Former presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders joined comedian Sarah Silverman on stage to look back on the election, help his supporters find a new path forward and give his take on Donald Trump.
Sanders was promoting his new book, “Our Revolution,” that came out earlier this month.
Sanders told the audience that it would be a mistake to assume that the only reason Trump won was because his supporters are “racists, sexists and homophobes.”
“What he touched on in many, many parts of this country is a pain and a level of despair that you never, ever see on television,” Sanders said. “A lot of people are suffering, a lot of people are hurting and they need a party which brings them into the process.”
At the same time, Sanders spoke openly about his dislike of Trump himself - combined with a call to action.
Sanders says he’s having a hard time calling Trump the president-elect pic.twitter.com/Re0Be4O8bV— Christine Mai-Duc (@cmaiduc) November 30, 2016
“As we try to figure out how best to deal with a President Trump, and I’m as reluctant as you to say that phrase,” Sanders told the audience, “please do not believe that members of Congress can do this alone. We need a mass movement of millions of people who are engaged.”
In that spirit, Sanders also warned that the Democratic Party “cannot be the party of the liberal elite” and that it is not enough to back candidate solely because she is a woman, or because he is gay.
Most of the talking was done by Sanders, but Silverman led the groundwork with snarky comments and questions.
Tongue-in-cheek Silverman quips: “Are Jews people?” Sanders laughs before responding that the job before us is to reject econ scapegoating— Christine Mai-Duc (@cmaiduc) November 30, 2016
Silverman was a frequent Sanders surrogate on the campaign trail, but during the Democratic National Convention she said she would proudly vote for Clinton and called the “Bernie or Bust”-movement ridiculous.
In “Our Revolution,” the Vermont Senator looks back at his campaign and urges his supporters to continue the political revolution.
“He outlines a progressive economic, environmental, racial, and social justice agenda that will create jobs, raise wages, protect the environment, and provide health care for all and ultimately transform our country and our world for the better,” the book description reads.
When Sanders touched upon these topics - that also included free college tuition and pay equality for women - during his discussion with Silverman, he got sustained applause.
He also said that if he had been elected, he would have shifted the governmental relationship with Native Americans. “Man, I wish you were president,” Silverman responded.
Lilly Maier is a news intern at the Forward. Reach her at email@example.com or on Twitter at @lillymmaier
Lilly Maier is a news intern at the Forward. She is a graduate journalism student at New York University, where she studies as a Fulbright scholar. She also holds a B.A. in Jewish history from the University of Munich.
Contact Lilly at firstname.lastname@example.org, read her portfolio, or follow her on Twitter.