Shanah Tovah from Lynchburg, Virginia, where Bernie Sanders just gave a beautiful, thoughtful speech on income inequality to the student body of Liberty University, an evangelical college that calls for “a strong commitment to political conservatism [and] total rejection of socialism.”
Ted Cruz announced his candidacy this spring at another Liberty University convocation, which is a mandatory twice-weekly program. According to MSNBC, Sanders’ appearance “is the product of an unexpected acceptance of a largely perfunctory invitation.” While most politicians give speeches to audiences that share their views, Bernie Sanders is, apparently unbeknownst to Liberty University, not most politicians, and took this opportunity to bellow about income inequality to a group of stone-faced 18-22-year-olds who would much rather be looking up Bible quotes on Pinterest.
Although a few Bernie supporters found their way into the crowd, the audience mostly responded to every applause point—between which Sanders drew several very reasonable and seemingly obvious connections between helping the poor and being a good Christian—with a mix of yawns, incredulous stares, and uncomfortable silence.
“It is easy to go out and talk to people who agree with you...and that’s what politicians by and large do. It is harder, but not less important, for us to try and communicate with those who do not agree with us on every issue,” said Sanders.
“Let me be frank, as I said a moment ago, I understand that the issues of abortion and gay marriage are issues that you feel very strongly about. We disagree on those issues, I get that,” allowed Sanders. “But let me respectfully suggest that there are other issues out there that are of enormous consequence to our country, and in fact to the entire world, that maybe, just maybe, we do not disagree on.”
“We are living at a time where a handful of people have wealth beyond comprehension...enough to support their families for thousands of years,” the Senator explained. “There is no justice when so few have so much, and so many have so little.”
“We are the only major country on earth that does not guarantee health care to all people, and I think we should change that.”
The audience also got a chance to ask the candidate some hard-hitting questions about—wait for it—abortion, literally the only thing they would like to think or talk about. His wonderful response (at 7:55, below), like everything he said at this event, very clearly went in one collective ear and out the other.
But he tried, goddammit, and it was awesome.
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