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Bernie Sanders

Not me. Us.

Biography

Although he has spent most of his adult life in Vermont, Bernie Sanders was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, in 1941, as part of a religiously observant Jewish family. He attended one year at Brooklyn College before transferring to the University of Chicago and graduating in 1964. At the University of Chicago, Sanders began his long career of political activism as a member of the university's chapters of the Congress of Racial Equality and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. He was also an active member of the antiwar movement, and applied for conscientious objector status during the Vietnam War. He moved to Vermont in 1968. Sanders ran for governor of Vermont unsuccessfully in 1972 and 1976, and for senator in 1972 and 1974, as part of the independent Liberty Union Party. He was elected mayor of Burlington, Vermont, in 1980 as an independent, and served as mayor until 1989. He was elected to the House of Representatives as an independent in 1990, where he served until he was elected to the Senate in 2006. Although technically still an independent, he caucuses with Democrats in the Senate and is seen as a leader of the party's resurgent left wing. Sanders unsuccessfully ran for the Democratic nomination for president in 2016. However, he inspired a grassroots movement with his focus on economic inequality and use of primarily small-dollar donations to fund his campaign. His campaign exceeded expectations and won a number of major contests against eventual Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. Since the 2016 campaign, some of Sanders' more radical ideas have been embraced by many in the mainstream of the Democratic Party, such as his Medicare-for-All proposal.

Issues

Sanders describes himself as a democratic socialist, and his defining issue is economic inequality. Sanders spent much of his presidential campaign railing against "millionaires and billionaires" who continue to profit as the inequality gap increases. Sanders is a longtime supporter of a universal health care system, and introduced the Medicare-for-All bill with 15 other senators in 2017. He also supports raising the minimum wage and making public colleges and universities tuition-free. Sanders is a longtime opponent of trade deals, claiming that they hurt they American worker. He opposed NAFTA and the Trans Pacific Partnership, trade deals which President Trump renegotiated or withdrew from. Sanders opposed the U.S. war in Iraq, and remains a critic of American military interventionism.

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