Ep. 27 - Best of Bernie: Rising Up | Racial Justice | Whose Economy Is It, Anyway?

Ep. 27 - Best of Bernie: Rising Up | Racial Justice | Whose Economy Is It, Anyway?

"Rising Up" Excerpt: It ain't Bernie. It is us!

If we come together, we will win!

People always say, "Oh, you're, you're being too vocal."

... Bernie, you don't have to yell.

I don't feel I'm being vocal enough. We are not being vocal enough. When is enough enough?

He sounds very, very shouty.

Louder.

Yell, we gotta get louder. How many kids are gonna have to make this sacrifice?

And die?

And die? How can you sleep at night knowing that kids can't afford insulin? How is that possible?

It's not right.

Briahna Joy Gray: Perhaps the most dismaying thing about supporting the progressive movement, which Bernie Sanders uniquely represents among 2020 candidates, is the disconnect between how everyday Americans see him, and how he is portrayed by many members of the mainstream media.

Emily Tisch Sussman: Basically, at this point if you are still supporting Sanders as opposed to Warren, it's kind of showing your sexism.

Briahna Joy Gray: Whereas pundit Emily Tisch Sussman, daughter of two billionaire parents, and erstwhile MSNBC pundit recently opined that anyone who would choose Bernie Sanders over certain female progressives must be sexist, many voters are comforted by Bernie's long-standing commitment to women's equality long before it was the party line to do so.

In 1972, months before Roe V. Wade created a constitutional right to have an abortion, Bernie Sanders said that abortion is up to a woman's conscience, not the government. Quote, "It strikes me as incredible that politicians think that they have the right to tell a woman what she can or cannot do with her body," Sanders told the Bennington Banner. "This is especially true in Vermont, where we have a legislature which is almost completely dominated by men." That was 1972.

Wealthy women like Emily Sussman might not be sensitive to the issues that drive everyday working women to support Bernie Sanders more than any other candidate, but, to us, the reasons are clear. Working women don't just need a right to choose, but the means to do so.

In the last election cycle, the female candidate picked a VP, someone a heartbeat away from the presidency, who supported the Hyde Amendment, which prevents federal funding for abortion services, and makes it difficult for poor women to afford reproductive care. The Medicare For All Bill which Bernie wrote, and has championed for the last four years would end the Hyde Amendment, and make reproductive services completely free.

Wealthy pundits might be indifferent to the fact that women comprise the majority of minimum wage workers, that Medicare For All will cover gender affirmation surgery for trans women, that housing instability is a factor driving the high maternal mortality rate for Black women, and that only Bernie has a plan to guarantee housing as a human right. But here we are.

Gaslighting is a form of psychological manipulation in which a person seeks to sow seeds of doubt in people making them question their own memory, perception, and sanity. I think Matt Orfalea's video, which opened this podcast, has garnered over six million views to date because it exposes the gap between our reality, and distortion advanced by out of touch pundits. It validates what we know to be true and calls out bad actors for gaslighting us to within an inch of our sanity.

I had an opportunity to talk to Matt Orfalea when he stopped by HQ on Monday, and I asked him, "Why did you do this?"

Matt Orfalea: Obviously, I'm a fan of Bernie Sanders, and noticed, like every other fan of Bernie Sanders, the mistreatment that he receives in the media, the unfounded attacks. I've made, you know, probably a dozen videos for Bernie Sanders if you add up the ones from, uh, 2016. I was continue- I was working on another one. Specifically, about MSNBC, and their spin. The project was like five ways that MSNBC is anti-Bernie Sanders, and, as I was working on that project, I had also been working on another project where I had that, that music.

Briahna Joy Gray: Mm-hmm [affirmative].

Matt Orfalea: And, just to, you know, you just have these coincidences like that, I just realized mid-way through that my original vision for the project, that it shouldn't be a listicle video. This shouldn't be another listicle video. Uh, it can be more powerful to do it another way.

