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Sunday, February 5, 2017

At gathering on ‘politics of love,’ Sanders warns Trump could start a war

Sen. Bernie Sanders speaks at the Sister Giant conference on Feb. 2.

ARLINGTON, Va. — Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, speaking at a conference on the “Politics of Love” Thursday evening, said he feared that President Trump would plunge the nation into war.
“This is one of the things that scares me most: For a demagogue to succeed, they need to cultivate hatred. Now the hatred may be against immigrants — we’re all supposed to hate immigrants, and maybe it’s other minorities, African-Americans, Latinos,” Sanders said. “But also I worry that the hatred will spill over to foreign affairs, and that we are maybe entering into a situation where a Trump needs a war — and war and war — to rally public support.”
Sanders spoke before a rapturous audience at the second Sister Giant conference, hosted by bestselling spirituality author Marianne Williamson, author of “A Return to Love” and “The Age of Miracles.” The conference was part of a movement Williamson has dubbed the Great Resistance of 2017. Attendees were overwhelmingly female — fans and followers of Williamson, who is among the leading figures in the New Spirituality movement in America.
The gathering, billed as “Creating a Politics of Love,” illustrates how normally inward-looking communities, especially of women who had expected Hillary Clinton to win even if they were not all-in on her candidacy, have been galvanized into action by the polarizing 2016 election outcome.
While the Women’s March on Washington and its sister marches around the country struck a chord with the crafting lifestyle community — so much so that the marches wound up being visually defined by their pink hand-knitted and crocheted “pussy hats” — Sister Giant is seeking to mobilize what Williamson calls the “higher consciousness community” to resist Trump’s agenda and reach out to Americans who hold political views different from their own.
The conference, which drew 1,800 guests and an online audience of more than 3,000, opened with a video featuring a medley of words and phrases: “Say Hell No to Tyranny,” “Rise Up,” “Resist” and “Don’t Be Gaslighted.” The stage was backed by a banner showing a woman in lotus position silhouetted against a stylized American flag; on either side stood tall shelves holding candles. The Washington Unity Choir sang “My Country ’Tis of Thee” and “America the Beautiful.” A handful of women in the audience held up Bernie signs, and when he walked out to take his seat in the speakers’ section, one shouted, “2020!”
Sanders, the conference’s keynote speaker, told the audience that the enthusiasm for his message at the first-ever Sister Giant in 2015 in Los Angeles helped encourage him to run for president.
Not knowing precisely what to do next, but feeling called to action, was a common refrain Thursday. “With what’s happening today, I don’t know exactly what to do,” Williamson said.
“We have more than a political problem. We have an emotional problem, in that this moment scares us. It scares us. We have a psychological problem in that we are all being bullied in this moment. We have a spiritual problem in that hate has been harnessed for political purposes,” she said.
Sanders echoed her remarks. “If you think that you don’t have the answers, trust me, you are not alone,” he said. “What is imperative as never before is that we really think this thing through, because the stakes are so extraordinary for this country and for the world. And on behalf of my seven grandchildren, and the children all over this planet: We cannot fail.”
“I know that some of your friends say, ‘Wow, this sucks,’” added Sanders. He acknowledged that some people are reacting to the moment by wanting to turn off the news, stop reading the papers “and kind of sink slowly into despair.”
“And to those people who say this, I say, as loudly as I can — not only for your lives, but for the lives of future generations — despair is not an option.”
Sanders assured the audience: “On every important issue facing this country, the views of Donald Trump and his friends are a minority position — and don’t ever forget that.”
And yet, he said, being in the majority is not enough. “Let me suggest to you, and some will disagree with me, that’s OK too. Let me suggest to you that what happened on November 8th, Trump’s victory, was not a victory for Trump or his ideology. It was a gross political failure of the Democratic Party.”
Bernie makes a good point about the Democrats. He also makes sense. He may be a bit over the hill and corny and  he does play on people's emotions ( because he can) but he may have been the best candidate out of  the whole sorry lot.

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