Senator Bernie Sanders spoke at Georgetown University on Thursday afternoon to address his political stance as a Democratic Socialist. His speech, which focused heavily on inequality in America, invoked the words of Martin Luther King Jr.
What Roosevelt was stating in 1944, what Martin Luther King, Jr. stated in similar terms 20 years later and what I believe today, is that true freedom does not occur without economic security.
People are not truly free when they are unable to feed their family. People are not truly free when they are unable to retire with dignity. People are not truly free when they are unemployed or underpaid or when they are exhausted by working long hours. People are not truly free when they have no health care.
So let me define for you, simply and straightforwardly, what democratic socialism means to me. It builds on what Franklin Delano Roosevelt said when he fought for guaranteed economic rights for all Americans. And it builds on what Martin Luther King, Jr. said in 1968 when he stated that; “This country has socialism for the rich, and rugged individualism for the poor.” It builds on the success of many other countries around the world that have done a far better job than we have in protecting the needs of their working families, the elderly, the children, the sick and the poor.
Sanders’ comments echo around the country in a nation where the majority of people are forced to work long and hard for almost no payoff. Senator Sanders is standing up to declare that work, sleep, and death are not all there is to life and that we deserve an opportunity to live our lives as we see fit in a reasonable society which is working toward the success and happiness of all.
Read Bernie Sanders full speech here.