Bernie Sanders proved that he can find a peaceful resolution with just about anyone including supporters of Donald Trump, whom the Vermont senator has fiercely criticized.
At a town hall meeting on Dec. 12 titled “Trump Country” hosted by MSNBC’s Chris Hayes Sanders spoke with a group of voters about the issues they felt passionately about this presidential election.
Throughout the meeting, several voters brought up their belief that Trump “started a dialogue” and simply said what many are thinking. Things got heated, however, when one female voter named Gail Sparks expressed her concern that undocumented immigrants were threatening her pay.
After the other voters said Trump wouldn’t actually take aggressive action against undocumented immigrants as promised during his campaign Sanders interjected and said, “I find it interesting that three out of four of you are saying, ‘Yeah, he talked about that stuff, but it’ll never happen. We don’t believe that it’ll ever happen.'” He added, “Why do you vote for somebody who, in a sense then, is lying?”
Moments later, Sanders engaged with Sparks, and their exchange has since gone viral. It started when the voter stressed that programs like Social Security and Medicare shouldn’t be cut, especially when people like herself are paying for those programs and need them the most.
After commending her “good point,” Sanders said, “Do you know who is now working very hard to try to do that? Republicans in Congress have a plan under the guise of saving Medicare and saving Social Security, making devastating cuts. That’s what the Republicans are now trying to do.”
By the end of the interaction, Sanders and Sparks seemed to be seeing eye to eye. Sanders closed out his argument when he said:
“What all of us should know is that over the last 25 years, there has been a massive transfer of wealth in this country from you to the top one-tenth of one percent. In other words, the middle class has shrunk and trillions of dollars have gone to the top one-tenth of one percent.
Do you think it’s inappropriate to start asking those people to pay their fair share of taxes so we can adequately fund Medicaid and make public colleges and universities tuition-free? Is that an unfair thing to ask?”
In response, Sparks agreed and said, “I don’t think it’s an unfair thing to ask. They got rich off of us, so it’s time they put back.”
Throughout his campaign, Trump generally avoided questions about his plans for Social Security and Medicare. To further prove Sanders’s point, the president-elect’s proposed tax plan would largely benefit the rich.
Refer to 4:12 in the video above to see the entire exchange.