Editor's Note: This transcript was automatically transcribed, so mistakes are inevitable. You can contribute by proofreading the transcript or highlighting the mistakes. Sign up to be amongst the first contributors.
You're listening to Comedy Central now, Senator Bernie Sanders, welcome to The Daily Social Distancing Show. Great to be with you. Trevor, let's jump straight into it. I was drawn to this quote that I'm going to read what you were talking about, the Democrats and the coalition, and you said, I understand we do not agree with Joe Biden on all of the issues. Believe me, I know that I ran against Joe Biden. And then you went on to say, but at this moment, what we need to do is engage in coalition politics with the goal of defeating Donald Trump.
It's an interesting, interesting way that you phrased that statement. Tell me why it's important for you to say that to people who may support you.
Donald Trump, in my view, is the most dangerous president in the history of this country. It's not just that he's a pathological liar, which he is. It's not just that he has rejected science, which, as you know, has resulted in the death of so many people in this country from the pandemic. It's not just that he's a racist or sexist, a homophobe or a xenophobe. Donald Trump is working actively to undermine American democracy. So what you're seeing now is what I would call a united front of people who have many different points of view.
You have some honest conservatives who are saying, you know what, I'm a conservative, but we've got to get rid of this guy because he is just not what America is supposed to be about. And you're working with progressives. So this is what coalition politics is about, is let's say we have differences of opinion. I disagree with Joe on some issues. I certainly agree with John, disagree with John Kasich on many issues. But we're going to come together to defeat Trump.
And the day after Biden is elected, we're going to have a serious debate about the future of this country, but it'll be done within the framework of a democratic society.
You've always been somebody who says I understand the pain of those who have lost their jobs, whose jobs have gone overseas, who who have seen their pay not rise at the level that it should. They've seen a diminishing quality of life to the point where there are some people who voted for Trump because whether they liked him a lot was almost irrelevant. They said this man is speaking to me and they said, well, Bernie Sanders sort of speaks to me as well.
So then with that said, how do you think you would talk to a voter who didn't vote for Trump or voted for Obama, then voted for Trump and says, you know what, Bernie, I just want a better life. How would you speak to them to try to get them to change their votes?
That is a great question. And there are millions of those people. And what I would say is, I understand where you're coming from, I understand your disappointment in many respects with the Democratic Party. All right. Who have not delivered the goods for you, whose policies in many areas have not been significant in terms of protecting working people. I got that. And you're right.
OK, but then what I would say is you believed in Trump when he told you he was going to stand for the working families. He is a fraud and a liar. And you got to see that he told you. That he would drain the swamp and yet he is appointed more billionaires, this administration or any president in history. He told you he would provide health care to everybody, remember their health care to everybody. He is trying today continuing his efforts to throw thirty two million people off the health care that they have.
He said he would protect Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. Take a look at his budget's massive cuts to Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security. Trump is a liar. He will say and do anything to get elected, but he is not to be believed, and I think if you look at his record, that becomes clear.
Let's talk a little bit about your favorite subject, billionaires. There is no denying that during this pandemic, although many millions of people have been suffering, some of the richest people in the world have seen their networks increase. Two hundred, three hundred, four hundred percent.
You have not been afraid to say that this needs to be reined in. You have not been afraid to go after the billionaires. How do you communicate with people or how do you say to somebody, hey, if you become a billionaire, we're going to tax you more? Because I'm sure you've encountered some of those people where they say, well, Bernie, I mean, you know, God bless Jeff Bezos. He made a lot of money and he deserves all the money that he gets.
Do you think you're reshaping the American dream or do you think people have to understand what the American dream is?
Well, Trevor, I think a couple of points. First of all, I think when you say to the average American that we've got three people who now own more wealth than the bottom half of America, top one percent is earning forty five percent of all new income. And the effective tax rate that billionaires pay, the real tax rate is less than what a working class person based people say. You know, that's crap. That's wrong. So I think there is a lot of sympathy to say to the very richest people whose country you are doing, as you've indicated phenomenally well, many are making out like bandits during the pandemic.
You know what? You are going to have to pay your fair share of taxes so we don't have people sleeping out on the streets and kids who are going hungry. And I think the American people do support that.