Briahna Joy Gray: So, what's your reaction been to all of this?

Matt Orfalea: I mean I, I frigging loved it.

Briahna Joy Gray: [laughs]

Matt Orfalea: I mean, I had, like my friend though I was nuts, I was like, dancing in the middle of the night. [laughs] I guess.

Briahna Joy Gray: [laughs]

Matt Orfalea: From Shaun King, obviously, like wow, you couldn't, I mean, I was totally honored for anybody to say, you know, like that kind of positive stuff about your work, and, uh, you know, I knew it had potential. It really worked out, and it worked out because, because Shaun King and, you know, a lot of other people with big followings, obviously I don't have a big following, but, everyone with these, you know, the big followings who are fans of Sanders, they pushed it. They did a great job pushing it, and, and made it go viral. But I'll tell you like, probably the favorite thing I see in, in some of these retweets is the people who are saying, I showed this to my husband, I showed this to my, you know, parents, and now they're voting Bernie Sanders.

Or even, I've even seen, uh, people, they said I was thinking about another candidate, but now I'm sure I'm voting Bernie Sanders. And what I mean, that to me was like, I mean that success. That was success.

Briahna Joy Gray: We'll have to make sure to put the link to your video in our show notes and everyone who listens to this podcast should absolutely send this to at least one person in their lives who isn't already aboard the Sanders train. Thank you so much for putting in the work and doing that video. I know it's a really time intensive process, and it's that kind of grassroots effort that really is a sign of this campaign, really essential to our success, and I just really appreciate it.

Matt Orfalea: You're so very welcome. And can I just say like, yeah, you know what? Yeah, it absolutely is a part of that grassroots effort. People on the ground knocking on doors, talking to people. That's obviously, that's probably the most important thing. Actually, speaking to people in person. But if you've got some, some just basic editing skills, everyone's got, you know, Windows Movie Maker or iMovie on their computer nowadays. That's another way to contribute. And it makes a huge difference and it's necessary because the mainstream media we know is against Sanders. It's, it's totally overall against this campaign. And the thing is, but things are different now. Things are different now.

We are the media now thanks to the internet and easily accessible, you know, video editing tools and such. So yeah. So, we're, since we're the media, let's act like it, let's put ourselves to work and let's get Bernie Sanders elected.

Briahna Joy Gray: I am so grateful to be part of this progressive community. Let's continue to validate each other, to hold each other up, and to make visible the problems experienced by everyday working Americans so that together we can solve them. After all, Bernie has a revolution for that.

This is Hear the Bern, a podcast about the people, ideas and politics that are driving the Bernie Sanders 2020 campaign and the movement to secure a dignified life for everyone living in this country. My name is Briahna Joy Gray, and I'm coming to you from campaign headquarters in Washington, D.C.

Before we get into the rest of the episode, I do want to talk for a bit about the big news from last week, which is that, as you surely already heard, Bernie suffered a heart attack on the campaign trail. The good news is that he's already back on his feet and will be on stage for the upcoming Democratic debate in Ohio.

Despite some vulture-like takes from less scrupulous members of the media, this campaign is far from over. We've raised more money in quarter three than any candidate has raised in any quarter this entire election cycle, and over the weekend the campaign met its goal to make 1 million phone calls in 10 days, and it made its goal a day and a half early, making 1.3 million calls overall.

Bernie is doing great, but the uncertainty of the first few moments after the news broke was a real wake up call for many of us who felt with acute urgency exactly how irreplaceable Bernie Sanders really is.

My former and friend Nathan J. Robinson might have put it best in a recent piece in Current Affairs titled, "Why Bernie Has to Win." I'm going to read just a few excerpts here, but I encourage you to check out the entire thing. Nathan writes:

When someone has a brush with some serious medical problem, the idea of losing them inevitably flickers into your mind, and when that happens you realize what they really mean to you because you can see for a second what the world would look like without them.

