Sanders warns Democrats not to focus solely on abortion ahead of midterms

Senator urges party to center campaign on economy, warning: ‘You can’t win elections unless you have support of working class’

The Vermont senator Bernie Sanders warns that Democrats should not only focus on abortion rights ahead of the midterm elections in November.

In an opinion column for the Guardian published on Monday, Sanders warned that Democrats need to embrace an agenda that addresses the economic woes facing America and supports the working class, not just one solely focused on abortion.

“It would be political malpractice for Democrats to ignore the state of the economy and allow Republican lies and distortions to go unanswered,” said Sanders, adding that he “has a lifetime 100% pro-choice voting record” and disapproves of the US supreme court’s decision in June to eliminate federal abortion protections.

Sanders said that Democrats are recruiting “consultants and directors of well-funded Super Pacs” who urged their party to exclusively focus on abortion rights.

“Cut the 30-second abortion ads and coast to victory,” wrote Sanders, who is an independent but votes with the Democrats.

But Sanders argued that Democrats also need to focus on countering “anti-worker” views from Republicans and ways that their policies could hurt the working class.

Sanders wrote: “Now is the time for Democrats to take the fight to the reactionary Republican party and expose their anti-worker views on the most important issues facing ordinary Americans.”

Sanders highlighted stark economic inequality in the US. He noted that 60% of Americans live paycheck to paycheck and questioned if Republicans will legitimately address such issues by ending tax breaks, raising the federal minimum wage or providing universal healthcare.

“Is there one Republican prepared to raise taxes on billionaires, or do they want to make a bad situation worse by extending Trump’s tax breaks for the rich and repealing the estate tax?” Sanders wrote.

He added: “Is there one Republican in Congress who is prepared to raise the federal minimum wage to at least $15 an hour … Is there one Republican who believes that healthcare is a human right and supports universal coverage?”

Sanders noted the importance of gaining the “support of working-class people” ahead of the November midterm elections, especially through actions like extending the child tax credit, increasing social security benefits and expanding Medicare coverage.

“You can’t win elections unless you have the support of the working class of this country,” Sanders wrote. “But you’re not going to have that support unless you make it clear that you’re prepared to take on powerful special interests – and fight for the millions of Americans who are struggling economically.”

Sanders concluded by promoting a multi-pronged agenda for the Democratic party to implement, one that includes addressing economic inequality and securing abortion rights.

“If we close this critical midterm campaign with a clear, unified vision to meet the needs of working families, to take on corporate greed, and protect a woman’s right to choose, we will begin to rebuild the trust between Democrats in Washington and the working families of this country,” Sanders said. “And we’ll win the election.”

The Democrats hope to preserve – or even widen – thin advantages in both congressional chambers these midterms.


Gloria Oladipo

The GuardianTramp

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