Keith Ellison and Bernie Sanders: How To Remake the Democratic Party

The two congressmen discuss Donald Trump, Ellison’s bid for DNC chair and how progressives can actually win.

Keith Ellison and Bernie Sanders December 20, 2016

U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) speaks as Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) watches at the Dec. 14, 2016, Our Revolution event in Washington, D.C. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

On Decem­ber 14, the polit­i­cal advo­ca­cy group Our Rev­o­lu­tion host­ed a livestream event with Sen. Bernie Sanders (I‑Vt.) and Rep. Kei­th Elli­son (D‑Minn.) dis­cussing the need to reform the Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty. Both Sanders and Our Rev­o­lu­tion have endorsed Elli­son in his cam­paign to be the next chair of the Demo­c­ra­t­ic Nation­al Com­mit­tee (DNC). What fol­lows is an abridged tran­script of their remarks, edit­ed for length and clarity.

We don't need to decide between social justice and economic justice—we got to have all of that justice together. Do we not?

Bernie: What we are doing tonight is not sexy, and it’s not going to make the head­lines in the news­pa­pers all over the coun­try, but it is unprece­dent­ed for the Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty and for the long-term future of our coun­try, and it is of enor­mous con­se­quence. At a time of low vot­er turnout, at a time when mil­lions of Amer­i­cans are demor­al­ized polit­i­cal­ly and are sick and tired of estab­lish­ment pol­i­tics and estab­lish­ment eco­nom­ics, we are gath­ered here tonight not only in this build­ing but all over Amer­i­ca to begin the process of trans­form­ing Amer­i­can pol­i­tics and of cre­at­ing a gov­ern­ment which works for all of the peo­ple — not just the 1%.

That is what we are here to do, and in order to make that hap­pen our first step is to trans­form the Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty from a top-down par­ty to a bot­tom-up body, to cre­ate a grass­roots orga­ni­za­tion of the work­ing fam­i­lies of this coun­try, the young peo­ple of this coun­try. I will tell you, hav­ing been all over this great nation of ours, there is an incred­i­ble ide­al­ism of mil­lions of young peo­ple who believe in this coun­try and who love this coun­try and are pre­pared to fight to make this coun­try all that we can become. I want to also urge all Amer­i­cans regard­less of income, regard­less of their race, their nation­al­i­ty, their sex­u­al ori­en­ta­tion, to jump into the polit­i­cal process and make the Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty a demo­c­ra­t­ic par­ty with a small d,” not just a cap­i­tal d.”

This elec­tion for chair of the DNC is not a per­son­al­i­ty con­test — the media may think it is, but it’s not. From what I can gath­er, Keith’s oppo­nents are decent peo­ple who want to improve the Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty and want to see us become vic­to­ri­ous. The key dif­fer­ence here is whether we con­tin­ue the sta­tus quo or whether we bring forth a very dif­fer­ent vision for the future of the Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty. That is what this elec­tion is about, and here is why we need to go for­ward in a very dif­fer­ent direc­tion than cur­rent­ly exists.

The painful truth is that despite Pres­i­dent Obama’s strong vic­to­ries in 2008 and 2012, the Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty has lost enor­mous polit­i­cal ground over the last eight years. The Repub­li­cans have just won the White House. The Repub­li­cans now con­trol the Sen­ate. The Repub­li­cans now con­trol the House. Repub­li­can gov­er­nors now con­trol almost two-thirds of the state­hous­es in this coun­try, and over the last eight years Democ­rats have lost some 900 leg­isla­tive seats from one end of Amer­i­ca to the oth­er. That is the sim­ple, indis­putable truth. Clear­ly, what­ev­er the lead­er­ship of the Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty has been doing over the last few years has failed, and we need fun­da­men­tal change.

The Repub­li­can Par­ty advo­cates cut­ting the Social Secu­ri­ty that the Amer­i­can peo­ple want to expand. Repub­li­cans want to throw mil­lion Amer­i­cans off of their health insur­ance. They now want to cut Medicare. They want to cut Med­ic­aid. They want to cut fed­er­al aid to edu­ca­tion. Despite com­pet­ing against a Repub­li­can Par­ty that not only does not want to do any­thing sub­stan­tive about cli­mate change, to a large degree they do not even rec­og­nize the sci­en­tif­ic real­i­ty of cli­mate change — despite all of that, and much more — the Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty has lost sig­nif­i­cant polit­i­cal ground. We have got to ask why that has occurred.

