50 of the Most Courageous and Powerful Bernie Sanders Quotes

Bernie Sanders was born in 1941 in Brooklyn, N.Y. to a family that struggled financially. In 1964, he earned a Political Science degree from the University of Chicago, just a year after participating in the famed Civil Rights March on Washington. A champion for civil rights, income equality, and medical care for everyone, Bernie began his political career as the Mayor of Burlington, Vermont in 1981.

Sanders has never been one to give up easily. He ran for the United States House of Representatives in 1988, when he lost, and in 1990 when he was elected to the House as a self-described Democratic Socialist.

In 1991, he founded the Congressional Progressive Caucus. He was a vocal opponent of President George W. Bush, voting against the Iraq war, tax cuts for the wealthy, and cuts to social welfare programs.

Sanders is now known as the longest-serving Independent in U.S. Congressional history and a two-time presidential candidate. In 2016, Sanders took the early lead over Hillary Clinton but came in second in the Democratic race. In 2020, Sanders again came in as the second-place Democratic Candidate, just behind Joe Biden, who won the 2016 election to become the 46th President of the United States.

Sanders is known for his outstanding success at steering the Democratic Party to the left. His courage and steadfast ability to speak the truth to power has made him both famous and effective.

Bernie Sanders Quotes

To help share Bernie’s message, we have gathered 50 of his most courageous and powerful quotes.

