tv Senator Bernie Sanders Discusses Politics CSPAN October 15, 2018 7:15pm-8:01pm EDT
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>> cap next, bernie sanders speaking at the johns hopkins university school of advanced international studies. it's about the rise of authoritarianism around the globe, wealth inequality and how the us addresses those issues. >> good morning everyone. i'm the dean of johns hopkins university. it is our honor to welcome senator bernie sanders today. senator sanders is a prominent voice in equity, justice and progressive foreign policy. senator sanders was elected as an independent u.s. senate in 2006 after serving for 16 years as vermont's soul congressman and house of representatives. he is currently serving his second term in the u.s. senate after winning reelection 2012.
in congress senator sanders is known as a practical and successful legislator having fought tirelessly for working families by tackling the difficult issue of going and income equality in the united states. it prioritizes diplomacy unilateral action and believes america should use global influence to promote [inaudible] address climate change and provide humanitarian relief and economic resistance and defend the rule of law and human rights. as chairman of the senate committee and veteran affairs senator sanders has worked across the aisle to bridge washington's partisan divide and broker many significant deals. finally, as a former candidate for president in the 2016 election to galvanize the national conversation among american voters and the need to
overhaul the social system in the united states. it serves as an example to all of us who are interested in making a difference in the world. senator sanders is privilege to host and please join me on the stage at this time. [applause] >> thank you. thank you. thank you all much for coming out this morning. thank you very much for your kind introduction and johns hopkins university, thank you very much for allowing me to be with you today. as i think all of you know, in the united states politicians and the media pay a whole lot of
attention to issues impacting our economy, healthcare, education, environment, criminal justice, immigration and, as we have recently seen, supreme court nominee. and all of these issues are obviously of enormous import. however, with the exception of immediate and dramatic, by and large, foreign policies is not something that usually gets a whole lot of attention or debate. in fact, there are some political analysts who have suggested that by and large in terms of foreign policy unlike domestic policy we have a one
party, one party or policy where the basis element of our approach to a global affair are not often debated or, in fact, challenged. and our country today we're spending about $700 billion a year on the military, more than the next ten nations combined and many of those nations are our allies. we have been at war in afghanistan for 17 years. and any war in iraq for 15 yea years. we are currently involved militarily in yemen where a humanitarian crisis is taking place. a war, just to mention, that is not authorized by the united
states congress. meanwhile, in the midst of massive military standing in the midst of a war that was not authorized, 30 million people in our country have no health insurance, tens of millions of people are living in dire poverty. we have an infrastructure of roads and bridges and water systems that are collapsing in hundreds of thousands of bright, young people in vermont and throughout the country are unable to afford to go to college. seems to me that the time is long overdue, not only for a serious discussion about our foreign policy but about our national priorities in general. today, i want to touch upon one
trend, just one, a trend in global affairs that, in this country at least, gets far too little attention. that is there is currently a struggle of enormous consequence taking place in the united states and throughout the world. in it we see two competing visions for the future. on one hand we see a growing worldwide movement toward authoritarianism, toward oligarchy and autocracy. on the other hand a growing movement toward strengthening democracy, toward respecting
diversity, toward fighting for egalitarianism and for economic, social and racial and environmental justice. the struggle has conferences for the entire future of the planet, economically, socially and when we speak of climate change, environmentally. in terms of the global economy, i ask you to take a look with me where we are today, in terms of the global economy. today we see massive and growing income and wealth inequality where the world top 1% now own more wealth than the bottom 99%. 1%, 9%.
where a small number of huge wall street and international financial institutions exert enormous impact over the lives of billions of people in countries throughout the world. further and importantly, many people in industrialized countries are questioning whether democracy can actually deliver for them. they look at their lives and look at what is going on in their families and they find themselves working longer hours for lower wages than they used to treat they are falling further and further behind economically. in countries around the world and certainly in the united states they see big money
billionaires buying elections and they see clinical and economic elite growing wealthier even as their own children's future grow dimmer in fact, in the united states for the first time in the modern history of our country our younger generation stands a good chance of having a lower standard of living than their parents. in these countries we often have political leaders who exploit these fears of economic insecurity by amplifying resentment, stoking intolerance and banning ethnic and racial hatred among those people who are surely. we see this clearly in our own
country where it is coming from the highest levels. but it should be clear by now that donald trump and the right-wing movement that supports them is not a phenomenon united states. all around the world in europe and russia and the middle east and asia and latin america and elsewhere we are seeing movement led by demagogues who exploit those fears prejudices and grievances to gain and hold on to power. just this past weekend in brazil presidential election right-wing leader [inaudible] who has been called the donald trump of brazil made a very strong
showing in the first round of voting coming up just short of the 50% he needed for victory. he has a long record of a tax against immigrants, minorities, women and against lgbt people. he says he loves donald trump and has praised brazil's former military dictatorship and has had among other things that in order to deal with crime police should simply be allowed war criminals. this is the person who may soon lead the world fifth most popular country and its ninth largest economy. meanwhile, at the same time brazil's most popular politician former president [inaudible] is in prison on a highly
questionable charges and prevented from running again despite polls that show that he was in first place. both narrow and brazil is one example and there are others which i will discuss but it is important we understand that what we are seeing now in the world is the rise of a new authoritarian axis. the leaders who make up this axis may differ in some respects but they share key attributes, intolerance toward ethnic and religious minorities. hostility toward democratic norms and antagonism towards a free medium and constant paranoia about foreign plots and a belief that the leaders of
government should be able to use their positions of power to serve their own selfish financial interests. i.e., autocracy. interestingly many of the leaders are deeply connected to a network of multibillionaire oligarchs who see the world as their economic placing. those of us who believe in democracy and who believe that a government must be accountable to its people and not the other way around must understand the scope of this challenge, if we are going to confront it effectively. we need to counter oligarchic authoritarianism with a strong
progressive movement that speaks to the needs of working people that recognizes importantly that many of the problems we are faced with are the products of a failed status quo. we need a movement that unites people all over the world who don't just seek a return to a romanticized past, a past that did not work for so many. but who strive for something very different and much better. while this authoritarian trend certainly did not begin with donald trump there is no question that other authoritarian leaders around the world have drawn inspiration from the fact that the president
of the world's oldest and most powerful democracy is shattering democratic norms and is viciously attacking an independent media and an independent judiciary and is scapegoating the weakest and most honorable members of our society. just as an example. saudi arabia is a country in my view clearly in recent years inspired by trump. saudi arabia, let us not forget, is a despotic dictatorship that does not tolerate dissent and treats women as third class citizens and has spent the last several decades exploiting an extremist form of islam to countries around the world.
saudi arabia is currently devastating the impoverished country of yemen in a catastrophic war in alliance with the united states. by the way while we talked about saudi arabia i like to take a moment to note the disappearance of saudi journalist [inaudible]. he's a critic of the saudi government was last seen entering the saudi consulate in istanbul, turkey last weekend. over the weekend turkish authorities told reporters they now believe he was murdered in the saudi consulate, murdered in a consulate that is had his body disposed ulcer. we need to know what happened here and if this is true and if the saudi regime murdered a
journalist critic in their own consulate there must be a credibility and there must be an unequivocal condemnation by the united states. but it seems clear that the saudi crown prince fielder emboldened by the trump administration unquestioning support. further, it is hard to imagin imagine -- about this for a moment. hard to imagine. a country like saudi arabia would have chosen the fight this past summer. you might recall the canada over a relatively mild human rights criticism if mohammed was very close presidential son-in-law jared kushner did not believe in the united states should stay silent on this human rights
issue. three years ago short period of time who would have imagined that the united states of america would refuse to take sides between canada, our democratic neighbor and second largest trading partner in saudi arabia on an issue of human rights. what that is exactly [inaudible] it is also hard to imagine that israel, benjamin the chinese government, would've taken a number of steps including passing the recent nation state law which essentially codifies the second-class status of israel's non-jewish citizen. hard to imagine that they would have aggressively undermined the long-standing goal of a two state solution.