Broth­ers and sis­ters, the sta­tus quo is not work­ing, and we will not suc­ceed if we con­tin­ue along the same old path. Now is the time for real change in the Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty, now is the time to revi­tal­ize the Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty and bring in peo­ple who have not been wel­comed in the past. We should not be afraid of new ener­gy and new faces; we should wel­come and embrace new ener­gy and new faces. Now is the time for a chair of the Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty who has a very dif­fer­ent vision of the par­ty then those who are in con­trol today. Now is the time for Kei­th Elli­son to become chair of the Demo­c­ra­t­ic Party.

As I know many of you are aware, Kei­th is cur­rent­ly the co-chair of the Con­gres­sion­al Pro­gres­sive Cau­cus, and has been one of the lead­ing pro­gres­sive voic­es on all of the major issues fac­ing the mid­dle class and work­ing fam­i­lies of our coun­try. He has been there on pick­et lines. He’s been up front and out front in terms of work­ers’ rights, in terms of the envi­ron­ment and cli­mate change, in terms of the need to cre­ate a health­care sys­tem that guar­an­tees health­care to all peo­ple as a right. He has been out in front on women’s rights, on the rights of the LGBT com­mu­ni­ty, on the need for real crim­i­nal jus­tice reform, on the need for immi­gra­tion reform and on the need for real tax reform, so that Don­ald Trump and the oth­er bil­lion­aires start pay­ing their fair share of tax­es. For many, many years Kei­th has been there not as a fol­low­er, but as a leader. Unlike some of the oth­er can­di­dates run­ning for chair, Kei­th knew from day one that the TPP was a dis­as­ter for work­ing fam­i­lies and helped us defeat the TPP. Kei­th is by nature a grass­roots orga­niz­er — that is what he does and that is who he is. He is not a crea­ture of the inside-the-belt­way world; he is a per­son who lives in the real world, feels com­fort­able in the real world, and is going to bring the real world into the Demo­c­ra­t­ic Party.

Kei­th already has the sup­port of some of the strongest grass­roots orga­ni­za­tions and trade unions in this coun­try, and we have the sup­port of many, many pro­gres­sive elect­ed offi­cials. But we have some­thing even more impor­tant than all of that right now: We have the sup­port of more than 600,000 men and women in every state in this coun­try, who have signed peti­tions to demand and urge that Kei­th Elli­son become the next chair of the Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty. 600,000 peo­ple. Our goal, and I urge all peo­ple to get involved in this process, is to take that 600,000 num­ber and make it a mil­lion. Please get your friends and co-work­ers involved, please go to Our​Rev​o​lu​tion​.com and get your friends to sign up.

Broth­ers and sis­ters, we are in a per­ilous and momen­tous moment in Amer­i­can his­to­ry. You all know that, and we are going to need a polit­i­cal par­ty that has the guts to stand with work­ing fam­i­lies, has the guts to take on the big mon­ey inter­ests that con­trol to a large degree our eco­nom­ic and polit­i­cal life.

It is my great priv­i­lege to intro­duce to you some­one who I believe is going to be the next chair of the Demo­c­ra­t­ic Nation­al Com­mit­tee. Please wel­come con­gress­man Kei­th Ellison.

Kei­th: If there was ever a moment when peo­ple who love this coun­try and the peo­ple in it need to step up and do every­thing they can to improve the lives of their fel­low Amer­i­cans, that moment is right now.

If I told you that you had an oppor­tu­ni­ty to fight for peo­ple who felt vul­ner­a­ble and scared in this Trump Amer­i­ca, would you do it? If I told you that you had a chance to stand up and fight for work­ing peo­ple, would you do it? If I told you that you could be the hero of folks who pour the cement, who teach the class­es, who take care of the folks in the hos­pi­tal, who take care of the chil­dren, who cook the food — I mean the hard-work­ing peo­ple of Amer­i­ca — would you step up and do some­thing for them?

