Democratic Presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders will deliver an address next month at Liberty University, the school founded by the late Jerry Falwell and the place where Sen. Ted Cruz announced his entry into the Presidential race earlier this year.
But Ted Cruz belongs at Liberty University.
Bernie Sanders is why Liberty University was created in the first place. It’s a training ground for students to fight against people like him.
“Liberty University was kind enough to invite me to address a convocation and I decided to accept,” Mr. Sanders said in a statement his spokesman provided. “It goes without saying that my views on many issues — women’s rights, gay rights, education and many other issues — are very different from the opinions of some in the Liberty University community. I think it is important, however, to see if we can reach consensus regarding the grotesque level of income and wealth inequality in our country, about the collapse of the middle class, about the high level of childhood poverty, about climate change and other issues.”
He added: “It is very easy for a candidate to speak to people who hold the same views. It’s harder but important to reach out to others who look at the world differently. I look forward to meeting with the students and faculty of Liberty University.”
I love that Sanders accepted the invite. He has nothing to lose by putting himself in front of a crowd that doesn’t cheer at his every word, and if he can make any inroads with students there, more power to him.
It’s not the first time a pro-choice Democrat has spoken at the school, by the way. Sen. Ted Kennedy spoke at Liberty Baptist College (the university’s predecessor) in 1983. Not only was his speech fantastic, both sides shared laughter despite their differences:
Actually, a number of people in Washington were surprised that I was invited to speak here — and even more surprised when I accepted the invitation. They seem to think that it’s easier for a camel to pass through the eye of the needle than for a Kennedy to come to the campus of Liberty Baptist College.
The separation of church and state can sometimes be frustrating for women and men of religious faith. They may be tempted to misuse government in order to impose a value which they cannot persuade others to accept. But once we succumb to that temptation, we step onto a slippery slope where everyone’s freedom is at risk. Those who favor censorship should recall that one of the first books ever burned was the first English translation of the Bible. As President Eisenhower warned in 1953, “Don’t join the book burners…the right to say ideas, the right to record them, and the right to have them accessible to others is unquestioned — or this isn’t America.” And if that right is denied, at some future day the torch can be turned against any other book or any other belief. Let us never forget: Today’s Moral Majority could become tomorrow’s persecuted minority.
I’m under no illusion most Liberty students will oppose Sanders’ views. Even if they agree with him on economic inequality, they won’t vote for him because of the abortion issue alone. But in a political environment where Hillary Clinton is doing limited interviews even with relatively-friendly press, and many Republican candidates are dismissed for merely inching toward the center, Sanders is proving that he’s willing and able to reach across the aisle. (Kudos, too, to Liberty for extending him the invitation.)
Actually, forget reaching across the aisle. He’s a far-left Socialist going to Liberty. That’s more like Daniel going into the lion’s den.
What’s next? A Republican Presidential candidates’ debate on MSNBC?