Bernie Sanders issued a fairly curt response to Donald Trump’s victory Wednesday. It seemed like the perfect statement, capturing the anger he likely felt about the entire electoral process and its eventual outcome.
Now, though, Sanders must resume his role as a senator, one which likely calls for a more tempered, lengthy response. With that in mind, Sanders has released a statement on his feelings about the President-Elect:
Donald Trump tapped into the anger of a declining middle class that is sick and tired of establishment economics, establishment politics and the establishment media. People are tired of working longer hours for lower wages, of seeing decent paying jobs go to China and other low-wage countries, of billionaires not paying any federal income taxes and of not being able to afford a college education for their kids – all while the very rich become much richer.
To the degree that Mr. Trump is serious about pursuing policies that improve the lives of working families in this country, I and other progressives are prepared to work with him. To the degree that he pursues racist, sexist, xenophobic and anti-environment policies, we will vigorously oppose him.
The statement reflects potential common ground between Sanders and Trump on issues like job creation and fixing the middle class. Depending on what kind of president Trump ends up being, Sanders’ statement suggests room for the two to work together. Sanders also uses the statement to address the language Trump has used to attack various minority groups, and to attack Trump for his anti-environmentalism.
He may not be happy, but Sanders has never been obstinate. His statement reflects a recognition of this new reality, one that many are still having trouble coming to terms with.