Well that’s good, because we need you to do all of that right now. Because let me tell you, it’s hard to imag­ine some­body like Don­ald Trump being elect­ed pres­i­dent, but in a few days he will be the pres­i­dent. I don’t know what stage in the whole spec­trum of grief you may be at, but I think we need to arrive at accep­tance that he’s about to be the pres­i­dent. And that means that each of us and all of us have to do every sin­gle thing that we can to pro­tect our fel­low Amer­i­cans and to advance the cause of eco­nom­ic and social jus­tice. This is a his­toric moment, this is a move­ment moment and this moment may well be the moment when the Amer­i­can peo­ple thought to reclaim their democ­ra­cy of, by and for the people.

Now Trump ran say­ing stuff like, more jobs, new trade mod­el.” As soon as he got in there he said he was going to drain the swamp. You remem­ber that one. Well, he’s fill­ing up with lob­by­ists, bil­lion­aires, cor­po­rate exec­u­tives, hedge fund man­agers, all these folks. We’re going to have the rich­est cab­i­net ever: If you just had a few mil­lion dol­lars, you’d be like the poor guy in that bunch.

Trump said he said he’s going to fight for lit­tle peo­ple, yet he nom­i­nates as Sec­re­tary of Edu­ca­tion anoth­er bil­lion­aire who’s against pub­lic schools, when 90 per­cent of Amer­i­can school chil­dren will go to a pub­lic school. Bet­sy DeVos wants to pri­va­tize them. Trump said he was going to help work­ing peo­ple. His nom­i­nee for labor sec­re­tary is anoth­er bil­lion­aire who makes bil­lions on the backs of low-wage fast-food work­ers. He is actu­al­ly against the min­i­mum wage and would low­er it if he could. This is the cab­i­net he’s picked so far. He said he was going to appoint the best and most qual­i­fied, and yet Dr. Ben Car­son admits he knows noth­ing at all about housing. 

So I guess it’s no sur­prise that Trump also nom­i­nat­ed a guy who says that there’s no such thing as cli­mate change to be the head of the Envi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion Agency. At a time when peo­ple are liv­ing in tox­ic areas all over this coun­try, he picks an EPA leader who is not in favor of pro­tect­ing peo­ple from envi­ron­men­tal haz­ards. So peo­ple, we got our work cut out for us.

We can always count on the right wing to say that rich peo­ple don’t have enough mon­ey, and the poor folks have too much mon­ey. We can always count on them to say the rich folks need one more tax cut, one more reg­u­la­tion that they don’t have to fol­low, and reg­u­lar work­ing peo­ple need one less thing that’s going to help them make it through the week. Okay, so that’s them, what about us? Are we going to hit the streets? Are we going to organize?

This is what we got to do: Right now we got to reset the future of the Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty. We got to reset the Demo­c­ra­t­ic par­ty on the basis of grass­roots activism. We got to reset the Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty on the basis of work­ing peo­ple who are striv­ing every sin­gle day to make a bet­ter life for them­selves and their fam­i­lies right here in Amer­i­ca. I’m talk­ing about African Amer­i­cans, white Amer­i­cans, Lati­no Amer­i­cans, Native Amer­i­cans. I’m talk­ing about Asian Amer­i­cans, about peo­ple who are Jew­ish and Mus­lim and Chris­t­ian and Bud­dhist and Hin­du and those who have no faith at all. I’m talk­ing about folks like you and me, folks like us that need to say that the Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty has got to be demo­c­ra­t­ic, and it starts with get­ting some lead­er­ship in there that’s going to fight for that democ­ra­cy. I’m telling you right now, this is the moment we have been wait­ing for: The time for us to stand up and fight back and reclaim our nation. Y’all ready? 

Now I want to tell you that I am very proud to have your sup­port, and I’m so amazed at the tremen­dous turnout we have here tonight. Big shoutout to the folks on the livestream. If the Demo­c­ra­t­ic par­ty’s going to make any reforms, one of them has got to be that we use moments like this one — mass meet­ings of hun­dreds of thou­sands of peo­ple — to get togeth­er to talk about what we’re going to do to make our coun­try bet­ter for every­one. We got to include every­body, and if tech­nol­o­gy can help us get more folks on the table, well then let’s do it.

The Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty should be the par­ty of the peo­ple. The Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty should be the par­ty for those who want a bet­ter future for their chil­dren and grand­chil­dren. It should be a par­ty that invests in work­ers and pro­tects their abil­i­ty to orga­nize and fight for a fair wage in good work­ing con­di­tions. The Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty should be a par­ty that believes every­one should have equal access to the Amer­i­can Dream and equal rights before the law. The Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty should say it does­n’t mat­ter what your col­or is, we’re going to treat you with fair­ness and equal­i­ty and respect. It does­n’t mat­ter who you love and go to bed with at night; it does­n’t mat­ter who your clos­est of kin is, they are your choice and we respect and hon­or that choice. That’s what the Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty should be. The Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty should say whether you were born in Amer­i­ca or whether you came here, we respect you. We believe that the Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty should be the par­ty of, by and for the people. 

And yet, we know that even a good car some­times needs a tune-up. You know what I mean. It needs new wheels, new brake pads, new belts, new hoses, new oil; it needs new spark plugs, maybe needs a paint job, needs to get that win­dow that’s been cracked fixed. You got to main­tain and update and invig­o­rate every­thing. If you just let it slide, it tends not to work so well.

Well now, I know some folks don’t want to hear it, but Democ­rats have lost 935 leg­isla­tive seats and Repub­li­cans now con­trol two-thirds of gov­er­nors’ offices — and let me tell you, the state leg­is­la­ture is very, very impor­tant, because that is where our vot­ing rights are made. If you have a life­time ban on vot­ing if you have a felony, like they have in Flori­da, it’s because the state says so. If you nev­er lose your right to vote, like they have in Ver­mont and Maine, that’s because the state says so.

How is it impact­ing the Amer­i­can peo­ple’s right to ful­ly par­tic­i­pate in democ­ra­cy when 935 leg­isla­tive seats and state leg­is­la­tures have been lost by Democ­rats? How has it affect­ed redis­trict­ing? It has dev­as­tat­ed us. How has that affect­ed a wom­an’s right to choose in Ohio? Gov­er­nor John Kasich said he has a 20-week ban on the right for a woman to choose abor­tion. Let me tell you some­thing: This is none of his busi­ness. It’s uncon­sti­tu­tion­al, but he did it because he wants a con­sti­tu­tion­al chal­lenge, because he wants the case to go up there, because he wants to see the Supreme Court strip away a wom­an’s right to make deci­sions for her fam­i­ly and her­self and her body. That’s some­thing we have got to take very seri­ous­ly, but it’s going on at the state level.

You know what? Rais­ing the min­i­mum wage is win­ning on bal­lot ini­tia­tives, but Democ­rats aren’t win­ning. They like our ideas, but some­how our can­di­dates aren’t get­ting through. We need a retool. I don’t rec­om­mend folks smoke mar­i­jua­na, but I tell you it is crazy to throw peo­ple in jail for it, and when you see that all over the coun­try these bal­lot ini­tia­tives are pass­ing the right for med­ical and even recre­ation­al use. Why fill up the jails for some­thing like that? That does­n’t make no sense at all.

I’m run­ning for DNC chair because it’s time to turn all of this stuff around. It is time, and all of us have to step up. Each of us know no DNC chair, no elect­ed offi­cial, can make the changes that have to be made. They’re going to have to be made by the mil­lions of Amer­i­cans all across this coun­try who believe in equal­i­ty for all peo­ple, who believe in a fair econ­o­my, who believe that peo­ple have the right to choose and make their own per­son­al deci­sions, who believe that cli­mate change is going to destroy this world and our abil­i­ty to live on it unless we do some­thing right now. This is what we’ve got to do. We can remake this par­ty right now.

I am a per­son who believes in uni­ty, and I do absolute­ly thank the folks who have been around for a long time and hon­or their insti­tu­tion­al mem­o­ry and thank them for their ser­vice. But I also believe that it is absolute­ly time for a very seri­ous injec­tion of ener­gy and rein­vig­o­ra­tion. These two things don’t need to be at odds; these things actu­al­ly, if they work togeth­er, can serve us all very, very well. We all have our ideas about how things should go, so we need lead­er­ship that is going to say we’re going to stick togeth­er and stay togeth­er. Maybe cuss each oth­er out a lit­tle bit, but at the end of the day we’re going to come out hold­ing hands and be a team.

