Good evening from the University District, and welcome to NPI’s live coverage of the Seattle stop of Bernie Sanders’ Our Revolution book tour. Senator Sanders is joining a packed house of supporters at University Temple United Methodist Church to promote his recently-released book and talk about the direction of the progressive movement as America enters the Trump error.
Senator Sanders is due to be introduced in a few minutes. We have a full house here, with this event having sold out several weeks ago. Ticketbuyers received a copy of Bernie’s book as part of the price of admission.
The Senator is scheduled to speak for around twenty to thirty minutes and will then take questions from the audience. I’ll be updating this post frequently with highlights from the remarks and Q&A. Enjoy!
UPDATE, 7:18 PM: Bernie arrived a few minutes ago to a standing ovation. He launched right into his remarks upon taking the stage, introducing himself as the husband of Jane Sanders. He touched on the recently-concluded presidential contest immediately, asking the audience to remember that Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton is winning the popular vote nationwide.
He then began a concise rendition of his stump speech, highlighting the need for bold progressive solutions to address the climate crisis, money in politics, systemic racism, and income inequality. Many of the ideas that progressives support are ideas that the majority of Americans also enthusiastically support, Sanders noted.
UPDATE, 7:25 PM: Turning his attention to Donald Trump, Sanders lit into the neofascist tycoon for falsely proclaiming that he would have won the popular vote were it not for fraudulent votes. “We’re getting used to having government by tweet,” Sanders said. “A hundred and forty characters or less.”
The real purpose of Trump’s tweet was to encourage Republicans all over the country to pursue voter suppression schemes that will disenfranchise Democratic and progressive voters, Sanders added.
UPDATE, 7:30 PM: We cannot compromise with bigotry, Sanders told supporters, declaring that it’s up to all of us to fight to expand freedom, even with the Democratic Party out of power at the federal level.
“What we say to Mr. Trump [is]: We have traveled too far in the fight against discrimination. We are not going backwards,” Sanders said, as the audience jumped to its feet to give him another standing ovation.
UPDATE, 7:35 PM: Sanders says he thinks Donald Trump won by “speaking to the pain and anxiety people today are feeling” and by skilfully exploiting America’s big media (which is discussed in the last chapter of his book Our Revolution).
UPDATE, 7:41 PM: The despair in many pockets in America over declining quality of life has gotten so bad that it’s driven people to abuse opiates and alcohol and commit suicide, Sanders says, noting that the big media doesn’t do a very good job of covering these issues… but Donald Trump saw them and took advantage by preying on people’s fears and anxieties.
UPDATE, 7:44 PM: “For better or worse, I’ve been made a part of the Democratic leadership in the Senate,” Sanders said, explaining that he will be responsible for outreach on behalf of the caucus and will need his supporters’ help.