The speaker of the commencement address is politician Bernie Sanders, who is “a United States senator from Vermont” (l. 30). He first became a Congressman in 1991 and has a long political career behind him. Sanders is a member of the Democratic Party and has democratic socialist views. Those who have democratic socialist views advocate for social and economic equality. They believe that the state should have more control over the economy, and that workers should have more freedom to organise themselves. Democratic socialists tend to support big reforms that are meant to bring about more freedom, equality, and solidarity.

He is best known for running in the 2016 Democratic primary elections against Hillary Clinton, hoping to become the Democratic nominee for the 2016 presidential elections. During the 2016 campaign, Bernie Sanders became known for his opposition to economic inequality, a topic that he also explores in the commencement address to Brooklyn College graduates. After he lost to Clinton, Sanders pledged his support for her against Donald Trump. In 2019, Sanders formally announced that he is running again for the 2020 presidential race.

In the speech, Sanders offers various personal details about his past and his family. He came to the graduation ceremony with his wife Jane (ll. 5) and they both grew up in Brooklyn. Sanders explains his youth and education: “I grew up in Flatbush and graduated from James Madison High School” (l. 8). This encourages the audience to identify with Sanders, as he knows the area intimately and probably has a similar...

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