I always wanted to know on a personal note, because I'm conflicted as a human being and I wonder if Bernie Sanders is true. Do you buy stuff off of Amazon and from Apple? Where does Bernie get his just his supplies from if you need, like, socks or random things, where do you get them from?
I am not. My family is not too big into Amazon and stuff. I'm not saying we haven't, you know, mostly we go to two local stores. Do I have an iPad or an Apple iPad? I sure do. It's a very good product. But into that regard, what you're looking at are very large technology companies that control an enormous percentage of the market. And I think we've got to take a hard look about the need to break them up because we're having such concentration of control in industry after industry.
Let's talk about the future of the Democratic Party, as you say. And, you know, many people hope that you are speaking the future into into existence. Donald Trump loses the election.
There is now the jubilation of the possibility of a new world. But as a South African, I know this better than any one. The hard work now begins. Where do you think America needs to start? Like if you just said this is the beginning of where America needs to start and it might be the hardest thing to do, what needs to happen in America?
I think there are two things that we have to do. It's what we call inside outside politics. The outside politics is we have to continue to mobilize working people to stand up for their rights, because, as you well know, coming from South Africa, nobody gave the people of South Africa freedom that the fight and struggle for it. And many died in that effort. So we need to mobilize the American people to stand up and say we want economic justice, social justice, racial justice, environmental justice.
We want a just society. So that's the outside strategy.
Putting pressure on government when millions of people stand up and fight inside strategy is we need an agenda. You can't be yelling and screaming unless you know what you want to do. And you we'll be arguing about that agenda. But I have a pretty good sense of what it's about. It is what the working families of this country desperately need. Look, there's something wrong when in almost the last 50 years, the average American worker in terms of inflation accounted for dollars, hasn't seen a nickel increase in his or her wages despite a huge increase in productivity.
So all you got to do is sit down and say, OK, what do working families need? We need to guarantee that when so much work has to be done in America, rebuilding our infrastructure, childcare, education, health care, climate change, God, those millions and millions of jobs guarantee jobs to all people at a decent wage. Health care is a human right. Education is a human right. Tell the billionaire class they're going to stop paying their fair share of taxes.
Let me leave you with this question. Bernie Sanders is in many ways a paradox. You lead a huge movement, that is.
Largely made up of young people, some of your biggest allies in Congress are the youngest, freshest faces in politics that we've seen, and yet you are what many people would term. I wouldn't an old man. Some people would say you are an old man. I would love to know how that came to be, because many people say the older you get, inevitably the more conservative you become. And the country has been divided politically by age. So what is it about Bernie Sanders that makes him connects with so many young people?
In the follow up to that is, what would you advice for young people be in changing the future of this country?
OK, let me start with your second question. Then we'll get to the first point. I have to make the young people I know that many of you think politics is bullshit and you don't vote. You don't care. Please, please.
For this election, you must must come out and vote. This is the future of America, it's the future of your lives. It's whether we're going to be a democracy, what kind of decent paying jobs, whether we're going to protect the environment and combat climate change for your kids, not view itself of your kids and your grandchildren. Look at what's happening in California right now as a result of climate change, it's only going to get worse. And this guy in the White House today, he hasn't a clue.
He's on the wrong side of everything. You must vote. And if your friends tell you that you're dumb, why are you getting involved? Look him in the eye and tell them that you believe in democracy, you believe in justice, and you want to see a better America. OK, that's number one. Number two, on a personal level, I have found that it's an amazing thing because your point is right. I find myself close emotionally to many of the younger people who are coming in to Congress, people like Alexandria or Rasheda or Ilhan and many others.
And despite the fact we not only have an age difference, we come from different places. You know, Ellen grew up in Somalia. Alexander's family is Puerto Rican. Rasheda is Palestinian. But we share a common, deep belief in democracy and injustice. And they are real people. They are authentic. And I find myself feeling very comfortable around real people, not phonies. And they are real people. Senator Bernie Sanders, thank you so much for taking your time and good luck out there on the trail.
Thank you very much for having me. The Daily Show with Criminal Ears Edition, watch The Daily Show weeknights at 11:00, 10:00 Central on Comedy Central and the Comedy Central. Watch full episodes and videos at The Daily Show Dotcom. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and subscribe to The Daily Show on YouTube for exclusive content and more. This has been a Comedy Central podcast now.