In February of 2016, Peace Action and Massachusetts Peace Action proudly endorsed Bernie Sanders for President of the United States of America. We chose to support his campaign because he promoted progressive ideas and brought new energy into the political process and the Presidential race. His “political revolution” called for institutional change within our political and social systems, and effectively mobilized millions of Americans to speak out against the current problems and injustices that are facing our country.
While Sanders’ impressive track record and progressive stances on climate change, income inequality, and military spending separated him from any other mainstream candidate, it was the positive response from the public that showed Bernie’s ability to spread his message and lead a successful campaign.
Sanders’ strong opposition to the United States’ longstanding policy of regime change in foreign countries further proved his dedication to promoting diplomacy and avoiding more wars. His co-sponsorship of the SANE bill, which would significantly cut spending on nuclear weapons, also showed his commitment to building peace.
Bernie called for dignity for Palestinians, was critical of Israeli settlements, and pointed out that there are two sides to the Palestine/Israel conflict. Though there is much more to be said, he forthrightly challenged Hillary Clinton’s uncritical defense of Israel’s actions. This stance, along with many others, further enhanced the progressive movement and created space for critical discussions on U.S. policy.
Though he did not win the Democratic nomination, he succeeded in energizing and mobilizing millions of Americans who believe in a progressive agenda for the future of this nation. We, at Massachusetts Peace Action, will continue to fight for these goals, as well as a foreign policy that promotes justice and peace.
In a letter to his supporters on the eve of his endorsement of Hillary, Senator Sanders said this:
“We showed that the American people support a bold, progressive agenda that takes on the billionaire class, that fights for racial, social, economic and environmental justice and that seeks to create a government that works for all of us and not just the big campaign donors…… but our work is far from over.……
In the coming weeks, I will be announcing the creation of successor organizations to carry on the struggle that we have been a part of these past 15 months. I hope you will continue to be involved in fighting to transform America. Our goal will be to advance the progressive agenda that we believe in and to elect like-minded candidates at the federal, state and local levels who are committed to accomplishing our goals.”
Massachusetts Peace Action will continue to work for policies and candidates that advance justice and peace at home and abroad. We look forward to the announcement of Bernie’s successor organizations and look forward to working with all of those groups whose goals we share.
Bernie Sanders’ success is a beacon of hope; it proved that political change is possible. We are grateful to Bernie Sanders for his work in promoting a political revolution and we reaffirm our commitment to a bold progressive agenda and a foreign policy that promotes peace.