Sen. Bernie Sanders was on Countdown tonight where he gave Mitt Romney a lesson on the true meaning of class warfare and what Occupy Wall Street is all about.
Here is the video from Current TV:
Sen. Sanders answered Mitt Romney’s claim that Occupy Wall Street is class warfare, “The reality is that in a sense Romney is right. Class warfare is being waged in America today. The problem is that the wrong side is winning. I mean what we have seen in recent years and actually for the last several decades is the middle class is disappearing, got millions more people who are falling into poverty, and yet the people on top are doing phenomenally well, so that in America now you have most unequal distribution of income and wealth of any major country on earth, with the top 400 people owning more wealth than the bottom 150 million Americans, and with that wealth these economic royalists if you like that is what FDR called them, exercise enormous political power. That is what class warfare is about, a few people on the top exercising enormous power and enormous amounts of money to push down the rest of the population.”
After a talking about how much people are hurting, Sen. Sanders continued, “And now you see a bunch of people standing out there saying hey, Wall Street are the people who caused this problem we’ve gotta start addressing it, and I think people are saying yeah, that’s right. What we have to do though, I think Keith, is not only demonstrate, these guys the demonstrators are pointing a finger at the problem, we’re going to have to come up with some specific solutions to the problem.”
Sen. Sanders proposed that the government break up the Big 6 financial giants, lower interest rates on credit cards, and order the Fed to provide loans to small businesses in order to tackle unemployment.
One thing that has become really obvious while covering the political and media reaction to Occupy Wall Street is those who are the 1%, the Rush Limbaughs, Glenn Becks, and Mitt Romneys of the right wing world are the people who are fighting the hardest against Occupy Wall Street. The news network of the 1%, Fox News has launched an entire campaign devoted to insulting the protesters and misinforming about the protests.
Outside of FDR, Sen. Sanders gave the clearest most succinct definition of class warfare that I have ever read or heard. When Mitt Romney cried class warfare on the campaign trail, he was actually practicing class warfare. Romney’s interest rests not with the poor people in this country who vote Republican, but with the wealthy people who have managed to return America back to the Gilded Age that many people though had been banished to the distant past.
Republicans have been waging class warfare for decades against the American people. In 2011, they have finally had enough. Sen. Sanders is correct that at some point Occupy Wall Street must become a political movement. I have gotten tweets from people saying, “But all the candidates are corporate, so why participate in politics?”
My answer is, if you don’t trust any of the candidates who are running, draft your own. The one lesson Occupy Wall Street can learn from the tea party is that when you control the candidate nomination process, you control the party.
Sen. Sanders is right. There will come a time when pointing out the problem isn’t enough. The next step is to work towards a solution.