Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

"There is a reason why the corporate Democrats are getting nervous, and that's because we are making real progress in transforming the party and the nation," Sanders wrote in an email to supporters on Monday. (Photo: Bernie Sanders)

As Support for Progressive Agenda Grows, Sanders Says 'Big Money Interests' and Corporate Democrats 'Should Be Scared'

"There is a reason why the corporate Democrats are getting nervous. And that's because we are making real progress in transforming the party and the nation."

Jake Johnson

On the very same day that democratic socialists Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) rallied thousands behind two progressive congressional candidates in Kansas last week, around 250 corporate Democrats and Third Way strategists gathered behind closed doors in Ohio to discuss ways to counteract the progressive momentum embodied by Ocasio-Cortez, Michigan's Abdul El-Sayed, and others throughout the nation.

"There is a reason why the corporate Democrats are getting nervous, and that's because we are making real progress in transforming the party and the nation."
—Sen. Bernie Sanders

These two "very different meetings," Sanders argued in an email to supporters Monday evening, represent divergent trends in the Democratic Party—one backed by corporate cash and the other backed by the majority of the American public.

"What are they concerned about? That our ideas, such as Medicare for all, tuition-free public colleges and universities, a $15 per hour minimum wage, and progressive taxation are now mainstream positions," Sanders wrote of the Democratic donors, financiers, and politicians who gathered in Ohio on Friday. "The big money interests should be scared."

"The corporate Democrats are plotting how to defeat progressives the only way they know how—with big money," Sanders added. "But you've shown that, together, we can overcome their brand of pay-to-play politics."

As Common Dreams reported on Sunday, the Democratic insiders present at the invite-only event in Ohio laid out an agenda that centered around "opportunity" instead of equality, "privatized employer-funded" pensions instead of an ambitious expansion of Social Security, an "apprentice program" instead of a federal jobs guarantee, and "centrism" instead of bold progressivism that surveys show is increasingly popular among the American electorate.

In contrast to the corporate-friendly agenda pushed by so-called moderate Democrats and their donors, Sanders highlighted the transformational and inspiring visions on display in red and blue states across the nation, where progressive candidates are running against—and often defeating—establishment stalwarts:

On Friday, along with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, I went to Kansas and held rallies with two great progressive candidates who are running for Congress. In Wichita, according to local media reports, more than 4,000 people joined us at a rally with James Thompson.

Then in Kansas City, at our rally for Brent Welder, the convention center was so crowded the staff had to remove a wall in the middle while the event was going on to let more people in. These were incredible crowds coming out in more than 100-degree weather to participate in our political revolution.

[...]

We held a rally in the UAW hall in Janesville, Wisconsin with Randy Bryce, a union ironworker who is running a great grassroots campaign for Congress in the seat currently held by Speaker Paul Ryan.

From Wisconsin, we flew to Pittsburgh where I addressed the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) national convention. While in Pittsburgh, I also held a rally with progressive John Fetterman, who won an upset victory in the Pennsylvania Lieutenant Governor Democratic primary. At the rally Summer Lee and Sara Innamorato, two young democratic socialists in Pittsburgh, talked about the recent landslide victories they won as they unseated two long-term, veteran incumbents.

The victories of democratic socialists like Ocasio-Cortez, Lee, and Innamorato demonstrate that "we can win seemingly impossible campaigns if we run on issues that speak to the needs of working people while harnessing the grassroots energy to drive our campaigns forward," Sanders wrote.

"There is a reason why the corporate Democrats are getting nervous," the Vermont senator concluded, "and that's because we are making real progress in transforming the party and the nation."


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

Patient Groups Push Congress to Combat Big Pharma Greed in Spending Bill

"As Congress works toward finalizing an end-of-year budget package, we urge the chambers to include bipartisan legislation to address abuse of the Food and Drug Administration's citizen petition process in order to reduce drug prices and save the government hundreds of millions of dollars."

Brett Wilkins ·


Thousands Sign Open Letter Demanding Biden Order Paid Sick Leave for Railway Workers

"No one, especially in the world's richest nation, should have to choose between forgoing pay or working through severe illness and family emergencies," says The Lever's letter.

Jessica Corbett ·


Right-Wing SCOTUS Majority Signals Support for Anti-LGBTQ+ Reactionaries

"It does not bode well for the future of civil rights law that Gorsuch believes a state imposes 'reeducation training' on employers when it reminds them how to comply with nondiscrimination rules," said one court observer.

Julia Conley ·


Report Reveals Corporate Capture of Global Biodiversity Efforts Ahead of Summit

"Their 'solutions' are carefully crafted in order to not undermine their business models; ultimately they do nothing for the environment," said one Friends of the Earth campaigner.

Jessica Corbett ·


UN, EU Officials Demand Probe Over Extrajudicial Killings of Palestinians

"In the last 72 hours alone 10 Palestinians were killed by ISF in what appears to be an excessive use of lethal force," the European Union Delegation to the Palestinians noted after the killing of 22-year-old Ammar Mufleh by Israeli security forces.

Brett Wilkins ·

Common Dreams Logo