This Billionaire Mega-Donor Gets It: The Democrats Need Bernie Sanders
As Democrats scramble to form a coherent and inspiring message for the 2018 congressional elections in the face of a historically unpopular president, billionaire Democratic mega-donor Tom Steyer argued in a recent interview that they should look no further than the platform of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.).
“There is an absolute, unspoken war between corporate interests and the American people.”
—Tom SteyerWhile he acknowledged it is “much too early to be talking about 2020,” Steyer nonetheless insisted that Sanders’s ambitious ideas for tackling the various crises facing the United States and the world—from climate change to staggering inequality to a dysfunctional healthcare system—offer the Democrats a blueprint for victory.
“When people say Bernie is crazy, no. Bernie is talking about inequality,” Steyer said in an interview with Mic. “That is the burning issue in the United States.”
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Steyer, as Mic‘s Jake Horowitz notes, is a longtime donor to the Democratic Party, and he spent a whopping $87 million on Democratic candidates and causes in 2016.
Though he endorsed former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in the 2016 primaries, Steyer told Mic that he has come to view Sanders’s progressive platform as the necessary way forward.
“There is an absolute, unspoken war between corporate interests and the American people,” he said. “That’s the underlying subtext for all of the public discussions within the Democratic party. We’re seeing a deliberate attempt to take away [working families’] future by really rich people. Until we address that, I don’t think we’re dealing with the reality Americans are facing today.”
Specifically, Steyer argued that Democrats should rally around Sanders’s Medicare for All proposal, which has seen a massive surge of support in recent weeks as the Republican Party attempts to dismantle the Affordable Care Act.
“The idea that we’re not going to cover people is over,” Steyer said, echoing the argument of progressives who have argued that single-payer is now not only possible, but inevitable.
“The question,” Steyer concluded, “is how do we deliver it in the most efficient manner possible.”
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