Bernie Sanders has offered advice for people who are “worried about getting into an argument” with family during Thanksgiving in a new campaign video.
The video, titled “Bernie How To: Talk Politics at Thanksgiving,” is an excerpt taken from the campaign podcast Feel the Bern. It was released Tuesday, two days before the holiday is set to be observed in the United States.
Podcast host Briahna Gray asked Sanders about potentially contentious political conversations that could take place over Thanksgiving. She claimed Sanders is “known for being so well respected across the aisle” and asked if he could offer any advice on how like-minded people could convince their conservative family members to “come on board to progressive politics” during the holiday.
The presidential candidate responded by suggesting that disagreements about core issues in politics might not be as stark as people believe and finding common ground is key to approaching any discussion, claiming “there is a lot more commonality of belief in America than some people think.”
“If you’re going home and getting nervous about arguing with your mom or your dad, or your aunt or your uncle, I think the point to be made is that what we are fighting for, the values that we are fighting for, are really not new values,” said Sanders. “I mean they go back literally thousands of years. Justice—you read about it in the Bible, don’t you? The right that we treat each other the way we want to be treated. Not a Bernie Sanders idea—I mean that’s an idea that’s been around in every religion, major religion on earth.”
Sanders also delved into some of the specific issues his campaign has focused on. In particular, the senator claimed that a majority of people agree with his views on income inequality.
“I think people, if you talk to them, understand,” said Sanders. “Or they’re going to have a hard time explaining why it is ok for three people to own more wealth than the bottom half of America, and why some of these corporations pay nothing in taxes. There are some people who will defend it [but] not many.”
Health care and living wages were also areas Sanders apparently believes could prove less controversial at the Thanksgiving dinner table.
“Should health care be available to all people as a human right? You know what, a lot of people believe that,” Sanders said. “Should you pay people a living wage and not have people work for starvation wages [of] eight or nine bucks an hour? People believe that.”
Another conversation starter suggested by Sanders was the “Green New Deal” proposal to combat climate change. Sanders thinks that public opinion on the issue has begun to shift as people experience the results of the phenomena first-hand. He stressed that he believes humanity is “literally” fighting for the survival of the planet and future generations.
“People are now seeing with their own eyes the ravages and destruction that climate change is bringing,” said Sanders. “I am just reading some stuff now which scares the hell out of me, and what the scientists are telling us is they underestimated the severity and the speed in which climate change is impacting this planet…. And the only program that’s out there that can begin to address this crisis is the Green New Deal. That’s the only one.”
Although much of the video seems focused on finding common ground with people of different political viewpoints, Sanders did offer some comments that might not go over quite as well with vociferous supporters of President Donald Trump. The senator explained that he believes “most people” including “decent conservatives” are at least somewhat embarrassed by the president.
“It’s not just that I disagree with Donald Trump on virtually everything, but that most people are not proud that you have a pathological liar, or somebody who thinks he is above the law- on top of being a racist, and a sexist, and a homophobe and a xenophobe,” said Sanders. “I think there’s a lot of decent conservatives out there, and that’s what they are- they’re conservative and they believe you treat people with respect, and they’re a little bit embarrassed about this president.”