Bernie Sanders seems to be the only elected representative in America who truly wants to talk about poverty. Hundreds of locals signed up for a town hall with the Senator from Vermont at a National Guard Armory in McDowell County, West Virginia. The event was supposed to be taped on Monday morning for an MSNBC special. The stage was set, the audience was ready and then it was abruptly canceled, supposedly, due to Defense Department policy prohibiting the use of military facilities for political and election events, including town hall meetings.
Bob Kincaid, host of The Head On Radio Network and a West Virginia local who was looking forward to the event explained, “Bernie and MSNBC’s presence to talk about the bone-crushing poverty of McDowell County, West Virginia was more than the powers-that-be in this state could stand. Using a heretofore unheard of rule, they axed a town hall that had been that planned for over a month, passing the buck to the Lord High General of the West Virginia National Guard, who intervened with a rule that had clearly never been used before. This is NOT over.”
Senator Sanders echoed those sentiments, stating, “If anyone in West Virginia government thinks that I will be intimidated from going to McDowell County, West Virginia, to hold a town meeting, they are dead wrong.”
The poverty-stricken county, where the average life expectancy is 64 years old, gave Senator Sanders had a 55.71 percent victory in Democratic Party primary. Donald Trump won the county in the general election with 74.1 percent of the vote.
Despite Trump’s populist rhetoric and promises to be the champion of “forgotten workers,” we shouldn’t be surprised that the elite are afraid. A reality-based conversation about poverty threatens to expose the fact that Trump and his Republican enablers care as much about eradicating poverty as they do about creating an economically vibrant, politically powerful and engaged working class. In other words, not at all.
Meanwhile, Senator Sanders vowed to find another venue. “If they don’t allow us to use the local armory, we’ll find another building. If we can’t find another building, we’ll hold the meeting out in the streets. That town meeting will be held. Poverty in America will be discussed. Solutions will be found.”
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