The sheer terror with which I contemplated a world without Bernie made me realize just how important he is right now. What is happening right now is that an old man is carrying the most colossal imaginable weight on his shoulders. It is the weight of all of those people you see in that ad. People drowning beneath medical bills and student debt and terrified of climate change and taking care of dying relatives and juggling miserable jobs they work from can't see in the morning to can't see at night.

The people who come up to him and beg him to please, please just help them, make it okay, fix this. I realize that nobody runs for president out of entirely selfless motives and there is a phenomenal degree of self-aggrandizement inherent in the belief that one deserves the most powerful office on earth, but someone has to do it. And I think Bernie Sanders has looked at the facts and realized that nobody else can do what he can do. And I think that's just obviously true.

I agree with what Dahleen Glanton just wrote in the Chicago Tribune. "He forces us to consider what America at its best would look like. He dares us to dream ideas that are bigger than anything we have ever seen, and he challenges us not to cower in fear thinking it could never happen, but to ask instead, why not?"

This week on this best of Bernie episode, Bernie talks pores and politics at Cosmopolitan. Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor discussed what a Bernie Sanders presidency means for racial justice in America. Bernie supports striking teachers, which not so coincidentally is the most common profession for Bernie donors. And Bernie finally goes on Chapo.

First up, Bernie stops by the offices of Cosmopolitan magazine for an interview with editor in chief Jessica Pels as well as questions from some of Cosmo's staff. As always, the full interview is well worth your time, but here are just a few of Bernie's answers covering reproductive rights, his stance on impeaching Trump, and why he chose to run even after successfully shifting the entire debate within the Democratic Party to the left. Jessica also hit Bernie with some questions very much outside his usual comfort zone. Just in case you ever wanted to know about his skin care routine.

Jessica Pels: Reproductive rights were not addressed at the last Democratic debate. 66% of our readers say that they want presidential candidates to spend more talking about this issue. I get that it's a hot button issue that's hard to necessarily talk about on the campaign trail, but 37% of our audience says that they're quote, angry that this issue isn't getting more airtime. Will you pledge to make reproductive rights more of a focus for you?

Bernie Sanders: There are very few speeches that I give in which I do not say the following, that I get sick and tired of hearing so-called conservative politicians telling us they believe in small government. They believe in getting the government off the backs of the American people. You heard that one or two million times? Let the American people do what they want to do with their own lives, except when it comes to a woman's right to control her own body. So that is total and absolute hypocrisy, right?

So, I believe that a woman's right to privacy, a woman's right to control her own body, is a constitutional right. And my pledge to you, and I made this pledge all over this country, I will never nominate anybody for the US Supreme Court who does not 100% believe in Roe V Wade.

I think this president is the most corrupt president. I think he makes, you know, somebody like a Richard Nixon look like a choir boy. I mean, I think this guy is really corrupt and I think he's a liar. But as the United States Senate, I'm going to have to judge the evidence. So, I want to proceed as rapidly as we can with that evidence. But I think it's wrong for somebody who is a judge, you know, to say, oh, he's guilty, but now let me hear the evidence. There's a process that the Constitution provides, and I want to support that process.

Speaker 12: Um, so you're an older white man.

Bernie Sanders: Excuse me. Am I white? Ok, yes, you're right. [laughing]

Speaker 12: If you have some more policies to other, you know, women of color, um, and people in the candidate field, and so my question is, why do you think you're the best person right now to represent the country when, you know, maybe we could have more diversity and inclusion?

Bernie Sanders: That's a very fair question. Let me answer it by saying that as president, we will have the most diverse administration and cabinet that this country has ever had. Okay. That's number one.

And you know, we're gonna continue to fight and you know, we're making progress over the years, to create a government in general, a House of Representatives, a Senate, which reflects what America looks like. You know, everything being equal, half of elected officials in America should be women and half of the Supreme Court should be women, and half the Senate should be women, half the governors, all that.

