Bernie Sanders has criticised the Democratic party’s current direction as “an absolute failure” in a speech at the People’s Summit in Chicago. Speaking to a crowd of 4,000 activists, Sanders hailed the “enormous progress in advancing the progressive agenda”, saying the increasing House and Senate support for a $15 minimum wage and the opposition to the Trans-Pacific partnership showed the success of the movement.
Had he been the Democratic party’s nominee, Bernie Sanders could have won the presidency. I’ve been waiting more than half a year to say this aloud, and today’s as good a day as any to get it off my chest.
Sanders will headline the event on Saturday night, while high-profile celebrity activists including Mark Ruffalo, Jessie Eisenberg and Naomi Klein will also attend. Some of the sessions at McCormick Place will focus specifically on training progressives to run for office or organize campaigns ahead of the 2018 midterms
The senator talks about his fight to make the Democratic party more attractive to working-class people – and on taking his progressive populism to the heartland in order to topple Trump. Sanders occupies an exalted pedestal in American politics today. In 2016 he won 23 primary and caucus races to Clinton’s 34, notching up 13 million votes. Given the odds stacked against him – Clinton’s establishment firepower; the skewed weighting of the “superdelegates” that tipped the primaries in her direction by reserving 15% of the votes for the party establishment; and the cynical efforts of the party machine through the Democratic national convention to undermine Sanders’ campaign by casting aspersions on his leadership abilities and religious beliefs, as revealed in the Russian-hacked WikiLeaks emails – that was no mean achievement.