Bernie Sanders went to Westminster College, in Fulton, Missouri, Thursday, and delivered a policy speech in the same academic setting that brought former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, to Fulton, 71 years ago, March 5, 1946.
Churchill's historic "Iron Curtain" speech. is seen as the opening salvo in the Cold War. This week, Bernie Sanders had a different focus.
The 2016 Democratic primary candidate who opposed Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination, came to Fulton to lay out a U.S. foreign policy not for war but for peace and equality.
The Nation magazine editors commented:
"[Sanders] reminds us that hundreds of millions live in poverty, dying of preventable diseases, while arms makers rake in trillions from weapons of war. He reminds us that America's history of interventions -- from Iran to Chile to right now in Yemen -- have a habit of having devastating results. ..."
It was a different time when Churchill spoke in 1946. The U.S., Great Britain and its allies had just emerged victorious from World War II. The Soviet Union, the U.S. and Great Britain were pawing the ground like two bull moose eager to fight.
The Churchill speech March 5, 1946, is remembered by historians as "one of the most famous orations of the Cold War period." In his famous oratorical style, the former Prime Minister etched these words into history:
"From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic, an iron curtain has descended across the continent."
It was a call to a war-oriented future.
In his speech at Westminster College, Senator Sanders, an Independent from Vermont, drew "a direct link between the United States' foreign policy and his own longstanding message of economic equality."
He stressed that "the planet will not be secure or peaceful when so few have so much and so many have so little."
"Foreign policy must take into account the outrageous income and wealth inequality that exists globally and in our own country. There is no moral or economic justification for the six wealthiest people in the world having as much wealth as the bottom half of the world's population, 3.7 billion people."
Churchill was bellicose; Sanders pleaded for equality. One pointed to future wars; the other called for peace.
Jason Hancock wrote in the Kansas City Star: