Sen. Bernie Sanders speaks to crowd in Fulton

9 months 3 weeks 2 days ago Thursday, September 21 2017 Sep 21, 2017 Thursday, September 21, 2017 3:29:00 PM CDT September 21, 2017 in News
By: Adam Duxter, KOMU 8 Reporter
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FULTON- Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) says America needs to have a bigger debate on the country's current foreign policy.

The former presidential candidate was in Missouri to speak to students and faculty at Westminster College on Thursday. 

"I strongly believe that we not only need to begin a more vigorous debate about foreign policy, but we also need to broaden our understanding of what foreign policy really is," Sanders said. 

The lecture was part of the Green Foundation lectureship at Westminster, which throughout the years has brought in speakers ranging from J.C. Penney to George H.W. Bush. 

Sen. Sanders addressed August's events in Charlottesville, condemning racism in America. 

"When people in America march on our streets as neo-Nazi's, or white supremacists, or anti-Semites, we have no ambiguity in condemning everything they stand for. There are no two sides to that issue," Sanders said. 

Sanders also addressed the sold out event about the recent protests surrounding the not guilty verdict for Jason Stockley in St. Louis. 

"As we saw so clearly here in St. Louis last week, we need serious reform in policing and the criminal justice system so that the life of every person is protected and valued." 

Sanders also addressed President Trump's comments questioning the effectiveness of the United Nations.

He admitted there is need for reform, but focused on the good the UN accomplishes. 

"One of the most important organizations for promoting a vision of a different world is the United Nations. It has become fashionable among my colleagues in congress and elsewhere to bash the United Nations - and yes, the United Nations needs to be reformed. It can be ineffective, it can be bureaucratic. But to see only its weaknesses is to overlook the enormously important work the United Nations does."

Sanders also commented on the president's handling of the recent events in North Korea.

"U.S. leadership is shown by our ability to develop consensus around a shared problem, then mobilize that consensus to find a solution. That is the model we should be pursuing with North Korea," Sanders said. 

Sanders ended his lecture by focusing on the way he feels foreign policy should be handled. 

"At the end of the day, it makes far more sense to have a forum in which countries can debate their concerns, work out compromises and agreements, dialogue in debate, are far preferable to bombs, poison gas, and war," Sanders said. "Hatred and wars are often based on fear and ignorance. The way to defeat this ignorance and diminish this fear is through meeting with others and understanding the way they see the world."

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