Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders brought his populist message to Raleigh on Friday, laying out a list of proposals to improve the U.S. and the quality of life for millions of people – proposals he derisively called "radical ideas" because they go against the status quo.

Sanders spoke for more than an hour to an overflow crowd at Memorial Auditorium at the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts, even spending some time addressing hundreds of people who couldn't get in on the plaza outside the auditorium.

"It's not a radical idea to suggest someone who works 40 to 50 hours a week in the country should not live in poverty," he told the cheering audience inside.

Other "radical ideas" included taxing Wall Street brokerages to raise enough money to make public universities tuition-free, fixing the lead-tainted water system in Flint, Mich., and other crumbling infrastructure across the country and creating a universal health care system nationwide.

"Imagine the American people having clean drinking water. What a radical idea that is," he said. "Helping out the middle class by making sure colleges are affordable for all of our people, that is a radical and crazy idea. But bailing out crooks on Wall Street who destroyed the economy, well, that's not such a radical idea. I think some people have their priorities backwards."

Sanders hit on his usual talking points of creating an economy that benefits the working- and middle-class, cracking down on trade agreements that he says cost the U.S. jobs and exorcising corporate money from political campaigns.

"We have a corrupt campaign finance system which is undermining democracy." he said, comparing wealthy donors who put millions behind political candidates to an oligarchy trying to control the U.S.

He criticized his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton, for accepting $15 million in donations from people in the financial industry and millions more from pharmaceutical executives, noting the average size of his campaign donations is $27. He also noted that Clinton has backed many trade deals in recent years that have led to the closure of manufacturing plants in North Carolina and elsewhere.

"We need trade policy that is fair, not unfettered free trade," he said. "American workers should not be forced to compete against desperate people who make pennies an hour."

A recent WRAL News poll shows Sanders trailing Clinton, who campaigned in Durham on Thursday, by a 57-34 percent margin among likely Democratic voters.

In a one-on-one interview with WRAL News, Sanders, who has been in public office for decades, cited the recession, the war in Iraq and the push for more free trade when asked why he decided to run for president now.

"I just honestly believed it was too late for establishment politics and establishment economics, that we have to go a lot further and we have to stand up for working families today and take on the big money interest," he said.

Critics say his ideas are unrealistic and that Congress won't approve them. But he says, if he wins, it will show Washington that change is no longer optional.

"Ordinary people are powerful people if they ar prepared to use that power. We can transform what goes on this country because Congress will not be able to simply do the bidding of the wealthy and the powerful," he said.

27 Comments

Please with your WRAL.com account to comment on this story. You also will need a Facebook account to comment.

Oldest First
View all
  • Tim Britton Mar 13, 2016
    user avatar

    Young people, you are wasting your time, Hillary has already wrapped up the nomination with the purchase of Super Delegate votes. You can go vote for Sanders, but the democratic party made their decision months ago. You can win every state left but the super delegates will go for Hillary because the super delegates are longtime Democratic party voters who set up super delegates for elections like this. They do not care about the your vote, it is all about the party. Sorry you had to learn this the hard way, but it is a free country so do what you want. Just look at the super delegate counts for Hillary. Glad you are engaged, but with the democratic party, it is a lost cause for Sanders.

  • Matt Nickeson Mar 13, 2016
    user avatar

    [quote=15532104]Post by Chester Flippo[/quote
    WOW, just wow. Later Buddy.

  • Chester Flippo Mar 13, 2016
    user avatar

    Yes, I am fine with paying tuition at public universities for anyone accomplished enough to get in. I do believe in universal health care, and with working people getting a fair share of the wealth they create. You will notice the countries that have these things are LESS violent, have fewer people in jail, have less crime, and prohibit the kind of government intrusion into our personal lives that are routine here. Look at what Bernie is saying. He is the candidate that believes you should have a right to be free from government surveillance, you should have a right to own guns responsibly, you should have a right to negotiate the terms of your employment without companies moving to avoid paying taxes and fair wages. Obviously you were willing to sacrifice ALL of your rights by joining the military, which is a model of cradle to grave socialism. I am willing to pay up just to help my fellow man get the same education and health benefits without agreeing to kill for the government

