We’ll never know whether Bernie Sanders would have won the presidential election if he’d been the Democratic nominee against Donald Trump. But since Trump’s win, the independent senator from Vermont has become a major progressive opponent of the president-elect’s platform.

Sanders spoke at George Washington University on Wednesday to espouse his views on Trump’s presidential win, the change that working-class Americans want to see and what he will hold Trump accountable for during his presidency. The speech was live streamed by Our Revolution, an organization inspired by Sanders that seeks to revitalize democracy in the United States.

In a statement emailed to Sanders’ supporters, Our Revolution wrote: “We need to do all we can to protect the most vulnerable people in our country from Donald Trump’s administration.”

During his speech, Sanders called out a number of promises Trump made on the campaign trail, such as investing in infrastructure improvement, addressing income inequality and elevating the working class.

“Well, Mr. Trump, we have a list of everything that you said. And we are going to hold you [accountable],” Sanders said. “If those promises turn out to be hollow, if they were nothing more than campaign rhetoric, we will not only oppose his economic policies, we will expose that hypocrisy as well.”

Sanders made it clear that he and the majority of the people who voted for Hillary Clinton would monitor Trump during his presidency.

“We will not be involved in the expansion of bigotry, of racism, sexism [and] homophobia,” he said, adding later that he’d like Trump to rescind his recent appointment of chief strategist Steve Bannon.

While pledging to keep the president-elect accountable, Sanders also cemented his own role in creating “major, major reforms” within the Democratic Party and leading his revolution.

He said: “Change only takes place when millions of people look around and they say the status quo is not working and [they] are prepared to fight for social, racial, economic, environmental justice.”

In an op-ed piece in The New York Times, Sanders offered not to shut out the president-elect. “I will keep an open mind to see what ideas Mr. Trump offers and when and how we can work together,” he wrote.

The senator also detailed how he would reinvigorate the Democratic Party. “The party must break loose from its corporate establishment ties and, once again, become a grass-roots party of working people, the elderly and the poor,” he maintained in the op-ed piece.

Although Sanders is an independent, he was named chair of outreach for the Senate Democrats on Wednesday, and he will also serve as the top-ranking minority member of the Senate Budget Committee.

Posted by KiMi Robinson

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