U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-V.T., joined Rev. William Barber II for a public forum Thursday night at Duke University Chapel.
The conversation, which was originally scheduled for Jan. 19 but was postponed due to a U.S. Congress budget vote, was called “The Enduring Challenge of a Moral Economy: 50 Years After Dr. King Challenged Racism, Poverty and Militarism.” Sanders and Barber discussed and answered audience questions concerning a variety of pressing political issues, such as inequality, military spending, racism and Russia, as well as the legacy of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.
Sanders, a former candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination, advocates for policy changes like universal health care and free public university tuition. Barber is an alumnus of Duke Divinity School, national co-chairperson of the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival and president of Repairers of the Breach.
Sanders said the concept of a moral economy stems from the injustice and gross immorality of three people in America owning more wealth than the bottom half of the American people.
“The way we bring about change is having the courage to talk about reality that you may not see on TV and you surely will not hear discussed in the United States Congress,” he said. “When we talk about a moral economy, we start off recognizing that we are the wealthiest country in the history of the world.”
Barber said systemic racism and economic inequality go hand-in-hand and that you cannot have one without the other.
“I was taught that there is no separation between justice and Jesus,” he said. “Any attempt to separate the two is heresy.”
Enough about Russia and Stormy Daniels, the leaders of the progressive movement want to talk about growing income inequality in the US.
At a live-streamed town hall event on Monday night, Senator Bernie Sanders once again circumvented cable news to host a 90-minute panel discussion on poverty, the decline of the middle class and the consolidation of corporate power.
He was joined in Washington by Senator Elizabeth Warren, director Michael Moore and economist Darrick Hamilton while roughly 1.7 million viewers tuned in to watch online, according to Sanders’ office.
Speaking to the Guardian before the event, Sanders said: “We have to fight Trump every day. But we have to not lose our vision as to where we want to go as a country. We can talk about the disastrous role Russia has played in trying to undermine American democracy. That is enormously important. But we also have to talk about the fact that we have the highest rate of child poverty in any major economy of the world.”
Sanders and Moore both complained about the media’s poor coverage of inequality and working people’s struggles. Moore said: “You turn on the TV and it’s ‘Russia, Russia, Russia!’” Sanders interjected: “And don’t forget Stormy Daniels!”
Moore continued: “These are all shiny keys to distract us … We should know about the West Virginia strike. What an inspiration that would be. But they don’t show this, Bernie, because, what would happen if they did?”
Panelists were not shy to point out who they felt were the culprits fuelling inequality in the United States. Its three wealthiest men – Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates and Warren Buffet – who collectively earn more than the poorest half of Americans, were singled out as contributing to the widening wealth gap. So too were lobbyists like the American Legislative Exchange Council and major political donors such as the Koch brothers. And, of course, representatives in Congress who are beholden to corporate donors.
This is a diary about the big picture. About things we should not forget as we fend off the daily outrages of the Trump administration. First, let’s hear from a very large sample of voters who were interviewed on election day 2016, by Reuters/Ipsos: The poll of more than 10,000 people who have already cast their ballots in the presidential election showed a majority of voters are worried about their ability to get ahead and have little confidence in political parties or the media to improve their situation. A majority also feel that the economy is rigged to mostly help …Continue reading →
The NY Times has an Op-Ed by Bernie Sanders up, advocating the Democratic party adopt a more progressive agenda. Bernie Sanders: How Democrats Can Stop Losing Elections In 2016, the Democratic Party lost the presidency to possibly the least popular candidate in American history. In recent years, Democrats have also lost the Senate and House to right-wing Republicans whose extremist agenda is far removed from where most Americans are politically. Republicans now control almost two-thirds of governor’s offices and have gained about 1,000 seats in state legislatures in the past nine years. In 24 states, Democrats have almost no political influence …Continue reading →