By Marianne Schild
National YWCA DNC Correspondent
When I met with Sister Simone Campbell, I asked her what she thinks are the most important issues at stake. She replied democracy is at stake. We must work together and be responsible for each other, and that must be at the heart of our policy. I told Simone about my experience at the Interfaith Service on Sunday, and the moment of solidarity it created within a sanctuary of a southern church. I asked Simone when the invocation of words like truth, justice and peace became politically charged. She shared that politics is now more about winning a game than engaging in the issues and solving the problems; therefore, politicians no longer think about governance, they are only concerned with “winning.” People hold tightly to their parties as if they were rival sports teams. She said, to solve this, we must stick to the Constitution, We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity. Really read those words. Do you feel like that is what is going on today? This game makes for manipulative politics that make it okay for politicians to say things that are simply not true. This is not about serious governance.
I then asked Simone, what she wants the candidate she votes for to focus on regarding women specifically. I followed that up by asking if the consideration of women is an important issue to her when choosing her candidate. She responded that women are more likely to be poor and women are more likely to be single parents raising a family, so from the financial perspective, NETWORK is about making sure low-income workers can work and live on their wages. She supports a livable minimum wage. Currently, individuals can work multiple jobs at minimum wage without being able to make ends meet. She explained we must have either a higher, livable minimum wage or a safety net for the working poor. At this time we have neither, and a livable wage or safety net for the working poor would have a great positive impact on the financial health of our country. She also shared that while the Republican platform may say it is based on the fiduciary health of our nation, it is not. It is a game about providing more money to the rich on the backs of the poor. Trickle down economics in which the rich receive tax cuts to stimulate the economy does not work – the Bush tax cuts have not resulted in any such trickle down stimulus, they’ve only increased the deficit – what is effective is supporting the economy where there is demand, and that is with the working poor. Trickle down economics does not create jobs. Cutting food stamps to give the wealthy tax breaks is not right.
Sister Simone Campbell also invokes Catholic social teachings, as she works for solidarity, taking responsibility for each other and helping one another. We discussed the salience of Paul Ryan’s faith, Republican Candidate for Vice President, as a Catholic as compared to Vice President Joe Biden, who is a Catholic, but does not wave it like a flag, as Simone said.
Simone says solving these issues is up to us ordinary folks to stand up and say, “STOP IT!” to the politicians playing the game. We are all better than this. Sister Simone Campbell is the real deal.
The views expressed in this interview are those of Sister Simone Campbell as reported by Marianne Schild, Fearless & Fabulous National YWCA Correspondent to the Democratic National Convention.
YWCA correspondent Marianne Schild is attending the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., from September 3-6. Ask her questions and our Twitter updates by using these Twitter hashtag: #ywcaDNC. Learn more.