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Bernie Portland

U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) speaks to a crowd in Portland, Oregon on October 27, 2022. (Photo: Bernie Sanders/Twitter)

Sanders Urges Massive Midterm Voter Turnout to 'Preserve American Democracy'

"We are in a pivotal moment in American history where the crises that we face are unprecedented," the democratic socialist told a crowd of thousands in Eugene, Oregon.

Brett Wilkins

Warning of far-right Republicans who are "moving the country towards authoritarianism" and hoping to energize the Democratic base ahead of next month's midterm elections, U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders on Thursday kicked off an eight-state barnstorming tour by imploring fired-up crowds in Oregon to get out and vote in order to "preserve American democracy."

"We can throw our hands up in despair—or we can fight back."

"We are in a pivotal moment in American history where the crises that we face are unprecedented," Sanders (I-Vt.) told over 3,000 people at the University of Oregon in Eugene, the first of two stops in the state on Thursday. His speech followed remarks by Democratic Oregon politicians including U.S. Sens. Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden, U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio, congressional hopeful Val Hoyle, and gubernatorial candidate Tina Kotek.

"Now we have an option," Sanders continued. "We can either turn our backs on these problems, we can throw our hands up in despair—or we can fight back."

"In the year 2022 we are fighting to preserve the foundations of American democracy against right-wing Republican extremists," Sanders added. "Your fathers and grandfathers and grandparents died and fought to preserve democracy; we're not going to let Trump and his friends take it away."

"To take on corporate greed and create an economy for all, we need a huge voter turnout in Oregon and across the country," he asserted.

Sanders also took aim at elected Democrats, saying "I'm gonna be honest with you here, and maybe some of my friends here are gonna be a little offended, but the Democratic Party has not been strong enough in fighting for working families."

"We need you, your generation, from coast to coast to put pressure on Democratic leadership, to say, 'To hell with the corporate PACs, stand up and fight for working families,'" he added.

Sanders' appearances Thursday were the latest in a string of whistle-stops promoting Democratic candidates ahead of next month's midterms. The democratic socialist will visit four Senate battleground states: Nevada, Florida, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.

In recent days, Sanders has been hammering home the importance of high voter turnout.

"If we do not come out and vote in large numbers, and if Republicans gain control over the House and the Senate," he said earlier this week, "what you're looking at is a turn in American politics far, far, far to the right, which will impact every aspect of our lives."

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