Tuesday, September 15, 2015

If You Care About Your Country Consider This...

Rational Nation USA
Purveyor of Truth


What follows is highly worth reading, re-reading, and then examining closely the words of 2016 democratic presidential Bernie Sanders. There is much truth in his words and regardless of ones political affiliation truth is truth. Our nation at some point must come to grips with the issues he highlights. In a rational political environment a frank, honest, and open discussion including all political parties would be had and decisions would be made to address the growing threats to the nations social well being. Unfortunately, and to our countries great detriment, rather than having the needed discussion and working together to truly make our nation great again battle lines are already drawn and one party and movement in particular has no interest in resolving these issues and again creating a great middle class explosion.


U.S. Senator Bernard Sanders
Sept. 14, 2015
Lynchburg, Virginia


Thank you very much for inviting me to be with you today.

You know, and I know, that the views that many of you here at Liberty University hold are very different than mine – whether those issues relate to women’s rights, gay rights and other issues. That’s no secret.

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. It is very easy for those in politics to talk to those who agree with us – and I do that every day. It is harder, but not less important, to try and communicate with those who do not agree with us and see where, if possible, we can find common ground. In other words, to reach out of our zone of comfort.

Liberty University is a religious school. It is a school which tries to understand the meaning of morality and the words of the Bible, within the context of a very complicated modern world. It is a school which tries to teach its students how to behave with decency and honesty and how to best relate to their fellow human beings. I applaud those goals.

So let me take a few moments to tell you what motivates me in the work that I do as a public servant and as an elected official. I am far, far from perfect human being but I am motivated by a vision which exists in all of the great religions –Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism and others – and which is so beautifully and clearly stated in Matthew 7:12. “So in everything, do to others what you would have them to do to you, for this sums up the Law and the prophets.” The Golden Rule. Do to others what you would have them do to you. Not very complicated.

Let me be very frank. I understand that issues such as abortion and gay marriage are very important to you, and that we disagree on those issues. I get that. But let me respectfully suggest that there are other issues out there that are of enormous consequence to our country and the world and that maybe, just maybe, we don’t disagree on them. And maybe, just maybe, we can work together in trying to resolve them.

Amos 5:24; “But let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream!”

Justice. Treating others the way we would like to be treated. Treating all people with dignity and respect.

It would, I think, be hard for anyone in this room to make the case that the United States today is a “just” society or anything resembling a just society.

In America today there is massive injustice in terms of income and wealth inequality. Injustice is rampant. We live 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. We are living at a time where a handful of people have wealth beyond comprehension – huge yachts, jet planes, tens of billions of dollars, more money that they could spend in a thousand life-times, while, at the same time, millions of people are struggling to feed their families or put a roof over their heads or find the money to go to a doctor.

When we talk about morality and when we talk about justice we have to understand that there is no justice when the top one-tenth of 1 percent own almost as much wealth as the bottom 90 percent. There is no justice when all over this country people are working long hours for abysmally low wages, $7.25 an hour, $8 an hour, while 58 percent of all new income being created today goes to the top 1 percent.

There is no justice when, in recent years, we have seen a proliferation of millionaires and billionaires while, at the same time, the United States has the highest rate of childhood poverty in the industrialized world. How can we talk about morality when we turn our backs on the children of this country? Twenty percent of the children in this country live in poverty and that includes 40 percent of African-American children. There is no justice when, in the wealthiest country in the history of the world, children in our country go to bed hungry.

There is no justice when the 15 wealthiest people in this country in the last two years saw their wealth increase by $170 billion dollars. That is more wealth, acquired in a two-year period, than is owned by the bottom 130 million Americans. And while the very rich become much richer, millions of families have no savings at all and struggle every week just to stay alive economically, and the elderly and disabled wonder how they stay warm in the winter. That is not justice. That is a rigged economy designed by the wealthiest people in this country to benefit the wealthiest people in this country at the expense of everyone else.

There is no justice when thousands of people in America die each year because they don’t have health insurance and don’t get to a doctor when they should, or when elderly people are forced to choose between food or medicine because our citizens pay the highest prices in the world for prescription drugs. That is not justice. That is not morality. That is simply an indication that we are the only major country on earth which does not guarantee health care for all as a right.

