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Tipsheet

Here's Omar's Response to Those Who Have Called Her 'Radical'

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) has been on the campaign trail stumping for Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT). During a campaign event in New Hampshire on Friday, Omar argued that the media has falsely labeled her and Bernie as "radicals." 

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"The media and many political pundits have labels they place on Sen. Bernie and myself and sometimes we get the same titles. And one that they like to use is 'radical,'" she said with a smile. "Here's the truth: if believing that 500,000 Americans should not be forced into medical bankruptcy every single year is radical, then we're proud to be radical."

"If believing that mental health, vision health, dental health should be guaranteed to all Americans, is something that they consider radical, then we should all be proud to be radicals," she said.

Omar argued that the opioid criss could be solved by giving Americans Medicare for All and that "free" public education should be extended to college as well. 

"If you believe that we should have Wall Street pay to cancel out student debt as radical, then we should all consider ourselves radical," the Congresswoman said. 

Other topics that she argued as "radical" stances she's proud to take: wanting kids to eat school lunch even if they don't have money, not wanting to see homeless on the street in frigid weather and believing it's wrong for Americans to be evicted from their homes because they can't afford rent.

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"I happen to believe that climate change is an existential threat to humanity and believing that climate crisis and refugee crisis are linked. If it will take a global refugee pact to make sure climate refugees who lose their homes are welcomed with open arms, and not shot out by a cringe fest, if that thought is radical, then we should all consider ourselves radical," Omar explained. 

"I happen to believe that we cannot continue to ship jobs overseas and pay workers pennies on the dollar while laying off highly skilled union worker at home and I believe, with all my heart, that my destiny, your destiny, the destiny of workers around the world are linked together," she said. "If that idea is radical then I am so proud to be radical."

"The truth is the only radicalism we're motivated by is radical love. That's why we're calling on everyone to be moved radically by love for their neighbors, for our country, for our democracy and for our humanity," Omar explained. 

Omar compared progressive views to that of Dr. Martin Luther King, saying that just before he passed away, he launched the Poor People's Campaign, "building a multi-racial working class coalition" to end the three evils he saw: racism, poverty and war. 

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She argued that Sanders has continued on the with the "radical love" Dr. King was fighting for as a means of fighting "the dark cloud of hate hanging over America." 

No one wants to see their neighbors addicted to opioids, homeless on the street, kids being turned away from school lunch or people being evicted from their homes. That's not the American dream. We all want to fix that problem. But taking money from the so-called "rich" and middle class Americans to spread the wealth doesn't fix the problem. Throwing money at homeless people doesn't address why they became homeless to begin with. Giving an addict Medicare for All doesn't suddenly keep them from using their drug of choice.

This idea of "radical love" sounds great on paper. It's a feel good type of movement but it's not practical, especially when there's no plans to pay for this "love."


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