Perhaps the years are starting to catch up with Senator Bernie Sanders.
The senator for Vermont, who is one of the few self-styled socialist members of the U.S. Congress, appeared on “Late Night With Seth Meyers” to make the case for reelecting Joe Biden later this year, although he ended up contradicting himself.
Asked by Meyers why people should support Biden, Sanders admitted that a majority of American workers are still living “paycheck to paycheck,” a surefire sign that the American economy is not flourishing:
Look, this country faces enormous problems today, and we all know what they are. We’re talking about income and wealth inequality, we’re talking about 60% of workers living paycheck to paycheck, and we’re talking about the existential threat of climate change, enormous problems facing this country.
You’ve got a guy in Trump who, during his presidency, gave massive tax breaks to the rich, at a time when we have unprecedented income and wealth inequality, it’s the last thing they need. This guy wants to throw tens of millions of people off of the health insurance that they have, he appointed anti-union members of his administration to make it harder for workers to form unions.
Yet despite this admission that most Americans are struggling financially, Sanders insisted that Biden has been a great president whose economy is performing incredibly well:
And, on the other hand, in Biden, I’m not going to sit here — I ran against Biden, so I’m not going to sit here and tell you that I agree with everything Joe Biden is doing, I don’t, big time. But on the other hand, this is the first President in the history of the United States to walk on a picket line with workers, and that’s a pretty impressive thing.
We’ve made some progress in lowering the cost of prescription drugs and taking on the pharmaceutical industry. The economy, as you’ve indicated, is really doing well, unemployment, extremely low, we’re creating a whole lot of jobs, rebuilding manufacturing in America. So, we’re beginning to move forward in the right direction. In my view, we have a lot, lot more to do, but the choice in this election is very clear.
Sanders went on to echo the apparent concerns of many within the Democratic Party that a Trump reelection would somehow lead to the end of American democracy as we know it:
If you do not believe in democracy, if you really want to turn your back on the millions of men and women who fought to defend democracy, I guess Trump is your candidate. But if you believe in what this country is supposed to value, [which] is that we all come together as one people, we believe in the rule of law, Biden is your candidate.
Despite his seemingly strong enthusiasm for Biden’s campaign, Sanders recently warned his fellow octogenarian that he must start listening to the concerns of working-class people or risk losing to Donald Trump.
According to Sanders, listening to the concerns of working people involves radical action on healthcare, housing, and tax reform.
“If we can get the president to move in that direction, he will win; if not, he’s going to lose,” he said in an interview with The Guardian last month. “We hope to make clear to the president and his team that they are not going to win this election unless they come up with a progressive agenda that speaks to the needs of the working class of this country.”