  1. “We don’t want to see our kids and grandchildren be the first generation in the modern history of America to have a lower standard of living than their parents.”
  2. “We need to change the power structure in America, we need to end the political oligarchy.”
  3. “If we are serious about moving toward energy independence in a cost-effective way, we should invest in solar energy. If we are serious about cutting air and water pollution and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, we should invest in solar energy.”
  4. “The cost of college education today is so high that many young people are giving up their dream of going to college, while many others are graduating deeply in debt.”
  5. “Finally, let understand that when we stand together, we will always win. When men and women stand together for justice, we win. When black, white and Hispanic people stand together for justice, we win.”
  6. “You can’t become a billionaire stepping over children sleeping on the street.”
  7. “Republicans have cultivated, into a fine art, the ability to divide people up by race, gender, nationality, or sexual orientation. That’s what they do. That is the essence of their politics. They get one group to fight another group while their wealthy friends and campaign contributors get richer and laugh all the way to the bank.”
  8. “”For many, the American dream has become a nightmare.””
  9. “Let’s be clear. The debate over health care in this country is not a debate about medical treatment or the best way to prevent disease. It is a debate about economics and class politics. Either we maintain a profit-driven health care system whose main function is to enrich certain individuals and institutions, or we develop a nonprofit, cost-effective system that provides quality health care for all people as a right of citizenship.”
  10. “In August 2008, the General Accountability Office issued a report. According to this report, two out of every three corporations in the United States paid no Federal income taxes between 1998 and 2005.”
  11. “Democratic socialism means that we must create an economy that works for all, not just the very wealthy.”
  12. “To me, democratic socialism means democracy. It means creating a government that represents all of us, not just the wealthiest people in the country.”
  13. “A nation will not survive morally or economically when so few have so much and so many have so little.”
  14. “Let’s be very clear. Corporate media is not “objective”; they are not the “referees” trying to provide “all sides of the story.” Corporate media are profit-making entities owned and controlled by the ruling class and some of the wealthiest people in the country. And, like all private corporations, they have an agenda.”
  15. “I think there are a lot of people who, when they hear the word ‘socialist,’ get very, very nervous.”
  16. “Democratic socialism means, that in a democratic, civilized society, the wealthiest people and the largest corporations must pay their fair share of taxes.”
  17. “The goal of real healthcare reform must be high-quality, universal coverage in a cost-effective way.”
  18. “Before Social Security existed, about half of America’s senior citizens lived in poverty.”
  19. “Humanity is at a crossroads. We can continue down the current path of greed, consumerism, oligarchy, poverty, war, racism, and environmental degradation. Or we can lead the world in moving in a very different direction.”
  20. “If the U.S. can transform its domestic market for HIV/AIDS drugs, it will certainly transform the world market and make HIV/AIDS drugs more affordable for everyone, everywhere.”
  21. “Further, police officers must be trained to understand that lethal force is the last response, not, as is too often the case, the first response.”
  22. “At both rallies I spoke at length about the need for criminal justice reform and for ending the absurdity of the United States having more people in jail than any other country on earth.”
  23. “Ted Kennedy devoted his lifetime to protecting those most in need, and tens of millions of Americans have been the beneficiaries.”
  24. “For much of America, the all-American values depicted in Norman Rockwell’s classic illustrations are idealistic. For those of us from Vermont, they’re realistic. That’s what we do.”
  25. “Citizens in a democracy need diverse sources of news and information.”
  26. “You’ve got the top 400 Americans owning more wealth than the bottom 150 million Americans. Most folks do not think that is right.”
  27. “Unemployment insurance, abolishing child labor, the 40-hour workweek, collective bargaining, strong banking regulations, deposit insurance, and job programs that put millions of people to work were all described, in one way or another, as ‘socialist.’ Yet, these programs have become the fabric of our nation and the foundation of the middle class.”
  28. “Change will not take place without political participation.”
  29. “Today in America, more than 2 million people are in jail, disproportionately black, Latino, and Native American. That is a greater number of inmates than in any other country on earth—including China, which has a population four times greater than ours and an authoritarian government that does not tolerate dissent.”
  30. “Election days come and go. But the struggle of the people to create a government which represents all of us and not just the one percent – a government based on the principles of economic, social, racial and environmental justice – that struggle continues.”
  31. “We are living in a time where a handful of people have wealth beyond comprehension.”
  32. “I think what the American people are saying is enough. This country, this great country, belongs to all of us. It cannot continue to be controlled by a handful of billionaires who apparently want it all.”
  33. “Look, if you have somebody who doesn’t have health insurance, who doesn’t have a doctor or dentist, and in order to deal with their cold or flu or dental problem, they go to an emergency room – in general, that visit will cost ten times more than walking into a community health center.”
  34. “In the richest country in the history of the world, every student who has the desire and the ability should be able to go to college.”
  35. “The bottom line is that everything is connected to everything. Our political task is nothing less than the transformation of our nation. Health care for all, absolutely. But in order to create a healthy society, we also need to end poverty and provide decent-paying jobs for all people. We need a strong educational system, a clean environment, and equal opportunity for everyone regardless of their race, gender, sexual orientation, or nationality. These, in fact, are all health-related issues.”
  36. “The minimum wage in Denmark is about twice that of the United States, and people who are totally out of the labor market or unable to care for themselves have a basic income guarantee of about $100 per day.”
  37. “I can today LEGALLY walk into a gun show, uh, pass the background check, and buy a dozen guns, walk out and sell them to criminal elements, who will use them for bad things.”
  38. “The great crisis that we face as a nation is not just the objective problems that we face–a rigged economy, a corrupt campaign finance system, a broken criminal justice system, and the extraordinary threat of climate change. The more serious crisis is the limitation of our imaginations. It is falling victim to an incredibly powerful establishment–economic, political, and media–that tells us every day, in a million different ways, that real change is unthinkable and impossible. That we have got to think small, not big. That we must be satisfied with the status quo. That there are no alternatives. The future of our country and, perhaps, the world requires us to break through those limitations.”
  39. “What Wall Street and credit card companies are doing is really not much different from what gangsters and loan sharks do who make predatory loans. While the bankers wear three-piece suits and don’t break the knee caps of those who can’t pay back, they still are destroying people’s lives.”
  40. “It used to be that I was known as ‘the longest-serving independent in the history of the United States Congress,’ which is true. Now I’m a ‘self-professed democratic socialist.’ Things change when you run for president.”
  41. “You go to your public library, or you call your fire department or police department, what do you think you are calling? These are socialist institutions.”
  42. “I think it makes people in the Pentagon kind of nervous to know that chemical agents and environmental factors could cause so much damage in terms of what may happen in the future.”
  43. “For too long, unfunded federal mandates have drained the budgets of states and communities. The strength and vitality of our communities must be restored.”
  44. “For every $1 billion we invest in public transportation, we create 30,000 jobs, save thousands of dollars a year for each commuter, and dramatically cut greenhouse gas emissions.”
  45. “There must be a major economic recovery package which puts Americans to work at decent wages.”
  46. “CEOs of large corporations earn 400 times what their workers make. That is not what America is supposed to be about.”
  47. “The next time you hear me attacked as a socialist – like tomorrow – remember this: I don’t believe that government should take over the grocery store down the street or control the means of production. But I believe that the middle class and the working families who produce the wealth of America deserve a fair deal.”
  48. “And it is a public health issue, forcing sick individuals into public spaces where they risk spreading disease.”
  49. “Over fifteen million Americans lack any health insurance, and some thirty million are underinsured because of high deductibles and copayments.”
  50. “It turned out that Republicans loved veterans very much, except when it came to funding their needs.”
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Bernie Sanders Video – Joe Rogan #1330

This is the most interesting Bernie Sanders video we have ever seen!

Joe Rogan brings out a deeper side of Bernie Sanders. Bernie is not yelling or using talking points in this discussion. Instead you actually get to listen to him explore his ideas in greater depth and come away with a more nuanced version of him as a person.

Bernie Sanders is a 2020 Presidential Candidate of the Democratic Party and is currently serving as the U.S. Senator of Vermont. His website is: https://berniesanders.com/

Related: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Quotes


Bernie Sanders has become a populist and grassroots hero, who stands for fairness and equality in a time when income inequality is one of the primary issues in American life. He is credited as the influence that moved the Democratic Party to the left. His progressive influence during the COVID crisis has demonstrated his steadfast concern for the people of the United States.

In August of 2020, he cosponsored the Make Billionaires Pay Act, a proposed bill that would tax the wealthy on wealth gained in the crisis. The act proposed using these tax funds to assist Americans with out-of-pocket medical expenses for a year. Sanders is controversial and influential. Who knows what the next years might bring.

We hope you have enjoyed reading these quotes and considering his message.

Image Credit:Friends of Bernie Sanders, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons



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