There is no justice when low-income and working-class mothers are forced to separate from their babies one or two weeks after birth and go back to work because we are the only major country on earth which does not have a paid family and medical leave policy. That is not justice. That is an attack on family values that everyone in this room should be appalled at.

There is no justice in our country when youth unemployment exists at tragic levels – with 51 percent of African American high school kids unemployed or underemployed. No. We apparently do not have the funds to provide jobs or educational opportunities for our young people but we sure do have the money to throw them into jails. Today, the United States has more people in jail than any other country on earth, and many are serving time in inhumane conditions. That is not justice. That is the destruction of human life.

I am not a theologian or an expert on the Bible or a Catholic. I am just a U.S. senator from the small state of Vermont. But I agree with Pope Francis when he says; “The current financial crisis… originated in a profound human crisis: the denial of the primacy of the human person! We have created new idols. The worship of the ancient golden calf has returned in a new and ruthless guise in the idolatry of money and the dictatorship of an impersonal economy lacking a truly human purpose.”

He also states; “There is a need for financial reform along ethical lines that would produce in its turn an economic reform to benefit everyone. Money has to serve, not to rule.”

In his view, and I agree with him, we are living in a nation and in a world which worships the acquisition of money and great wealth, but which turns its back on those in need. And that must end. We need to move toward an economy which works for all, and not just the few.

Throughout human history there has been endless discussion and debate about the meaning of justice and the meaning of morality. And I know that here at Liberty University that discussion and debate will continue.

I would hope very much that as part of that discussion and part of that learning process some of you will conclude that if we strive toward morality and toward justice, it is imperative that we have the courage to stand with the poor and working people of our country.

Bernie Sanders' democratic socialism may not be the ultimate answer but; neither is the snake oil a certain party and movement are selling the American people.

Via: Memeorandum

24 comments:

  1. I think you are making the case for Bernie. Truth and a "frank, honest, and open disscussion" begins at the top and works it way down.

    Who better than Bernie to start that discussion?

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    Replies
    1. I am making the case for truth, and Bernie Sanders is speaking the truth. Certainly there are many potential solutions and all warrant discussion and consideration, something certain factions refuse to do.

      Having the ability to identify the positive and toss out the negatives in all things is rare these days. Example; both Rand and Marx were right on some things and wrong on others. But that is a subject for another day. On this day Bernie is pursuing a line of discussion that is sorely needed.

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    2. I gotta say, that despite my disagreement (principled and informed) on several issues, I am liking his candidacy more and more.

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    3. Hmm... I thought Bernie Sanders was the senator from Pyongyang and a thief who is good at plundering. Old bones, dmarks may say. I say cop out. Either he believes what he writes or he doesn't. If not, then why should anyone read anything he writes? Whatever he writes we should all assume he doesn't really mean it.

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    4. If RN wants to turn this discussion into purely crunching of old bones ( which at least WD knows he is doing), I am sure he will let us know. However, he has been quite clear on this subject...and it is not a "cop out", but instead respecting the explicit demands of the blog host..... this is "Rational Nation" after all, and not a place where every post must be seen as an excuse to continue off-topic grudge matches from other posts, other blogs, or imagination.

      I could refute the lies and false assumptions in the above comment, but like the above comment itself, it would be off-topic in regards to the statement that RN wants to discuss. The blog host has made it clear he doesn't want 60 off topic comments hijacking his threads. Respecting this wish is not "bootlicking", but it is instead good manners. And not insisting that you have the right to go into someone's house and soil the living room rug.

      Back to the post subject. That's what we are here for, right?

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    5. dmarks: which at least WD knows he is doing.

      I do not. That is YOUR term for dodging questions/not standing by previous comments and is a TOTAL cop out, as your previous comments are VERY relevant to your NEW position re Bernie Sanders. And quotes (which I could have linked to, but did not bother to since you would have immediately deleted them) aren't "lies" or "false assumptions".

      RN's "precisely" is him showing appreciation for dmarks' bootlicking.

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    6. My comment from above stands more than ever. Is it any way possible to discuss Bernie Sanders' recent statement?

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    7. This post is about Bernie Sanders and the truths he speaks. It is NOT dmarks or Dervish.