I also believe that we got to stand up tall for small. Now, what do I mean by that? You know, Howard Dean was right to say we need a 50-state strat­e­gy, but we got to go beyond that now. We need a 3,141-county strat­e­gy. We need strat­e­gy that gets gran­u­lar. We need a block-by-block, a precinct strat­e­gy; we need a strat­e­gy that gets right down to the nit­ty-grit­ty, because the resources of the Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty need to be moved right down clos­est to the vot­er. That’s where they need to be. I’m talk­ing about the mon­ey, the train­ing, the data, the resources. But I can tell you that city offi­cials and state leg­isla­tive folks, and local coun­ty peo­ple, and just grass­roots rank-and-file do not feel like they are being heard or lis­tened to or included.

This a fact. I’m just telling the truth. If we want to win, we will lis­ten to our local offi­cials and our grass­roots rank-and-file. We got to get small. I already men­tioned to you that we have got to com­mu­ni­cate, we got to use live-stream­ing like we are right now and this has got to be our reg­u­lar prac­tice. All of us togeth­er are smarter than any one of us, but if we don’t share infor­ma­tion and access, we can­not make max­i­mum use of all of the intel­li­gence and cre­ativ­i­ty that peo­ple are com­ing up with every day. We will do these things, we will make use of the tal­ents that we have avail­able to us, so abun­dant if only we would let go of our need to con­trol every­thing and hand over the pow­er to the peo­ple clos­est to the voter.

The Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty must always be a par­ty that stands for the respect and dig­ni­ty of all peo­ple. Wal­ter Reuther was the farmer who spoke at the March On Wash­ing­ton, which was not only for civ­il rights but for jobs as well. When Wal­ter Reuther of the Unit­ed Auto Work­ers got up there, he said that there’s a direct line between the bread box and bal­lot box.

He was right, was­n’t he? We got to fight for eco­nom­ic jus­tice; we got to make sure that pros­per­i­ty for work­ing peo­ple is avail­able to them and that they have it. We don’t need to decide between social jus­tice and eco­nom­ic jus­tice — we got to have all of that jus­tice togeth­er. Do we not? You know I’ve heard peo­ple talk about the white work­ing-class ver­sus the ris­ing new Amer­i­can elec­torate. Well let me tell you some­thing, we got to stand for both. We got to stand for all; we can nev­er sac­ri­fice between the two. If we don’t stand up for both, we’re not going to have nei­ther one. Because they would use trib­al­ism and racial manip­u­la­tion to low­er our wages. Once they get us fight­ing with each oth­er on the basis of these things, they’re always going to come take the mon­ey. We’ve got to stay together.

We have also got to turn out the vote. In 2014, we saw a 70-year low in vot­er turnout. In 2016, over 90 mil­lion eli­gi­ble vot­ers did not vote. We say we’re only going to cam­paign in the swing states, and we’re only going to go to the like­ly vot­ers, and we leave lit­er­al­ly mil­lions of peo­ple not par­tic­i­pat­ing. When we do that we leave our­selves to lose Wis­con­sin, which is a blue state. We leave our­selves to lose Michi­gan, which is the home of the UAW. We lose these states that we should win because we have this strat­e­gy that we’re only going to talk to cer­tain peo­ple. What if we start­ed talk­ing to everybody?

We need to stop look­ing at each oth­er and seg­ment­ing each oth­er; and see each oth­er as true allies to rebuild this par­ty. We’ve got to ener­gize activists at the grass­roots and unite all through­out this coun­try. We’ve got to give Black Lives Mat­ter peo­ple a place where they can express them­selves elec­toral­ly. We’ve got to give the Fight for 15 a par­ty where they feel good about express­ing them­selves elec­toral­ly. The immi­gra­tion activists have got to have a place where they feel that there’s a par­ty that’s lis­ten­ing to them. We’ve got to have a place for the folks who fight for cli­mate jus­tice, a par­ty that they can support.

We are off to a good start, because Sen­a­tor Sanders and Sec­re­tary Clin­ton com­bined to cre­ate the best plat­form the Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty has ever seen. I was priv­i­leged and hon­ored to have Bernie appoint me to the plat­form draft­ing com­mit­tee, and let me tell you, good things came out of it. Because of that col­lab­o­ra­tion and that uni­ty, we got the best plat­form we’ve ever had. We’ve got to use it to move for­ward. We can orga­nize with this very impor­tant tool, and if you will take up this bat­tle and you will pledge to your­self and each oth­er that your love for this coun­try out­weighs any beef you may have with any­one, if you will promise to your­self that you will work hard every sin­gle day to make this Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty real­ly work for the peo­ple, then we are not only look­ing at vic­to­ry in 2018 and redis­trict­ing in 2020. We are look­ing at a gen­er­a­tion full of suc­cess for work­ing people.

