Before you read this post, do me a favor. Take ten seconds, close your eyes, and listen.
What you hopefully heard was the sound of silence.
Everywhere you look across this country, from the Texas Rio Grande Valley to the shores of the Alaskan coast, a sudden silence has begun to sweep across those on the Left side of the political spectrum. Yes it’s true… Liberals have stopped apologizing for their views.
Instead, they’ve started listening to Bernie Sanders. You know… that Presidential candidate that gets less press coverage than more than nearly half of the Republican Presidential field. The same Presidential candidate that is packing stadia with supporters at virtually every stop of his 50 state campaign.
But hopefully after yesterday’s event, the media will soon start to ‘Feel the Bern’. As Jessica Taylor of NPR reports, Sanders showed just how far his message can reach.
Vermont Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders was preaching to a different kind of choir at Liberty University on Monday.
“I came here today because I believe that it is important for those with different views in our country to engage in civil discourse — not just to shout at each other or make fun of each other,” Sanders began. “It is very easy for those in politics to talk to those who agree with us. I do that every day. It is harder, but not less important, to try to communicate with those who do not agree with us and see where, if possible, we can find common ground and, in other words, to reach out of our zone of comfort.”
He acknowledged he had many differences with the school’s leaders and most of the student body at the largest Christian university in the country, particularly on abortion and gay marriage, and Sanders was unapologetic for his liberal views on those social issues.
But he spent the bulk of his time trying to find that common ground with the nearly 12,000 students who had gathered for mandatory convocation. He talked about the problems of wealth inequality, the absence of health care and fair wages for the poor and what America’s response should be.
For the foundation of that belief, he looked to the Gospel, quoting Matthew 7:12, commonly known as the Golden Rule: “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and Prophets.”
Yes… the Jewish Senator Bernie Sanders, on the day of Rosh Hashanah in his faith, quoted from the New Testament of the Bible.
It was from this biblical context that Sanders spoke on poverty, income inequality and the many fallacies surrounding the nation’s disparate minimum wage policies…
Put this in the context of the bible– not me. We are living in a time when 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. More money than they would ever know what to do with.
But at that same moment, there are millions of people in our country… who are struggling to feed their families. They are struggling to put a roof over their heads, and some sleeping out on the streets. They are struggling to find money to go to the doctor when they are sick.
Now when we talk about morality… 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.
In my view, there is no justice… when millions of people are working long hours for abysmally-low wages… Working hard, but unable to bring in enough money to adequately feed their kids. Yet at that same time, fifty-eight percent of all new income generated is going to the top one 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.
Apologies not included.
Call it bravery, or insanity, but once again Bernie Sanders has proven that the truth has resonance across the political spectrum.
And if you’re wondering just how well received his Socialist message was at the Conservative Christian stronghold, let’s turn to Jessie Pounds of the Lynchburg News Advance who was there to gather student reactions…
“I think he did a good job of not offending,” junior Emily Murphy said. “I think he said what he believes in, but he didn’t put us down, so I respected that.”
Keila Overcast, also a junior, said she thought it was appropriate for Sanders to be as up front as he was about his support for abortion rights and gay marriage, but as someone strongly opposed herself, she wished he’d said more to explain why he feels that way.
Michael Leh, a sophomore studying Christian leadership, said he saw himself voting for Sanders if the election came to a matchup between Sanders and businessman and television star Donald Trump.
“Even though I might not agree with him, I respect him the most out of all the candidates right now, the fact that he came here and spoke with us and at the same time was very blunt with us, I really appreciated that,” Leh said.
And thus it is revealed: the true secret to Bernie Sanders’ continued success. He states what he believes, respects the other side even when he doesn’t agree with them, and he doesn’t apologize.
It’s been a long time since the United States has witnessed this brand of politics. But thankfully for us all, Sanders is proving that it not only still has a place, but that people are hungering for it.
Let’s hope this message resonates with other Democratic candidates as well.
Here’s the Full Speech, including an interesting question and answer session, posted on YouTube by the Separation of Corporation and State…
If you liked this Texas Leftist post, please consider a donation