"The Future Of Our Democracy Is At Stake”: Bernie Sanders Delivers Grave DNC Speech

"Nero fiddled while Rome burned. Trump golfs."

Vermont Sen. and former presidential candidate Bernie Sanders | The 2020 Democratic National Convention
Vermont Sen. and former presidential candidate Bernie Sanders | The 2020 Democratic National Convention

During his address at the digital 2020 Democratic National Convention on Monday night, Vermont Sen. and former presidential candidate Bernie Sanders called for party unity and urged Americans to vote for Joe Biden in the upcoming November election.

“Our great nation is now living in an unprecedented moment,” Sanders began. “We’re facing the worst public health crisis in 100 years and the worst economic collapse since the Great Depression. We are confronting systemic racism and the enormous threat to our planet of climate change. And in the midst of all of this, we have a president who is not only incapable of addressing these crises, but is leading us down the path of authoritarianism.”

To address the “unprecedented crises” the country is facing, Sanders said that an “unprecedented response” is needed to preserve the country’s democracy — which includes electing presumptive Democratic presidential nominee and former VP Joe Biden as president.

Sanders warned that the policies and ideas that his own campaign has pushed for over the years will be in jeopardy if President Trump is reelected.

“This president is not just a threat to our democracy, but by rejecting science, he has put our lives and health in jeopardy,” Sanders said. “Nero fiddled while Rome burned. Trump golfs. His actions fanned this pandemic resulting in over 170,000 deaths and a nation still unprepared to protect its people.”

Sanders also praised several policies that Biden is advocating for, including raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour and transitioning to clean energy.

Last month, Biden unveiled a $2 trillion clean energy plan focused on addressing the threat of climate change and creating jobs for American workers. Progressives hailed the plan as a significant improvement on Biden’s previous proposals, crediting the work of the Biden-Sanders task force set up on climate with representatives from both campaigns.

“Joe will move us forward,” Sanders said. “Joe will rebuild our crumbling infrastructure and fight the threat of climate change by transitioning us to 100% clean electricity over the next 15 years, these initiatives will create millions of good paying jobs all across our country.”

And while Sanders acknowledged that he and Biden disagree on the best way for the country to achieve universal health coverage, he said Biden's proposed plan will still “greatly expand health care” for Americans.

“My friends, I say to you, to everyone who supported other candidates in the primary and to those who may have voted for Donald Trump in the last election, the future of our democracy is at stake. The future of our economy is at stake. The future of our planet is at stake,” Sanders concluded. “We must come together, defeat Donald Trump, and elect Joe Biden and Kamala Harris as our next president and vice president. My friends, the price of failure is just too great to imagine.”

Other speakers at the virtual convention’s opening night included former First Lady Michelle Obama, the late George Floyd’s brothers Rodney and Philonise Floyd, and Kristin Urquiza, whose father Mark Anthony Urquiza died of COVID-19.