During a MSNBC town hall hosted by Chris Matthews at the University of Chicago, Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders did his best to show he had a multifaceted personality. While no one would be able to replicate the charisma or the swag of President Obama, it was nice to see Sanders be light-hearted while at the same time be firm about his political platform. Here are five key take aways from the evening.
His Main Job As Commander In Chief:
“Is to represent poor people, working people, elderly people; people who are being shafted. People who need, in the wealthiest country in the history of the world, the right to have a decent standard of living and the right to know that their government is not controlled by billionaires through a corrupt campaign finance system” said Sanders. He added, “One of the reason’s I’m running for President is to transform American society and to take on a corrupt campaign system, a rigged economy and a broken criminal justice system.”
Stance On Black Lives Matter:
As a former activist during the Civil Rights Movement, Sanders has been very vocal about social injustices and issues of police brutality that strongly impact African Americans. When asked his stance on the Black Lives Matter movement, Sanders said, “These people are raising an enormously important issue that I think the white community is not familiar with.” He was also asked his thoughts on the death of Eric Garner who’s daughter Erica is very active in the campaign he said, “It’s indefensible. The bottom line is we need radical reform in our police departments. When an officer breaks the law, like any other public official, he must be held accountable” added Sanders.
Details On His Plan To Reform The Criminal Justice System:
“We should all be ashamed that we have more people in jail than any other country on this earth, 2.2 million people, largely African American and Latino” he began. Sanders shared that his plan was to invest in jobs and education for black and brown students which will help to detour the rate at which these demographics are incarcerated. He also plans to create a model program for police departments where lethal force is the last line of defense in any given situation. Sanders plans to ensure that anyone who dies in police custody has their case immediately investigated by the Department of Justice. He will better diversify police department as well as take a “hard look at the War On Drugs” where a disproportionate number of African Americans have rap sheets because of possession of marijuana.
Thoughts On Whether He Can Really Insight Change If Elected:
Matthews said if the Vermont Senator becomes President, he would have an uphill battle to create change. When asked if he thinks he can be transformative, Sanders wasn’t afraid to get loud when he said, “Damn right I can do what I say I’m going to do! I’m not just trying to change legislation, I’m trying to change the face of American politics.” Matthews says he doubts that the American people will be engaged with Sanders if elected because voting numbers are down from the last election. Sanders replies by complementing Obama’s “brilliant” campaign and that there’s no comparison but he’s doing his best to make sure young people and the working class know the importance of their vote.
On Foreign Policy: I’m A Tough Guy
When asked how he plans to let our adversaries know that the U.S. is not to be messed with when it comes to terrorism Sanders said, “Foreign policy isn’t about just power, it’s about [good] judgement.” He went on to say that previous presidents haven’t throughly taken into consideration the consequences that come from overthrowing a leader. He brought up the fact that Osama Bin Laden may have been killed under Obama’s watch but we’re still fighting the Iraq war 13 years after it started. Sanders said we need to help foreign countries figure out better ways to “transition into democracy”.
Beauties, let us know if the town hall helped to sway your vote for Sanders?