Repub­li­cans in 1964 thought that they were at the bot­tom, that they were down and out. Peo­ple said con­ser­vatism was dead as a phi­los­o­phy because Gold­wa­ter lost to John­son in his­toric num­bers, and yet those guys are so com­mit­ted to mak­ing them­selves more mon­ey and exclud­ing peo­ple that they climb back up. They won, and then they won some more. And in 1980, this cul­mi­nat­ed in the elec­tion of Ronald Rea­gan, I’m telling you I don’t want to be like them, I don’t believe what they believe, but I will say that I appre­ci­ate deter­mi­na­tion when I see it. And you and I bet­ter have the same lev­el, if not more, deter­mi­na­tion for work­ing people.

Democ­rats, lib­er­als, pro­gres­sives, the Left — we stand for the right val­ues. I think that because we stand for the right val­ues, we think that’s all we have to do. The peo­ple on the Right, they know that the pro­gram they’re push­ing is only going to ben­e­fit about 1% of the peo­ple, but they still live in a democ­ra­cy, so they have to fig­ure out a way to win. We also have got to under­stand that just being right is not enough. We’ve got to be uni­fied. We got to be active. We got to be fight­ing togeth­er. We’ve got to be push­ing the right pro­gram; we’ve got to strength­en and uni­fy at the grass­roots lev­el, and we need a Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty that’s going to help us do that.

If you’re ready to do those things, we are ready to win. I need to ask you to do just a few things. Bernie said that we need to sign those peti­tions. We absolute­ly got to get a mil­lion sig­na­tures, okay? If there are DNC mem­bers in your state, gen­tly and polite­ly tell them that you would like them to sup­port Elli­son for DNC chair. Also, we need to be doing meet-ups all over this coun­try. I’m talk­ing about meet-ups where peo­ple can meet like once a month, get some cook­ies, tea, cof­fee, what­ev­er you like, and just say you know what? What if we did this, or what if we did that? And then maybe you could have a lis­ten­ing ses­sion to real­ly feel how peo­ple are doing.

Here’s the oth­er thing, there’s a lot of folks who vot­ed for Trump. Don’t reject them; ask them what are you think­ing about? How do you feel now? Are you will­ing to work with us? Now did he dis­ap­point you or do you still feel sat­is­fied? Because there’s a whole lot of folks after they lose their health­care, they are going to be a lit­tle bit annoyed. Don’t push them away, bring them in.

And the last thing I want to ask you to do is just under­stand that there’s a lot of folks who might have their fam­i­ly roots south of the bor­der, and a guy who just got elect­ed said, Build a wall.” These peo­ple need our sup­port. These are our broth­ers and sis­ters, and we can’t let them feel vul­ner­a­ble and afraid. A dear friend of mine said to me recent­ly that she was called to a meet­ing with her friend. She brought her lit­tle five-year-old daugh­ter with her. And she said to my friend, if me and my hus­band are picked up and deport­ed, you know Juani­ta is born in Amer­i­ca, she’s a cit­i­zen: Would you take care of her? You under­stand? Think about hav­ing that con­ver­sa­tion. That’s real for a lot of peo­ple. There are oth­er peo­ple who were told that they were going to be banned from immi­grat­ing here based on their reli­gion. Peo­ple who are Mus­lim, be a friend. Peo­ple who are gay and les­bian, peo­ple who are Jew­ish — a lot of anti-Semi­tism has real­ly popped up. You got to stand with every­body who is feel­ing vul­ner­a­ble right now. Because one of the things Trump has uncorked is that hate machine, and we have got to resist it and stand up against it. Our best weapon against it is our own sol­i­dar­i­ty. Let’s remake the Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty, everybody.

Rep. Kei­th Elli­son (D‑Minn.) is the co-chair of the Con­gres­sion­al Pro­gres­sive Cau­cus, and a can­di­date for chair of the Demo­c­ra­t­ic Nation­al Com­mit­tee. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I‑Vt.) is a demo­c­ra­t­ic social­ist who ran for pres­i­dent in the 2016 Demo­c­ra­t­ic primary.
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