Number one very honestly, and Jane and I, and Jane is standing right here, she will tell you that we had long, long discussions about whether or not I should run. On Monday we thought yes, on Tuesday we thought, no. We concluded that I should run for two reasons.

Number one, I happen to believe, believe then, and I believe now, that I'm the strongest candidate to defeat Donald Trump, and I think it's absolutely imperative that we do that. Okay, that's reason number one.

Reason number two is that this campaign cannot just be about defeating Trump. This campaign has got to be about transforming this country in a very profound way, and I'm going to say something that may make some of you uncomfortable, and it's certainly not something that you're going to see on corporately owned television, and that is this country is moving toward an oligarchic form of society - we don't talk about it - in which a handful of very, very wealthy people not only control our economy, they control our political life.

Okay, and you're looking, at the corporate level, not only at greed, you're looking at a massive amount of corruption, and that corruption is on Wall Street. That corruption is in the pharmaceutical industry that today is engaged in widespread price fixing in order to make it impossible for millions of people to buy the medicine they need. It is the fossil fuel industry that spent millions and millions and is spending millions of dollars to lie about climate change. In other words, they have scientists who told them exactly what carbon emissions were doing, and they lied about it.

We need a president who has the guts to take on Wall Street, the insurance companies, the drug companies, the fossil fuel industry, the prison industrial complex, the military industrial complex. That's what I have done for my entire life. There's no candidate out there who has stood up to the powers that be in this country more than Bernie Sanders has. And I believe that at this particular moment in history, that's the kind of president that we need.

Jessica Pels: What's your favorite Ben and Jerry flavor?

Bernie Sanders: Cherry Garcia.

Jessica Pels: Good one. What's the most Brooklyn thing about you?

Bernie Sanders: Some people claim it's my accent. I deny it.

Jessica Pels: What's your favorite curse word?

Bernie Sanders: What, you want me to tell you?

Jessica Pels: You can say it. This is Cosmo. [laughing] We've made him shy.

Bernie Sanders: My wife tells me I curse too much. Is that right? You don't want me to curse in front of the television.

Jessica Pels: I get that too. I know you're in Virgo, just like me, which explains a lot, but do you know your rising sign?

Speaker 14: Scorpio.

Bernie Sanders: [laughs] Scorpio.

Jessica Pels: Love it. What's your skincare routine?

Bernie Sanders: Not much.

Jessica Pels: Do you moisturize?

Bernie Sanders: I put something, I got something, doctor gave me something years ago. I put it on. Not quite sure.

Jessica Pels: You're supposed to moisturize every day, so we'll, we'll get, we'll send you home with some things.

Briahna Joy Gray: What are my absolute favorite interviews we've done on the pod was with Princeton professor and writer Dr. Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor on episode 19. In it, Keeanga made the case for why democratic socialism and intersectionality go together like Vermont and maple syrup. She and I headed to New York recently to talk about what a Bernie Sanders presidency would mean for racial justice in America, and Keeanga's opening remarks were straight fire.

Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor: Thanks everyone. There are things that are happening in this country that will make you angry, afraid, confused, and cynical. There's a white supremacist in the White House. There are detention camps on the border. The injustice of police killings has never left us. School districts threaten to remove children from homes where they have debt from unpaid lunch bills. There is much to be concerned and upset about, but just as it can feel as if these are the worst of times, we should remember that these are also the best of times.

Today's climate strike is evidence that we have finally broken through on the issue of climate in the United States. Tens of thousands of people mobilized themselves across this country to challenge the status quo that threatens to kill our species. We have so much more to do, but through the trenches of grassroots activism and sacrifice, the climate movement has finally broken through the hostility of the political and economic establishment to effectively sound the alarm that we are facing an existential crisis. The teacher strike wave from last year reminds us of the power of the working class. Our class. The strike wave was a reminder that when our class is organized and united on picket lines and at workplaces, we have the power to redistribute the wealth and resources that we need to live better and more meaningful lives in this country.

