New York Times Podcasts
Why Bernie Sanders is newly optimistic
My expertise of interviewing Senator Bernie Sanders is that you just’re often speaking to somebody who acknowledges that he’s rowing towards the tides of American politics. You’re sometimes speaking about what he believes the president ought to be doing, however isn’t, or what the Democratic Party ought to be supporting, however isn’t.
But the American Rescue Plan was completely different. It’s President Biden’s invoice, in fact, but it surely’s the sort of factor that Mr. Sanders has been combating to move for years. So, too, with the full-employment-through-investment package deal coming subsequent. And so I needed to listen to what Mr. Sanders makes of this second, the place it appears that evidently he misplaced the election, however received lots of the arguments.
So I requested him on my podcast, and what I obtained was a way more optimistic Mr. Sanders than I’ve ever spoken to earlier than. “Congress does not pass perfect bills,” he advised me. “But for working-class people, this is the most significant piece of legislation passed since the 1960s.”
We additionally talked about the filibuster, the place he’s moved from supporting it even throughout the 2020 marketing campaign, to opposing it now; and about the fights over speech and tradition, the place he clearly has some issues with the place liberals are shifting, and the way arduous that makes it to speak to voters who may in any other case agree with them on economics.
“These cultural issues,” he mentioned, “I don’t know how you bridge the gap.” But “somehow or another, the intellectual elite does have, in some cases, a contempt for the people who live in rural America,” he mentioned, and he argued that the first step to successful these voters again is proving that you just respect them.
It’s an fascinating, reflective dialog with a politician who lastly finds himself rowing with the tide, and is clearly wanting to see how far he can go. I hope you’ll hear by following “The Ezra Klein Show” wherever you get your podcasts, or studying the transcript right here.