Hi Reddit. I'm Senator Bernie Sanders. I'll start answering questions at 2 p.m. ET. The most important election of our lives is coming up on Tuesday. I've been campaigning around the country for great progressive candidates. Now more than ever, we all have to get involved in the political process and vote. I look forward to answering your questions about the midterm election and what we can do to transform America.

Be sure to make a plan to vote here: https://iwillvote.com/

Verification: https://twitter.com/BernieSanders/status/1058419639192051717

Update: Let me thank all of you for joining us today and asking great questions. My plea is please get out and vote and bring your friends your family members and co-workers to the polls. We are now living under the most dangerous president in the modern history of this country. We have got to end one-party rule in Washington and elect progressive governors and state officials. Let’s revitalize democracy. Let’s have a very large voter turnout on Tuesday. Let’s stand up and fight back.

Comments: 15830 • Responses: 14  • Date: 

bernie-sanders16998 karma

Let me thank all of you for joining us today and asking very great questions. My plea is please get out and vote and bring your friends your family members and co-workers to the polls. We are now living under the most dangerous president in the modern history of this country. We have got to end one-party rule in Washington and elect progressive governors and state officials. Let’s revitalize democracy. Let’s have a very large voter turnout on Tuesday. Let’s stand up and fight back. Thank you all very much. Please make a plan to vote here: https://iwillvote.com/

_OxxO_13019 karma

you smoke weed?

bernie-sanders21057 karma

When I was a young man, I did smoke marijuana on several occasions. For me, the result was a lot of coughing. Having said that, I strongly believe that we should move toward the legalization of marijuana because that issue is an integral part of our failed criminal justice system. Today in America, we have more people in jail than any other country, and there are millions of Americans who have police records because they were arrested for possessing marijuana. And when that happens, it can be harder to get a job or an apartment. If we are serious about criminal justice reform in this country, we must move towards the legalization of marijuana and that is something I’ll fight for.

MichaelDeMarcoCEO9487 karma


How can we stop the war in Yemen? Why do we continue to operate on friendly terms with Saudi Arabia? Why don't we try to actually engage in a healthy relationship with Iran?

bernie-sanders14094 karma

This a very important question and an issue I’ve been working very hard on for the last year. In fact, a resolution I brought the Senate floor with Senators Lee and Murphy called for ending in the war in Yemen. That war is an unbelievable and horrific humanitarian disaster. That country is facing a cholera epidemic and widespread famine. We should not be allied with a dictatorship like Saudi Arabia who is leading the effort in that war. Further, in my view, that war is unconstitutional because Congress, which has the war-making authority in our form of government, has not authorized it. Let’s get out of Yemen as soon as possible and help bring humanitarian help to that struggling country.

Saudi Arabia is a brutal dictatorship which does not tolerate dissent, which treats women as third class citizens and which is run by a handful of multi-billionaires. I strongly condemn Trump’s affection for the rulers of Saudi Arabia, and if we are to avoid a never ending war in that part of the world, it is imperative that we develop an even-handed policy toward Iran and Saudi Arabia.

EmperorLost3653 karma

Do you believe there should be more citizen involvement in government or just the opposite? Also what do you think of the current education system in the U. S

bernie-sanders6673 karma

I think we need to make a lot of improvements we have got to appreciate the young people of this country are the future of America. That means ending the absurdity that in the wealthiest country in the history of the world, we have the highest rate of childhood poverty of almost any major country on earth. Children cannot learn if they’re hungry or homeless or if their families are struggling with drug addiction. Further, we have got to respect educators in this country and make sure that we attract the best and brightest to the teaching profession by paying our teachers good wages and providing them with good working conditions. Unbelievably, in America today, there are states like Oklahoma and Colorado where kids are going to school 4 days a week because of budgetary constraints. How insane is that? Further, we need to move toward universal, affordable childhood pre-K. The bottom line is: instead of giving tax breaks to billionaires and large corporations we need to fund our schools and respect educators.

njd59113178 karma

In your opinion, what is the most pressing issue facing our generation today?

bernie-sanders7160 karma

In my view, the younger generation is the most progressive generation in the history of our country. They are leaders in the fight against sexism, racism, homophobia, religious bigotry, and discrimination. They also understand, even though Trump does not, that climate change is very real and has to be addressed. This younger generation, will have a lower standard of living than their parents if we don’t turn the economy around and create jobs that pay decent wages. I have talked to too many college graduates who are earning 10 or 11 bucks an hour - and that is not acceptable. Further, millions of young people have left school deeply in debt and are struggling hard to pay off those debts. Low wage jobs and high debt makes for a difficult existence. My hope is, that young people in response to these issues will become increasingly involved in the political process and stand up for their rights. The young people can turn this country around if they run for office, if they vote and if they get involved. I very much hope they will.

