October 9, 2018
Bernie Sanders, US Senator from Vermont
Senator Bernie Sanders visited the school to deliver a memorable speech on the challenges of authoritarianism and the need to build a global progressive movement. As the longest-serving independent in congressional history, Senator Sanders has fought for working families and advocated for a foreign policy that prioritizes diplomacy over unilateral military action. He was outspoken against the Trump administration over its attacks on the independent media as well as its affinity with authoritarian leaders.
“While this authoritarian trend certainly did not begin with Donald Trump, there is no question that other authoritarian leaders around the world have drawn inspiration from the fact that the president of the world’s oldest and most powerful democracy is shattering democratic norms … and is scapegoating the weakest and most vulnerable members of our society” Sanders said.
Contending that the Trump administration has inspired increasingly despotic actions by leaders of other nations around the globe, Sanders cited recent laws and policies enacted in Hungary, Poland, Turkey, and Israel. He also mentioned the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, saying that if he was the victim of state violence as suspected, there must be accountability and an unequivocal condemnation from the United States.
To conclude his remarks, Sanders promoted a multinational approach in areas such as climate change and the struggle against global oligarchy and authoritarianism.
“Our job is to build on our common humanity and do everything that we can to oppose all of the forces, whether unaccountable government power or unaccountable corporate power, who try to divide us up and set us against each other. We know that those forces work together across borders. We must do the same.”