      So, here is the rules of this game, and since I am the only vote that matters here it is.

      1) We are not the least goddamn bit interested in your grudge match with dmarks, whatever it is Dervish. So, comment ONLY on the subject matter and express only your opinion related to the subject and or object of the specific post. All other WILL be deleted.

      2) dmarks, given Dervish's demonstrated desire to carry on his grudge match with you on these pages refrain from comments that he might consider baiting him. You need not be concerned in regards to comments directed at you or his baiting you as they will no longer be published. He can take his grudge match to the pages of one of his own several weblogs he pontificates on..

      Dervish... to you boot-licking comment I respond... grow up.

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    8. This post is about Bernie Sanders and the truths he speaks. It is NOT dmarks or Dervish.

      So, here is the rules of this game, and since I am the only vote that matters here it is.

      1) We are not the least goddamn bit interested in your grudge match with dmarks, whatever it is Dervish. So, comment ONLY on the subject matter and express only your opinion related to the subject and or object of the specific post. All other WILL be deleted.

      2) dmarks, given Dervish's demonstrated desire to carry on his grudge match with you on these pages refrain from comments that he might consider baiting him. You need not be concerned in regards to comments directed at you or his baiting you as they will no longer be published. He can take his grudge match to the pages of one of his own several weblogs he pontificates on..

      Dervish... to you boot-licking comment I respond... grow up.

      Delete
  2. Replies
    1. Les, in light of Bernie Sanders' comment, which candidate would you most like to see Sanders debate?

      I already have one name in mind myself.

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    2. Actually there are four, two republicans and two democrats.

      Democrats - Clinton & Webb
      Republicans - Trump & Senator Paul

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    3. Somewhat different from my answers. Biden was the only Democrat who came to mind. We would see how he was as a new candidate. For Republicans I think a trump debate would be a circus and nothing more however I think a Ron Paul debate would be the most intellectual and challenging.

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    4. I intentionally left Biden off, he has not announced and it is questionable if he will. But of course if he does most definitely.

      I personally think Sanders would toast and crumble Trump. But that aside my desire would be to see Sanders debate a principled libertarian (Senator Paul), a conservative democrat Webb, and a wingnut republican, Trump. We already pretty much know the Clinton and Bush wing of their respective parties and what they will do.

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  3. I agree with RN that people who care about their country will vote for Bernie Sanders. As for debates, Bernie Sanders wants more. He suggested Democrats running for potus should debate Republicans running for potus. The corporate democrat establishment will not allow this, unfortunately. I doubt the Republican corporate establishment would agree, however. When Republicans potus hopefuls (during the debate) blame everything on Obama, spew lies about the former pres "keeping us safe" (as if bush did not totally ignore the threat pre-9/11) and lie about Planned Parenthood... there is zero pushback, only applause. DWS and the others in Democratic Party leadership who are making these decisions are doing a very bad job IMO.

    BTW, in regards to dmarks attempt to make this post about his grudge match with me... this was (of course) not my intention with my question re his past statements on Bernie Sanders. I'm sure others readers recognize this. Hopefully dmarks will listen to RN's warning, but I doubt it.

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  4. It would be to Bernie's benefit, more than Clinton's, if there was more Dem debates. That's one reason it won't happen.

    Concerning dmarks, this post is about Bernie. A comment showing support from someone who has dissed him before, seems to me to warrant a question about previous comments. Of course, that's just my opinion.

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    1. Yeah, Jerry... Front runners really don't to like rock the boat. And in politics, if someone is a front runner, apparently it pays to go out in public very little or say very little, lest it jeopardize the lead. I've seen this in race after race. I'm pretty sure Hillary is still ahead, and she likes it that way. Bernie is surging ahead, and of course he wants to debate to keep his momentum.

      Bernie seems like he has better character than most of them. I hope that means that, once he is far ahead (if that happens) that he won't refuse to debate others also.

      In regards to your question, Jerry. Worded that way it is fair enough. There are some paragraphs in his statement I strongly agree with. And some I don't agree with so much. All of them, though, would be good for a candidate debate discussion, I think. I have changed my mind about him in some ways, which, as you said "warrants a question". Especially when the question is worded in an intelligent fashion, and not in a "gotcha" mode that attempts to divert the subject of the post into ongoing battles between two commenters, regardless of the topic I am very impressed at how he is running his campaign and conducting himself, regardless of my views of him on the issues. And this aspect of him (a national campaign) is rather new.