hard to imagine. hard to imagine. that they would continue to ignore the horrific economic crisis that exists in gaza if they were not confident that trump would continue to support. and then there is trumps very cozy relationship with russian president vladimir putin whose intervention is not in our 2016 presidential election, trump still failed to acknowledge. we face an unprecedented tuition of an american president. think about that for a moment. for whatever reason refuses to
acknowledge a major attack on american democracy and our way of life. i'm not sure. i really don't know what the answer is. perhaps he really does not understand what happened or perhaps is under russian influence because of compromising information they may have on him or frighteningly perhaps he is ultimately or synthetic to russia's strongman government that he has two american democracy. even as he draws closer to authoritarian leaders like vladimir putin and the man and hungry, president one in turkey and the philippines and north korean kim jung-un, trump is needlessly at the same time increasing tensions with our
democratic european allies over issues like trade, like nato like the iran nuclear agreement. let me be clear. these are important issues but the way trump has gratuitously disrespected are longtime allies is not only ineffective dealmaking but will have an enormous and negative long-term conference for the transatlantic alliance. furthermore, hear this. this did not get a whole lot of intention but trumps the master to germany thomas several months ago made clear the administration support for right wing extremist parties across europe. in other words, the us administration is openly siding with the very forces the
challenge the democratic foundation of our long-time european allies. we need to understand that the struggle for democracy is bound up with the struggle against autocracy and corruption. that is true here in the united states as well as [inaudible] in addition to trumps hostility toward democratic institutions here in the united states we have a leaner president who, according to a recent report in "the new york times", acquired his wealth through illegal means and now, as president, in an unprecedented way has blatantly embedded his own economic interest in those of his cronies and do the policies of governor. one of the distant things that
is reported coming out of the investigation into the trump campaign is the effort of wealthy foreign interest taking influence and access with trump and his organization and with close trump associates seeking to pay their access for the promise of even more wealth. the characters involved in these reports are particularly blatant and clumsy in their efforts to detail of the stories are not unique. never before in our nations history have we seen the power of big money over governmental policy so clearly. we have to take it for granted but it is important that we understand what is going on. whether we're talking about koch
brothers spending hundreds of millions of dollars to dismantle environmental regulations that protect americans health or of authoritarian in the uae and cut spending and fossil fuel wealth right here to advance the interest of the undemocratic regimes or giant corporation supporting think tanks in order to produce policy recommendations that serve their own financial interest. the theme is the same. powerful special interest use their wealth to influence government for their own selfish interests. during the congressional fight over the republican massive tax giveaway to the wealthy, some
people call tax reform, some of my colleagues were extremely open about exactly what was going on. senator lindsey graham of south carolina was very frank about it. if republicans failed to pass this 1 trillion-dollar tax break for the rich, top 1%, and private large comfortable corporations graham said and i quote, the financial attribution will stop. this he went on quote, will be the end of us as a party. well, i don't agree with lindsey graham about much but i do applaud his honesty. [laughter] his corruption is so blatant it is no longer seen as -- we take
it for granted. just the other day the lead sentence in your time story about republican mega donor was this note, contributes huge amount to the republican party quote, the return on investment for many other of public and parties biggest political patrons has been less than impressive this year. not talking about his investment in amazon or federal electric. that was his investment in the republican party. return on investment less than impressive, he said. the idea that political donors expect a pacific policy result in exchange for their campaign contributions, quid pro quo, is
that definition of corruption. it is right now absolutely out there in the open. it is no longer even seen as scandalous or seen as something we take for granted. this sort of corruption is coming among authoritarian regimes. in russia it is impossible to tell where the decisions of government and and the interest of vladimir putin and his circle of multi- billionaire oligarchs begin. they operate as one unit. similarly in saudi arabia there is no debate about separation because the natural resources of the state of trillions of dollars belong to the saudi
royal family. in hungry bar rate authoritarian national leader models himself after putin in russia. he said in a january interview quote, putin has made his country great again. like putin he has risen to power by exploiting paranoia and intolerance of minorities, including outrageous anti- semitic attacks on george soros but at the same time has managed to enrich his political allies in himself. hypocrisy in action. in february the corruption perception index compiled by transparency international ranked hungry as the second most corrupt eu country. we must understand that these
authoritarian are part of a common plate and international common plate. they are in close contact with each other and share tactics and, as in the case of european-american right-wing movement, even share some of the same funding. the mercer family. supporters of the famous cambridge analytical have also been key active of donald trump and breitbart news which operate in europe and the united states and israel to advance the same in the immigrant anti- muslim agenda. sheldon gives generally generously to the public party and right-wing causes in the united states and promoting a shared agenda for intolerance and bigotry in both countries. the truth is, however, if we are
to effectively oppose right-wing authoritarianism we cannot simply be on the defense. we need to be proactive and understand that just defending the failed status quo, just wanting to go back to the way it used to be, is not good enough. in fact, we need to recognize that the challenges we face today are a product of the status quo. what do i mean by that? here in the united states in the uk and in france and in many other countries around the world people are working longer hours for stagnating wages. they are going nowhere in a
hurry. they are not happy about that reality. our job is not to simply accept the status quo and not to just accept massive levels of income wealth inequality for the top 1% of the worlds population owns half the plants wealth while the bottom 70% of working age population account for less than the present of global wealth. it is not to accept a declining standard of living for many workers around the world, nor to accept a reality of 1.4 billion people today living in extreme poverty where children and country after country today are dying from easily preventable illnesses. our job is to fight for a future
in which public policy and new technology and new innovation work to benefit all of the people, not just the elite few. our job is to support government around the world that will end the absurdity of the rich and multi national corporation stashing over $21 trillion in offshore bank accounts, cayman islands and elsewhere, to avoid pain their fair share of taxes. $21 trillion. stashed in tax havens around the world and meanwhile the respect government go before the people and say we don't have enough money and we need to impose a budget on you. our job is to rally.
