Rev. William Barber Warns Blue MAGA: Americans Didn’t Vote Biden To Return To Normal
A “new” normal is coming and we’re not talking about life post-covid-19. Americans didn’t vote for Joe Biden to return to normal, even if that’s what blue MAGA expects, according to Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II, a Protestant minister and political activist.
Blue MAGA voted for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris — Democrats who are taking over the internet with blue MAGA hats, a take on Trump’s Red MAGA hats. But instead of the slogan, “Make America Great Again,” the slogan is “Made America Great Already.”
Dr. Barber is co-chairman of The Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival. An anti-poverty campaign and charity organization, The Poor People’s Campaign demands federal and state living wage laws and equal pay for equal work, among other things. It was inspired by Martin Luther King Jr.’s historic Poor People’s Campaign, aka the Poor People’s March on Washington in 1968. The MLK Poor People’s March was an effort to gain economic justice for poor people in the U.S.
The 2020 election was more than a victory for Biden and Harris, Dr. Barber said in a press release.
“This is a victory for democracy. When all the votes are counted, some 80 million Americans will have voted to end the Trumpism politics of lies, greed and the lust for power. An unprecedented coalition of American people have said clearly, ‘We cannot go backwards. We are going forward together,'” Dr. Barber said.
“We have elected Biden and Harris to use the power of government to lift up those who have been battered by covid-19, battered by poverty, and battered by years of Republican extremism,” Barber said.
The Poor People’s Campaign played a major role in boosting low-income voter turnout.
Voters with household incomes of less than $50,000 in 2019 voted for Biden by an 11.5-point margin (55 to 43), compared to an 8.2-point Democratic margin in 2016 (50 to 42), according to polls. At least 6 million more people in households with income below $50,000 voted in 2020 compared to 2016.
Before the 2020 election, the Poor People’s Campaign had reached out to more than 2.3 million poor and low-income people, most of them in battleground states, to urge them to vote. More than 400,000 — about 20 percent of those contacted — voted early, according to Inequality.org, a project of the Institute for Policy Studies
The push seemed to work. In key battleground states such as Michigan, poor and low-income people voted in large numbers in support of Biden. Preliminary data from the Associated Press shows that 54 percent of Michiganders in households with income of $50,000 or less voted for the Biden-Harris ticket. Biden eventually won that state with 50.6 percent of the vote.
Now the Poor People’s Campaign wants Biden to do something about poverty.
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“What I would say to say to the president-elect is that you promised some things when you ran,” Barber said on Al Jazeera’s “The Bottom Line” TV show. “And you promised to fight for some people. We have seen what evil public policy can do over the last four years…people need to see what good people will do with power. What good policy looks like.”
Barber urged Biden to follow through on his promise to increase the minimum wage nationwide.
“You said you wanted $15 an hour, you do that and it will heal the nation,” said Barber. “You said you would expand health care….you said you would deal with systemic racism in terms of voter rights and police reform. This needs to happen in the first 50 to 100 days. People need to see true fighting for all Americans, for all people.”