Over the last five years, we have learned that black protests, whether they are marches or rebellions, can make black lives matter. Those protests have exposed deep systemic roots of police racism, abuse, and violence and have created the conditions where the abolition of police and prisons is no longer a side conversation among a few activists but has become part of a larger mainstream discussion about what real transformation could look like.

And since the election of Donald Trump in 2016, we have seen the rise in casual racist violence and hate crimes, but we have also seen a heroic resistance to this home-grown racist hatred. We saw it in the urgent mobilizations of ordinary people who went to airports across this country to use their bodies to shut down Trump's racist, hate-filled Muslim ban. We have seen it in the ways that ordinary people mobilize themselves to the southern border to protest the barbaric policies that have codified the racist abuse of migrant families, including babies and infants. We have seen it in the efforts of friends, families, and neighbors who have put their bodies between our home-grown Gestapo, the ICE agents and those who they come to disappear into their maze of detention centers, tent prisons, and cages. In the last five years, we have seen the emergence of our resistance, not the cheap trademark version of resistance that simply wants to replace a corrupt Trump with an inept Democrat. But a real resistance to the status quo in this country.

Our resistance sees Trump as a symptom of a system of racist inequality, waste, war, destruction, exploitation, and suffering. Enough is enough. The improbable, impossible ascendance of Sanders’ campaign is the living expression of the hope and optimism of our resistance from below. His campaign is the culmination thus far of our collective efforts since Occupy to shake the system to its core and transform the lives of millions of people who suffer under the boot of capitalism.

In 2016, 13 million people voted for Sanders in the primaries, and during the election season, despite the spirited efforts of the mainstream media and the leadership of the Democratic Party in their efforts to bury his campaign, Bernie Sanders is in the thick of the race to run for president. It's not a gimmick. It's not a fad. It's not dumb luck. It is the deep desire for a better world. For once in our lives, we don't have to dread the ballot box. We don't have to hold our nose and hope for the best.

The political establishment holds this campaign in utter contempt. They complain that Bernie says the same thing over and over again. Medicare for All, free college, housing for all. But in doing so, they expose themselves as cynics and cranks who desperately cling to the status quo. And those of us who stand with Bernie and see ourselves as part of the political resistance in this country do so out of hope and possibility, not bitterness and despair. It is hope. It is the possibility of a better life. It is the possibility of a better world.

We are not called to this movement based on the things that we don't want or based on the people that we don't want to vote for. For the first time in any of our lifetimes, we have a candidate for whom we can proudly vote for who has an actual chance to win. We have an opportunity to vote for the things that we want and not just vote against the things that we don't want.

Universal health care, universal access to college, housing for all, an actual strategy to confront the climate crisis, jobs with living wages and union protections. And this is precisely why this campaign, despite the slights and derision, has attracted a broad audience of ordinary black youth and young black workers.

Briahna Joy Gray: The wave of strikes in recent years continues with the Chicago teachers’ union voting to strike for smaller class sizes, better services for students, greater parity and services for majority Black and Latinx schools, and better salaries for teaching assistants, among other demands. Now, the strike hasn't actually begun yet. It's scheduled for October 17th, and only if the parties aren't able to come to an agreement before that date. But Bernie lost no time in traveling to the Prairie State to voice support for the teachers in their negotiations. So far, Bernie is the only candidate to actually speak to the union in person, which for about the billionth time underlines where his priorities are.

Bernie Sanders: I think that the Chicago's school board should be very nervous.

I want to thank all of you, staff and teachers, for becoming the conscience of the United States of America. Here in Chicago and all over this country, what we are seeing is teachers standing up and fighting for justice. Thank you very much.

