At a CNN town hall on Monday night, four members of Rights & Democracy pushed presidential candidate Sen. Amy Klobuchar on issues that matter to all of us.
“Why can’t we have Medicare for All?” asked Pam Clark of Westmoreland, also a member of Monadnock Progressive Alliance. “I have heard all the excuses why we can’t have it in our country, while all the other industrialized countries have it and it seems to work. What makes us the exception?”
After several minutes of skirting the question, Klobuchar stated that Medicare for All is “something we can look to for the future” but she believes more gradual approaches are necessary right now.
Stand with us
Later, Rights & Democracy board member Griffin Sinclair-Wingate, also a leader in New Hampshire Youth Movement, pushed the senator from Minnesota on the student debt crisis. He reminding Klobuchar that New Hampshire students graduate with the highest average student loan debt of any state in the country.
“Would you be willing to stand with my generation and end the student debt crisis by supporting free college for all?” Sinclair-Wingate asked. “And would you include undocumented and formerly incarcerated people in that program?”
But, Klobuchar demurred. Policies like free college, Medicare for All, and the Green New Deal were too aspirational for her.
Just and healthy society
But the grilling wasn’t over. Rights & Democracy members Jodi Newell and Mohammad Saleh of Keene also had questions for Klobuchar. Newell shared her personal story of losing her partner to overdose and asked what the candidate intends to do as president to confront the opioid crisis.
Then, Saleh spoke to our society’s tendency to blame failure on personal responsibility, asking Klobuchar,
“Do you agree with the progressive view that a just and equitable society must be built with empathy for the unfortunate?”
Our issues in the spotlight
By the end of the evening it was clear that Senator Klobuchar was holding firmly to centrist policy positions.
But it was also evident, from CNN’s decision to take questions from four Rights & Democracy members, that our #PeoplesPriorities will be defining the narrative during the 2020 election season.
It’s our hope that we can help candidates like Klobuchar realize that their moderate stances on critical issues are not what the people of New Hampshire want.