The one positive outcome from the 2016 election is that though Hillary Clinton has virtually disappeared from the political landscape, our progressive champion Bernie Sanders has returned to us all, serving as a de-facto leader for a floundering Democratic party.

In a New York Times op-ed published on Saturday, the Vermont Senator laid out his progressive plan for the next four years. In the article, Sanders assures those who are scared and angry that progressives everywhere will stand up for the rights of the marginalized.

“I am saddened, but not surprised, by the outcome. It is no shock to me that millions of people who voted for Mr. Trump did so because they are sick and tired of the economic, political and media status quo.”

No one can deny that Sanders recognizes the total threat Trump poses to our republic, though like most politicians, Sanders has tempered his criticisms, attempting to give the President elect time to change his reputation from a demagogue to a more rational leader.

“President-elect Trump is right: The American people want change. But what kind of change will he be offering them? Will he have the courage to stand up to the most powerful people in this country who are responsible for the economic pain that so many working families feel, or will he turn the anger of the majority against minorities, immigrants, the poor and the helpless?”

But Sanders isn’t ready to embrace a president Trump until he has spoken out and disavowed the hate and divisive rhetoric he used and inspired during his campaign.

“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.”

Sanders said that no matter what, discriminatory actions and policy will be met with vehement opposition from progressives across the nation.

“When we stand together and don’t let demagogues divide us up by race, gender or national origin, there is nothing we cannot accomplish. We must go forward, not backward.”

You can read Sanders’ letter in its entirety here.

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Sydney Robinson is a political writer for the Ring of Fire Network. She has also appeared in political news videos for Ring of Fire. Sydney has a degree in English Literature from the University of West Florida, and has an active interest in politics, social justice, and environmental issues. She would love to hear from you on Twitter @SydneyMkay or via email at srobinson@ringoffireradio.com