You know, every, every problem in society - hunger, domestic violence, poverty - it walks into your doors, doesn't it? You see it every day, and at a time when we in the wealthiest country in the history of the world have the highest rate of childhood poverty of almost any major country on earth, you are demanding, and I am demanding, a change in national priorities.

At a time when we have a dysfunctional childcare system, in which all over this country, Vermont, Chicago, all over this country, working class people cannot find the quality, affordable childcare they need, you are standing up for a change in national priorities.

At a time when great teachers, experienced teachers, are leaving the profession because they can't make an income to support their families, you are standing up for a change in national priorities.

You want and I want that the teaching profession receive the honor and respect it deserves for the enormously important work you do. And I'm not here just to flatter you. I'm not here to say nice things about you. What I'm here to say is what you know. Anybody, and I hear all these politicians, they got big flags behind them. They tell us how much they love America. If you love America, you love the children of America. If you love the children of America, you love the people who educate and take care of their children.

So, we got a lot of work to do in front of us, and what we know, when we change our national priorities, we ain’t giving tax breaks for billionaires. We are investing in our kids, in our schools, and in our educators.

So, let me tell you some of what I think has to happen nationally and the role of the federal government in making it happen. Too many of our kids are going to schools that are inadequately funded, which is why in my education reform proposal, we triple funding for [inaudible] schools.

Teachers in Chicago and in Vermont and all over the country are dealing with kids who are walking in the door with a lot of issues. And that is why we're going to significantly, underline significantly, increase funding for the IDEA program.

Education should not end just at the end of the school day. And that is why we are going to adequately fund after school programs and summer programs. Working parents have a right to know that their kids are going to be in a safe and constructive environment after school. They have a right to know that in the summertime their kids who are going to get the educational and recreational opportunities that they need. We expand funding for universal education in this country.

Children in Chicago or any other school district in the country should not be going to schools where the buildings need maintenance, where the kids do not have the latest and best technology available to them. And that is why we're going to put people to work rebuilding schools all over this country. That is what our children and our educators deserve. In the United States-

Speaker 16: I love you, Bernie!

Bernie Sanders: Love you, too. In the United States of America, it is an absolute disgrace that we have children who go hungry. And our plan is going to feed every child in this country who needs quality nutrition. And I'll tell you something else we're going to do. I want the best and the brightest young people in college to say, "I want to become a teacher because there's nothing more important that I can do. I want to become a teacher. I want to become teacher or a support staff person.” Thank you, support staff. You make the schools go. “I want to become an educator because it is the right and patriotic thing to do.” If we look to the future of this country, the children are the future, and we have a moral responsibility to make sure that those kids get the very best education that we can provide them. And that's what to do.

And let me tell you something else, let me tell you something else that we're going to do. [laughing] [inaudible]. Not only are we going to beat Trump, we're going to decimate Trumpism. We are gonna end the racism and the sexism and the homophobia and the xenophobia and the religious bigotry that comes out of that administration. We're gonna put all of that behind us and create a nation that brings all of our people together, black and white and Latino, native American, Asian American, gay and straight, immigrant and native born. We bring our people together around an agenda that works for all of us, not just the 1%.

Briahna Joy Gray: I know this is a best of Bernie episode, but I'd like to throw in, if I may, just one of my own recent interviews on the Senator’s remarkable, bar setting donation haul of $25.3 million in the third quarter. The average donation size, mind you, was just $18. So far, that's the most any Democratic candidate has raised in any quarter of the 2020 race, and it exposes as a lie the media narrative seemingly rolled out every week or two that our campaign is in some kind of perpetual crisis. Also worth noting is that Joe Biden raised just $15.2 million in the third quarter, a major drop from his haul in the previous quarter. One reason for that drop? Fully 38% of Biden's quarter two donors gave him the maximum amount allowable by law, which means that he can't go back to them for more. Our donors, by contrast, are small, but there are a whole lot of y'all, a fact that makes me incredibly proud to work for this campaign. Your donations really matter.

