From Cardi B to Ariana Grande, few politicians are as relaxed in the company of A-List celebrities as Senator Bernie Sanders. Next up on the list? Pop star Halsey, who sat down with the former presidential candidate a day after last week's disastrous debate to discuss "the future of America, some of the most important issues facing our nation, and why [they will] be voting for Joe Biden this November."
Billed as "Episode 1" of Bernie & Halsey Discuss America (an on-going series that the singer hopes will inspire people to get out and vote this November), the conversation began with a slight recap of last week's debate, which Halsey scathingly described as "arguably one of the most frustrating pieces of television that I've ever had the misfortune of witnessing." To his credit, Sanders "certainly agreed" with the pop star's assessment, adding that it was "painful to be watching," "certainly not one of the great moments in American history," and that he "did a little bit of shouting at the television." But he went on to stress that we, as American voters, must not let ourselves "get sidetracked by that kind of show."
Instead, he urged that "we address the real problems facing the American people."
One of these problems is, of course, wealth inequality, an important subject for the singer, who "grew up in a lower-class family" and is now "part of the 1%." Using her perspective as someone who has experienced both sides of economic stability, Halsey stressed that "there is no amount of money that I think is worth personally contributing to the alienation and disenfranchisement of hundreds of millions of people across this country." That is why she wanted to use her platform to show her support for the Wealth Tax. "I believe the people who oppose it are motivated by greed," she added.
"The amount that I have doesn't even make a drop in the bucket compared to these billionaires, but I wake up every single day and I never want anything. I never need anything in this small bracket of wealth that I exist in," she told Senator Sanders. "The only reason that I could imagine opposing the Wealth Tax that's going to make hundreds of millions of lives better and save hundreds of millions of lives — because the wealth will be more evenly distributed — is greed," she explained.
Sanders chimed in later to, once again, echo these thoughts. "All of us know and have friends who are dealing with addictive problems — with alcohol, with drugs, with food, whatever it may be," he began. "Greed is an addiction, and the insanity of it is that there are people out there who have billions of dollars — they couldn't spend it in a thousand lifetimes. And you know what they're prepared to do? They're prepared to cut social security and Medicare and Medicaid in order to have billions more. And they lie and they cheat." As an example, Sanders pointed to drug companies that would rather see people die than offer potentially life-saving medicine at an affordable price, as is the case in many other countries.
Check out episode 1 of Bernie & Halsey Discuss America below. Episode 2 comes out tomorrow.