The Vermont senator is set to deliver a full-throated defense Wednesday of democratic socialism — a label that has helped inspire a movement to elect him president while at the same time raising persistent doubts about his electability.
In an interview with POLITICO, Sanders said his goal for his speech at George Washington University is to explain “what democratic socialism means to me, and in fact what democratic socialism means to me is a continuation of what Franklin Delano Roosevelt talked about.”
Sanders will argue that it’s time to complete the “unfinished business” of the New Deal and ensure economic rights for Americans. Those include, he said, the right to a decent job, affordable housing, and dignified retirement. He’s also expected to echo Dr. Martin Luther King’s famous remarks that the United States has “socialism for the rich” and “rugged individualism for the poor.”
“What I’m talking about tomorrow is not particularly radical,” Sanders said. “But we have to put it on the table and make sure everyone appreciates why economic rights are human rights.”