Interviewer: Now we know that Sanders is a huge proponent of grassroots fundraising. Can you break down for us what type of voter your campaign sees the most traction from? Where are you targeting your outreach efforts when it comes to this?

Briahna Joy Gray: Absolutely. So, the number one profession of people who have donated to this campaign is teacher, and the number one, two and three employers of people who have donated to this campaign are Starbucks, Amazon, and Walmart. So, what we're seeing is that the donations reflect the fact that this is a working-class, multiracial coalition, of predominantly black and Brown voters, disproportionately. And also, people who haven't necessarily had a college education, people who are truly feeling kind of the worst effects of what's going on in this economy today. And that's why you see the messaging coming out of the Sanders campaign connecting so well because a campaign that doesn't take money from billionaires and millionaires is a campaign that is able to speak directly to the interests of working people. 'Cause unfortunately, there's often a conflict between the needs of the 1% and the needs of the 99.

Bernie stopped by for an interview with Chapo Trap House’s Virgil, Texas, on which they discussed Bernie's theory of history, how for at least 40 years, the economy has only really worked for the richest Americans, and how Bernie’s early organizing days formed his political views. But for his last question, Virgil got more philosophical. What, he asked, should be the point of a country's economy?

Virgil Texas: In 2015, you quoted Pope Francis decrying the cult of money and the dictatorship of an economy which is faceless and lacking any truly human goal. What is the goal of an economy?

Bernie Sanders: The goal of an economy is to create a better life for all of us. All right? It is very much the opposite of Trump's view of life and his friends, which is, you know, a lot of the billionaire class, not all, who think that greed and lying and cheating and stealing is the function of human life. I make as much money as I want. I make billions. I step all over people. I use my power to cut Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. I believe that the goal of human life, that you are richer emotionally as a human being when we have community, when we care about each other, when we love each other, when we are compassionate, not when we're stepping on other people. When we bring people together, despite superficial differences like the color of our skin or our sexual orientation.

When we create that kind of what Dr. King called it, what would you call it? The community of love. I mean, that is the goal, and that means making sure that all of our people have a decent standard of living, which we can certainly do. That we lead the world in addressing the terrible poverty that exists in the developed world, that we bring the planet together to fight climate change. When we do all of those things, we become better human beings. I think we become happier human beings, more satisfied human beings. That's what I think has to happen.

Briahna Joy Gray: Before we go, I just wanted to read some quick excerpts from emails we've gotten over the last few months. I so appreciate all of you who have written in to let us know your thoughts on what we've talked about or to suggest episode topics. We keep track of everything that you send us and even if we don't immediately have room in our release schedule for your suggestions, they're a big help as we plan episodes down the line.

Dustin wrote in to say, I'm a 28-year-old married gay man. I started following Bernie not long before the primaries for 2016. I had never heard a politician speak that every single word sounded more genuine than anything I've heard come out of the politician’s mouth.

One night I was just searching YouTube for Bernie videos and stumbled upon the vintage Bernie videos. Watching him walk around the mall as the mayor of the city interviewing anyone who would talk and watch them really listen to their concerns, whatever they may be, showed me that this man has been the same for a very long time.

And Jeremiah emailed, I love hearing the stories, perspectives and insights from each episode. I especially enjoy the diversity represented in the show. As much as I agree 100% with the issues, I always get one or two extra yes moments when that issue is related to a minority or disenfranchised group, making that issue even more important to me. Everyone deserves to live with dignity, without fear and with the full rights granted to each of us in our constitution.

Thank you so much Dustin and Jeremiah. I couldn't agree more.

That's it for this week. Let us know what you think at [email protected] Or send us a tweet with the hashtag #hearthebern. If you haven't already, please take a moment to rate review or like us on Apple podcasts, SoundCloud, or wherever you're listening. As always, transcripts will be up soon. Thanks for everything guys. Till next time.