During the Brooklyn kickoff for Bernie Sanders‘ 2020 presidential campaign, his national co-chair, Nina Turner, gave a shout-out to atheists (among others) as she told the crowd who Sanders was representing in his run.
Spoiler: It’s literally everyone.
… and so I say, Brooklyn, that you should be proud that the son of this city has been standing on the front lines for a very long time. Standing up for working people in this country. Black, white, brown, red, yellow, and the swirl in between. Gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer. Jew, gentile, Christian, Buddhist, atheist. Standing up for the people! That’s the measure of a man.
It’s just rhetoric, but it’s good to be included in that mix. The next step is for the candidates to make a more direct case for church/state separation and why this administration’s appeals to a specific kind of conservative Christian need to end.
While it might be strategically unwise to focus on atheism on the stump, every Democratic candidate should be making a case for a secular government that promotes evidence-based policies. There’s a growing number of non-religious Americans. Democrats need them to vote in 2020 (because white evangelicals sure as hell will). They would be foolish to ignore us, and doing so doesn’t have to alienate religious voters. Turner’s speech shows how easily it can be done.
Incidentally, Sanders isn’t an atheist, as he’s said in many interviews. Rather, his style of religion is a very nebulous “God is everything” approach that isn’t offensive to anyone except the conservative Christian crowd.