Democrat presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) will be addressing the students of Liberty University next month during one of the school's convocations, which occur weekly. While Liberty, the largest Evangelical Christian university in the world, is no stranger to presidential candidate visits--Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) launched his campaign there--it's a little bit surprising that a self-described non-religious democratic socialist would be both invited and agree to speak at a university that banned the College Democrats from forming a club.
Sanders is hoping to find common ground with Liberty students on issues related to the economy and middle class.
"Liberty University was kind enough to invite me to address a convocation and I decided to accept,” Sanders said in a statement on Wednesday night. “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."
Kudos for Sanders for jumping headfirst in to what is certainly going to be a hostile territory. It will be interesting to see how the students react to his talking points. Evangelicals have consistently voted overwhelmingly for Republican candidates, but a major chunk of Sanders' support has been young voters. Only time will tell to see how this goes.