the entire planet needs to stand up to the fossil fuel industry which continues to make huge profits while their carbon emissions destroy the planet for our children, our grandchildren and future generations. the scientific community is virtually unanimous in telling us that climate change is real. climate change is caused by human activity and climate change is already causing devastating arm in the united states and throughout the world. further, the scientists tell us is that if we do not act boldly to address the climate crisis this planet will see more drought, or flood, more extreme
weather disturbances, more acidification of the oceans, more rising sea levels and, as a result of mass migration, there will be more threats to global stability and security. a new report from the united nations and governmental panel on climate change released just the other day ones that we only have 12 years to take urgent and unprecedented action of events arising upon us temperature that would cause irreversible, irreversible damage. the threat of climate change is a very clear example of where american leadership can make a difference in the world. imagine if we had a president
who not only did not think that climate change was a hoax but was pushing policies every day that make a bad situation even worse. the truth is that europe did not know how to address climate change itself although some countries there are doing a very good job in trying to transform their energy systems in china can't do it alone. they are making important effort in the that states can't do it alone. this is a crisis that called out for strong international cooperation. if we are to leave this planet in a way that is healthy and habitable for future generations. in the struggle to preserve and expand democracy our job is to
fight back against the coordinated effort strongly supported ties and funded by the cohen brothers to make it harder for american citizens to vote. not only in the struggle for democracy here do we have to take on a corrupt campaign finance system but we have to take on a coordinated effort in voter suppression is making it harder for people of color. our job is to push the trade policies that don't just benefit multinational corporations and hard-working people as they are written out of public view. our job is to fight back against innovation policies that will require separating migrant families when they are detained at the border and require
children to be put in cages. our job is to make sure we commit resources to create taker people than we do on weapons designed to kill them and it is not acceptable with the cold war behind us countries around the world spend well over a trillion dollars a year on weapons of destruction while so many suffer in dire poverty. let us remember what president dwight eisenhower said and please remember that dwight d eisenhower, it's hard to believe was not a radical socialist but a republican. this is what eisenhower said in 1953, just a few months after he
took office. this is a four-star general who led american armed forces in world war ii. quote, every gun that is made, every warship launched in every rocket fired signifies in the final sense a step from those who hunger and are not fed and those who are told and are not clothed. this world in arms is not spending money alone and it is spending the sweat of its laborers in the genius of its scientists and the of his children. just as he was about to own it to leave office eisenhower was so concerned about the growing power of the weapons industry that he issued this morning. quote, in the councils of government we must not against the unwarranted influences
whether sought or unsought by the military industrial complex. the potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. we have seen that potential more than fulfilled for the past decades. it is time for us to stand up and say there is a better way to use our wealth. in closing, let me simply state that in order to effectively combat the forces of global oligarchy and authoritarianism we need an international movement that mobilizes behind a vision of shared prosperity, security and dignity for all people and that addresses the global inequality that exists, not only in wealth but in
political power. a movement must be waiting to create boldly about the world that we would like to see. in other words, think big. what kind of world do you want to see while the authoritarian access is committed to tearing down a post world war ii mobile order that they see as limiting their access to power and wealth and it is not good enough for us to simply defend that order. we must look honestly and how that order has failed to deliver on many of its promises and how authoritarian avid exploited those in order to build support for their agenda. we must take the opportunity to reconceptualize a global order based on human solidarity and
based on the understanding that it is about me against you and the united states against china but that we as a world with the threat of climate change are in it together and that in many ways we will survive on working together or we will go down by the kinds of division that the authoritarian are trying to create. we need a new order that recognizes every person on this planet shares a common humanity that we all want our children to grow up healthy and have a good education and to have decent jobs into drinking water and to breathe clean air and to live in peace and our job is to reach out to those in every order of the world who share these values
and are fighting with us for a better world. authoritarian seek power by promoting division and hatred and we will promote unity inclusion and wealth. in time of exploding wealth and technology we have our new planet with the potential to create a decent life for our all people. our job is to build on our common humanity and to do everything that we can to oppose all forces with the unaccountable government power or unaccountable corporate power who try to divide us up based on the color of our skin in the country we were born in in our religion and sexual orientation in our agenda. they try to divide us up in every way possible and to set us
[applause] >> coming up tonight on c-span2 "the communicators" features jeff cohen of the association of public safety communication officials on improving medications among first responders since 911. the city club of chicago hosted this discussion on the catholic church and child protection. later panel from the global type climate action summit. >> c-span where history unfolds daily.