  • Matt Nickeson Mar 13, 2016
    user avatar

    View quoted thread



    So, you are fine with subjugating your individual liberty for the common good? How much? Is just a little bit ok? Maybe a bit more for some more security from the government? Who decides how much is enough and what happens when it is more than you care to give? I served 9 years and 6 deployments in service of a country that I love. There is a difference between this and the socialist utopian common good of which you speak. I did not have to be coerced to serve the common good but the kind of common you obviously so desire can only be implement and maintained with the citizenry staring down the barrel of a government gun.

  • Chester Flippo Mar 12, 2016
    user avatar

    View quoted thread



    Trump freely admits he has been benefiting from government pay and play. That is why he has donated lots of money to candidates for a long long time. He just wants to use the government to benefit himself more directly now. Trump has not done anything for anyone that he couldn't make money off of.
    If you don't believe in common good please stop using the electric grid I subsidized, our roads, the immunizations we developed, schools, don't cry to me when the bankers steal your life savings etc. We join together to build useful things we can't build alone, and to protect the resources our grandchildren must and should have. I think spending billions to fight brutal and idiotic wars doesn't benefit us. Others think it is a great idea. But most of us are discussing where our common efforts should be focused.

  • Chester Flippo Mar 12, 2016
    user avatar

    View quoted thread



    Yes Matt, I did think your stating that Roosevelt's policies just delayed the recovery from the great depression was a statement of ideology. I pointed to causes of the great depression and expressed the human cost of failing to act, as you recommended.
    If you do not believe in the common good and only in what you can do individually, then please stop using the electrical grid our government subsidized, our roads, and heaven knows, don't call the cops when your neighbor decides his individual liberty allows him to dump or burn toxic waste on his land, discharge a firearm around your kids etc. I do believe some governments are better than others. I do believe a president who doesn't take corporate money, run a superpack and pander to the rich would make our country better.

  • Matt Nickeson Mar 12, 2016
    user avatar

    View quoted thread



    So, in essence you are saying that the government now is bad but if Bernie is elected this same government would suddenly be beneficent towards the citizenry? My ideology? Did I say that any of this was my ideology? How do you know what my ideology is? It seems as though you know me better than I know myself. Impressive! Finally, the common good is not compatible with individual liberty. You cannot have both in coexistence, at least not in the way that you are using the term. Common good means subservience of self and will to the arbiter of the central good, the government.

  • Johnathan Gault Mar 12, 2016
    user avatar

    "Common good," is a term tyrants and dictators use to usurp your personal freedoms. Bernie would be dependent upon government to "tax," to find the revenue. More government is not the solution. Any solution has to be to take power from the government and return it to the people. Trump is the better candidate for that.

  • Chester Flippo Mar 12, 2016
    user avatar

    View quoted thread



    Yes, the system and banks that gave us 25% unemployment, farm foreclosures and Hoovervilles was going to sort itself out, we just needed to give it time. How much time? 10, 15, 20 years? And all those people would just be collateral damage to your ideology?
    You agree the government is corrupt and operated for the benefit of the rich. How did it get so? Government is meant to provide for the common good. The solution to corruption is not to eliminate the common good, but to return government to the will of the people and the dedication to the COMMON good. Sanders is the one candidate who is not subservient to the rich, takes no corporate donations and has no superpack. We who support Sanders offer a return of government to the people.

  • Matt Nickeson Mar 12, 2016
    user avatar

    View quoted thread



    Roosevelt actually extended and prolonged the recovery from the Great Depression. I know that goes against the storyline you have been. Do some independent research. Sounds quite similar to what has happened under Obama in the Great Recession. I do agree that the current system is broken and corrupt. The problem is that the corruption exists in the government. They are the ones who enplaced such a convoluted taxation and regulatory scheme that only the largest corporations and wealthiest individuals can navigate it for their benefit. How is it then that more government controlling more money would work so much better?

More...