Good on Bernie Sanders for going to speak at Liberty University, and good on Liberty for inviting him. Here are excerpts from his speech. He started with this:
I believe in a woman’s rights….
And the right of a woman to control her own body.
I believe gay rights and gay marriage.
Those are my views, and it is no secret. But I came here today, because I believe from the bottom of my heart that it is vitally important for those of us who hold different views to be able to engage in a civil discourse.
Too often in our country — and I think both sides bear responsibility for us — there is too much shouting at each other. There is too much making fun of each other.
Boom, put it right out there. No veiling the obvious. He went on to say that even though he disagrees with conservative Christians on same-sex marriage and abortion, he respects that Liberty University is a place that takes morality and moral responsibility seriously. He said that there ought to be issues of common ground that secular leftists like him and conservative Christians like them could work together on. Here’s the heart of Bernie’s speech:
In the United States of America today, there is massive injustice in terms of income and wealth inequality. Injustice is rampant. We live, and I hope all of you know this, in the wealthiest country in the history of the world.
But most Americans don’t know that. Because almost all of that wealth and income is going to the top 1 percent.
You know, that is the truth. We are living in a time — and I warn all of you if you would, put this in the context of the Bible, not me, in the context of the Bible — we are living in a time where a handful of people have wealth beyond comprehension. And I’m talking about tens of billions of dollars, enough to support their families for thousands of years. With huge yachts, and jet planes and tens of billions. More money than they would ever know what to do with.
But at that very same moment, there are millions of people in our country, let alone the rest of the world, who are struggling to feed their families. They are struggling to put a roof over their heads, and some of them are sleeping out on the streets. They are struggling to find money in order to go to a doctor when they are sick.
Now, when we talk about morality, and when we talk about justice, we have to, in my view, understand that there is no justice when so few have so much and so many have so little.
There is no justice, and I want you to hear this clearly, when the top one-tenth of 1 percent — not 1 percent, the top one-tenth of 1 percent — today in America owns almost as much wealth as the bottom 90 percent. And in your hearts, you will have to determine the morality of that, and the justice of that.
In my view, there is no justice, when here, in Virginia and Vermont and all over this country, millions of people are working long hours for abysmally low wages of $7.25 an hour, of $8 an hour, of $9 an hour, working hard, but unable to bring in enough money to adequately feed their kids.
And yet, at that same time, 58 percent of all new income generated is going to the top 1 percent. You have got to think about the morality of that, the justice of that, and whether or not that is what we want to see in our country.
Read the whole thing. It’s solid stuff.
Where is the conservative Christian Bernie Sanders? A guy who stands up for the poor and the working class, but also for the unborn? I’d vote for that man — or woman — in a heartbeat. Pat Buchanan was in that ballpark a generation or so ago. More recently, I thought Mike Huckabee was going to be that guy, but then he turned himself into a Foxbot.