Post Brexit, Bernie Sanders Pens Impassioned NY Times Op-Ed: 'Democrats Need to Wake Up'

Bernie Sanders penned an op-ed in the New York Times Tuesday, eviscerating the economic policies “established and maintained by the world’s economic elite” that are “failing people everywhere.”

Discussing some of the factors that prompted British voters last week to leave the European Union, Sanders wrote that workers in Britain “have turned their backs on the European Union and a globalized economy that is failing them and their children.”

“Surprise, surprise,” he noted.

Sanders also reiterated talking points he used on the campaign trail, focusing specifically on the impact of income inequality. “The top 1 percent now owns more wealth than the whole of the bottom 99 percent,” Sanders wrote. “The very, very rich enjoy unimaginable luxury while billions of people endure abject poverty, unemployment, and inadequate health care, education, housing and drinking water.”

Sanders warned that a Brexit-style reaction to the devastating impact of a global elite could happen in the United States:

“During my campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination, I’ve visited 46 states. What I saw and heard on too many occasions were painful realities that the political and media establishment fail even to recognize.

In the last 15 years, nearly 60,000 factories in this country have closed, and more than 4.8 million well-paid manufacturing jobs have disappeared. Much of this is related to disastrous trade agreements that encourage corporations to move to low-wage countries.”

Sanders also lamented Wall Street’s influence over American politics, notably failing to specifically mention Hillary Clinton, his Democratic rival whom he hit throughout the campaign for her ties to Wall Street and corporate donors. 

But he did take on another presidential rival, noting, “we do not need change based on the demagogy, bigotry and anti-immigrant sentiment that punctuated so much of the Leave campaign’s rhetoric—and is central to Donald J. Trump’s message.”

Instead, Sanders wrote, “we need a president who will vigorously support international cooperation that brings the people of the world closer together, reduces hypernationalism and decreases the possibility of war,” as well as one who takes on Wall Street, the pharmaceutical industry, and “other powerful special interests.”

Sanders also called upon an end to the Trans-Pacific Partnership and corporate tax evasion, a comprehensive approach to defeat global climate change, and an international demilitarization effort.

“The notion that Donald Trump could benefit from the same forces that gave the Leave proponents a majority in Britain should sound an alarm for the Democratic Party in the United States,” Sanders wrote, adding that millions of Americans share in similar frustrations espoused by British Leave voters. 

Sanders concluded with a firm message to Democrats: “Make clear that we stand with those who are struggling and who have been left behind.”

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