      (RN: the last paragraph is intended for Jerry, and not to bait Dervish Sanders. But if you disagree, feel free to refuse to refuse to post. delete the comment)..

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  5. This what I said:

    Bernie Sanders' democratic socialism may not be the ultimate answer but; neither is the snake oil a certain party and movement are selling the American people.

    I did not say that "people who care about their country will vote for Bernie Sanders". I did say reading which an honest interest in understanding the truth in much of what Bernie Sanders said was important. In fact I believe that for capitalism to survive and flourish for future generations it MUST put the interests of the nation and all its people at the core of its system. A true capitalist recognizes capital should work to create, maintain, and expand the middle class as it is the only way to ensure continued growth and societal harmony and calm.

    Will I be voting for Bernie Sanders, probably not. But I sure as hell absolutely know I will not cast a vote for Trump, Bush, Cruz, Huckabee, Carson, Rubio, or Walker. Webb and Biden could get my vote but only time will tell.

    BTW, in regards to dmarks attempt to make this post about his grudge match with me... this was (of course) not my intention with my question re his past statements on Bernie Sanders. I'm sure others readers recognize this.

    Perhaps they do Dervish. However, be advised that weaving this BS into a valid comment in the attempt to avoid comment deletion will NOT work. In the future the entire comment WILL be DELETED. My rules apply to you as well as dmarks.

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  6. Since RN and I have blogged on this subject, perhaps it is relevant to copy and paste parts of a comment I left at the other site:

    Moral Politics” is the title of book by George Lakoff, a linguistics professor at Berkeley, who has admonished liberals for allowing religious rightwing hacks to hijack public policy debates. Perhaps Bernie Sanders read this book and is trying to redress an imbalance by calling attention to such moral issues as inequality and injustice in contemporary America.

    I am also thinking of an influential essay, ”The Big Sort: Why the Clustering of Like-Minded America is Tearing Us Apart,” by Bill Bishop, who reminds us of our natural tendency to self-segregate along partisan and religious lines. When people holding opposite viewpoints stop talking to each other, the result, he says, is mutual incomprehension and animosity. Even worse, self-segregated people tend to adopt more extreme and intractable viewpoints.

    Does this speech at Liberty University represent an opening? Will Bernie Sanders’ speech help break down these divisions? Maybe. Maybe not.

    (skip)

    There are authoritarian social-controllers among them [reference to reactionary rightwing factions] whose sense of “freedom” versus “oppression” is inverted and self-serving; who would [greatly expand the powers of government to] criminalize the most natural and private aspects of our lives and turn all concepts of “religious freedom” into a de facto theocracy. On matters of personal conscience, these are not your Golden Rule or “live-and-let-live” kind of people.

    So it remains to be seen where any of this goes.

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    1. I also thought Bernie showed bravery by going to Falwell's college like this.

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    2. Given the apparent strength of the reactionary right in the conservative movement (tea party and neo con factions) I really don't see a rational and constructive dialogue happening. I have increasingly become a cynic. A result of watching the conservative movement being overtaken by unreasonable and irrational demagogues. Rather than seeking common ground and finding opportunities for agreement the right has proven itself more concerned with destroying any chance for dialogue and compromise.
      rational

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    3. I agree dmarks. Bernie has s message and he obviously has no concern with presenting it to those who likely will disagree.

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  7. At this risk of going off topic, I have a few words of advice to share with Dervish.

    When you invite yourself into someone’s living room (a blog is in many ways akin to a person’s home), it is considered bad manners to track old mud onto a clean floor, prop your feet on the coffee table, and pee on the potted plants.

    Next time, wipe your feet before entering the house and try to show a little more graciousness.

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  8. We will have to agree to disagree on this issue, Octo. But we've been over this before and you therefore know my position. My opinion on the matter has, and will not, change. As for a public blog being akin to a private residence... Octo may leave his doors open so that strangers can wander in and examine whatever they find. I do not. Which is why I absolutely do NOT consider a public blog to be akin to a person's home.

    ReplyDelete

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