In Carson City, Bernie Sanders calls on all to join him in restoring democracy | NevadaAppeal.com
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In Carson City, Bernie Sanders calls on all to join him in restoring democracy

By Geoff Dornan gdornan@nevadaappeal.com
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., gives opening remarks during the Teamsters Presidential Candidate Forum at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum on Dec. 7 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
AP

In his second trip to Carson City this campaign season, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., told a crowd of 400 people he’s running not only against Donald Trump but to transform this country.

“I want us to address the incredible major issues facing the working families of this country,” he said.

He said every day the U.S. is moving farther away from democracy.

“And it’s not only Trump’s refusal to obey the law, his lack of knowledge over the Constitution.”

Sanders said fair elections aren’t possible when billionaires have so much power and can dump hundreds of millions of dollars into campaigns of people who will do their bidding.

“We’re going to overturn the Citizens United Supreme Court decision,” he said, calling for public funding of elections and ending voter suppression.

“Right now, in the richest country in the history of the world, half our people are living paycheck to paycheck.”

He said income inequality is worse now than in any time since the 1920s with 49 percent of all income going to the top 1 percent.

Sanders said ending income inequality means ensuring that women receive equal pay for equal work, not the 80 cents on the dollar that they now make compared to men.

Sanders said 11 years ago, Congress decided to “bail out the crooks” who ruined the economy and set off the great recession. And a couple of years ago, they approved a trillion dollar tax break for “the 1 percenters.”

“If they can do that, we can cancel all student debt in this country and we’ll do it through a modest tax on Wall Street speculation,” he told the cheering crowd at the Stewart community center.

Sanders repeated his campaign mantra that health care is a human right, not a privilege. He said every other major country in the world provides health care as a right while the U.S. spends double what countries like Canada spend per person. Citing insulin as an example, he said the price for the same exact product by the same company north of the border is a tenth of what diabetics in the U.S. pay. He said the same is true of many other prescription drugs as well.

He said his administration will, “end the greed and corruption of the pharmaceutical industry.”

While those companies make billions, Sanders said one in five people can’t afford to buy the medicines their doctors prescribe.

On climate change, he said scientists are saying in another 8 or 9 years, the damage will be irreparable with rising oceans flooding major cities around the globe and widespread droughts destroying agriculture. He said that will force millions of people to become “climate refugees.”

He said his plan will serve notice to the fossil fuel industry that, ‘their short term profits are not more important than the future of their kids.”

Sanders said he will work to pass comprehensive immigration reform, end the practice of separating children from their parents, restore DACA and end private prisons, detention centers and end cash bail.

“On day one by executive order, I’m going to end all of the racist, executive orders promulgated by Trump.”

But Sanders emphasized that he can’t do it by himself, that he needs all people to join in the effort, especially the younger, more progressive citizens.

“If we stand together by the millions, we can transform this country,” he said.

The Carson City event was the senator’s second major event on this trip to the Silver State. He started Sunday with a town hall at the Elko high school, left Carson for a Reno event Monday evening and has events set in southern Nevada Tuesday.