Bernie Sanders gives epic speech the steps of the Supreme Court


Sen. Bernie Sanders (I) gave a rousing speech on the steps of the highest court in America on Oct. 8.  He decried the concept of money equaling free speech, while acknowledging that lawmakers are readily threatened by corporate interests to bend to their will or face annihilation in the next election.

 

Full speech text:

In the long history of our country people have fought and died for democracy. Democracy means one person, one vote. The fact that all of us have the opportunity to be involved in the political process to stand up for what we believe in. Three years ago, or so the Supreme Court decided that corporations are people. They decided that through independent expenditures billionaires could spend unlimited sums of money to impact elections.

Let me say one word to you right now about how relevant that is. As all of you know, the government of the United States shut down. Hundreds of thousands of workers are suffering, millions of people are not getting the services they need. Right now, as we speak, in the House of Representatives there are people who are being threatened that if they vote for a clean CR to open the government without destroying the Affordable Care Act then huge sums of money will be spent against them in the next election.

We are living in a society where a handful of people with incredible sums of money, folks like the Koch brothers and others, are undermining what this democracy is supposed to be about. The bottom line here is that if we do not want to move this nation to an oligarchic form of society where a handful of billionaires can determine the outcome of these elections, then it is imperative not only that we overturn Citizens United, but that we put a lid on how much people can contribute in elections.

Freedom of speech, in my view, does not mean the freedom to buy the United States government.

 

Bernie Sanders Oct. 8, 2013

Bernie Sanders Oct. 8, 2013