Danerd12333 karma

What’s the best thing about Vermont?

bernie-sanders4373 karma

I love Vermont because of its natural beauty. When you visit us, you will find that we are truly one of the most beautiful states in the country and that we have four special seasons. Right now, the leaves are changing which is a beautiful time to visit Vermont. Further, we have a very down to earth type of politics in which candidates at the local, state and federal level remain close to the people. I think it’s fair to say that in Vermont at one level or another I have personally met a good percentage of the people in our state. Lastly, I’m proud that in recent years Vermont has developed one of the most progressive election systems in the country making it very easy for people to vote.

ICanGetLoudTooWTF2212 karma

Hi Bernie!

How will a single-payer healthcare system actually save Americans money? How is it that America is paying more per capita for healthcare relative to other developed nations that have implemented single-payer?

bernie-sanders2719 karma

I would hope that there would be widespread support in Congress, as I know there is among the American people for the legislation that I’ve introduced, which would guarantee healthcare to all Americans through a Medicare-for-all, single-payer program. The first year of the 4-year phase-in program calls for lowering the eligibility age from 65 to 55 and for covering all the children in America. I would hope we can get widespread bipartisan support for that. Further, all Americans, whether they’re conservative or progressive understand we’re being ripped off by the pharmaceutical industry, which charge us by far the most per country. The American people want us to stand up to the drug industry and I hope very much we gain bipartisan support to do that.

JenMG851987 karma

Hi Senator. What, if anything, can we expect the Democratic Party to do about student loan debt?

Also, under Obama there were too many unemployment extensions given out. However, under Trump there are zero extensions being given. I am unemployed and am putting an overwhelming amount of effort into getting a new job. However, my unemployment is now up and I have yet to land a new position. Now I have barely any income on my part (I am married) and a 3 year old son to take care of. The nanny position I took while I am job searching in my field barely pays anything. Do you think it is possible that something could/will be done about the extensions?

bernie-sanders3384 karma

This is a huge issue which I am deeply immersed in. Not only do we have to make colleges and universities tuition-free but we have to provide help to the tens of millions of Americans who are struggling with outrageous levels of student debt. Right now, there are millions of Americans who have $50,000 or $100,000 of debt and struggle to pay that debt often at high interest rates. If Trump and his Republican colleagues can provide a trillion dollars in tax breaks to the top 1% we can make public colleges and universities tuition-free and substantially lower the burden of student debt on millions of Americans.

TheOWOTriangle1789 karma

If you could replicate the USA's economics on another country's economics, which country would it be?

bernie-sanders5704 karma

I think there is a great deal to learn from many countries around the world especially Scandinavian countries. These countries – Denmark, Norway, Finland, Sweden – provide healthcare to all people as a right, have excellent universal child care programs and make higher education available to all their young people at no or little cost. Further, they have been aggressive in taking on climate change and moving towards sustainable energy. These countries understand it's important to have a government that works for all of their people, not just the people on top, and that’s a lesson we must learn for our country.

RPG_Vancouver1659 karma

Thanks for this AMA senator

If Democrats take control of the senate or the house after the midterms, what is the the first piece of legislation or issue you’d like to work on?

bernie-sanders4236 karma

If Democrats take control the House or the Senate we must move to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour. We must immediately lower prescription drug costs in this country and we must work aggressively towards Medicare for All. We also have to take on Trump in transforming our energy system away from fossil fuel toward energy efficiency and sustainable energy as we combat the great threat of climate change.

mugenhunt1324 karma

What can we do to prevent climate change from killing humanity?

bernie-sanders3408 karma

It is incomprehensible to me that we have a president who is not only a racist, sexist, homophobe, xenophobe and religious bigot - but a president who rejects science. The debate over climate change is over. The scientific community is almost 100% united in telling us that climate change is real, caused by human activity, and is already doing devastating harm to our country and the world. We must as a nation lead the world in moving aggressively toward such sustainable energy as wind, solar and geothermal and when we do that, we will not only combat climate change but create millions of good paying jobs and lower electric bills. We must also move toward the electrification of our transportation system and rebuild our crumbling rail system. The United States should lead the world in combating climate change not have a president who rejects science and works with the fossil fuel industry.

dcwj1085 karma

What's your favourite book?

bernie-sanders-5400 karma

My favorite book at the moment is a brand new book that I wrote that will be coming out in a couple weeks called “Where We Go From Here” and this book talks about the work that I and other progressives have been doing over the last two years in opposition to Trump’s reactionary agenda and how we go forward in creating a government that works for all, and not just the wealthy few.

SingShredCode922 karma

The world is on fire in pretty much every direction right now. What makes you hopeful?

bernie-sanders1890 karma

What makes me hopeful in these very difficult times is that I get around the country a lot and meet extraordinarily wonderful people. In the last two weeks, as part of this campaign, I will have visited 12 states in support of Democrats and progressive candidates. I have met with hundreds of people who are working day and night working to improve their communities and these people give me a great sense of hope for the future.

carbonatedcutie339 karma


bernie-sanders1291 karma

This is the most important midterm election in the modern history of this country and it is enormously important than young people come out and vote. In fact, in my view, if young people vote at the same percentage as older people do we can transform this country and move aggressively towards, economic justice, social justice, racial justice, and environmental justice. Do not sit out this election. It it too important. Please vote and bring your friends and co-workers to the polls.