After a week of protests that have only been escalating in violence, finally, Senator Bernie Sanders finally had something to say about the protests, unlike the still-silent Hillary Clinton and President Obama.
But Sanders, the author of a brand new book published this week called, interestingly enough, Our Revolution, didn’t denounce the protests. He didn’t reject the violence and destruction – in fact, he didn’t address that part at all.
In an interview with USA Today (video below) he said:
We have a First Amendment. People are angry. People are upset. And they want to express their point of view that they are very frightened, in very, very strong disagreement with Mr. Trump, who has made bigotry the cornerstone of his campaign. His attitude toward women is reprehensible… Someone that thinks the people of one of the largest religions on Earth, the Muslim religion, should not be able to enter the American people, just absurd.
I think that people are saying, ‘Mr. Trump, we have come too far in this country fighting discrimination and bigotry. We’re not going back. And if you’re going to continue that effort, you’re going to have to take us on.’ …
And that wasn’t all he had to say. Sanders also denounced the electoral college.
We may want to take a look at the whole Electoral College, which is seating a man for president who didn’t get the most votes. This is something we need a serious discussion on. This campaign revolved around 15 states of the country, right? Battleground states. My state of Vermont is a strong Democratic state; no one paid attention. Wyoming is a Republican state; nobody paid attention to Wyoming. Is that a good way?
I think you ought to think about this. … I think we want to rethink that.
Of course, if we’re talking about areas that would be ignored in a popular vote, I guess Sanders didn’t see the map that showed that geographically, only a few small areas supported Clinton.
Below, you can watch the interview.
Meanwhile, in an impromptu speech on Tuesday in front of the White House, he also denounced Trump to a crowd of people protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline.
I don’t have to tell anybody here that we have a new president coming in who wants to make this country more dependent on fossil fuel, who is endangering the lives of our children and our grandchildren and future generations. But we have to tell Mr. Trump and everybody else that we are not going silently into the night. The stakes are too high for the future of this planet. We are gonna be smart. We’re gonna educate. We’re gonna organize. We’re gonna bring tens of millions of people, moms and dads and their kids together, together, to tell the fossil fuel industry that their short term profits are not more important than the future of our planet.
His thoughts on Trump and climate change start at 4:30.
Regardless of your feelings on Trump and the election in general, it would be the height of cognitive dissonance to see in any of these statements a call for the peaceful transition from Obama to Trump.
When I wrote about the resounding silence from Clinton, Sanders, and Obama, people leaped to the defense of Sanders, citing an op-ed he wrote for NY Times entitled “Where Do Democrats Go From Here?” in which he wrote:
I am deeply distressed to hear stories of Americans being intimidated and harassed in the wake of Mr. Trump’s victory, and I hear the cries of families who are living in fear of being torn apart. We have come too far as a country in combating discrimination. We are not going back. Rest assured, there is no compromise on racism, bigotry, xenophobia and sexism. We will fight it in all its forms, whenever and wherever it re-emerges.
I will keep an open mind to see what ideas Mr. Trump offers and when and how we can work together. Having lost the nationwide popular vote, however, he would do well to heed the views of progressives. If the president-elect is serious about pursuing policies that improve the lives of working families, I’m going to present some very real opportunities for him to earn my support…
…When my presidential campaign came to an end, I pledged to my supporters that the political revolution would continue. And now, more than ever, that must happen.
While Sanders supporters are trying to say that he is planning to work with the new President, that seems awfully tentative, and hardly a definitive call for people to work together.
Historically, the transition of power in the United States has been peaceful. We’ve rejoiced in our wins and accepted our losses because that’s how a Constitutional Republic works. The shift from one philosophy to another is a historic cycle, and that is a direct response to an overwhelming majority that is in power for too long. The left will have their turn again one of these days, but for now, people are rightfully sick of the constant nitpicking of political correctness and the disregard for the middle class in middle America.
Those whose candidate lost the election refuse to abide by these traditions of conduct, and I still maintain my original opinion: the people in leadership positions with the influence to smooth the transition are blatantly refusing to do so. In the case of Sanders, the only one of the three I named in my previous article who has addressed the protests at all, he appears to be doing the complete opposite.
He seems to be stirring the pot whenever possible, encouraging the protests, ignoring the violence, and hoping to overturn the electoral college.