On Monday night, former president Jimmy Carter and Bernie Sanders sat down at the Carter Center to discuss rising authoritarianism across the globe. They both agreed that political and economic inequality was at the core of the problem.


Carter explained, “I believe the root of the downturn in human rights preceded 2016, it began earlier than that, and I think the reason was disparity in income which has been translated into the average person, you know good, decent, hard-working middle class people feeling that they are getting cheated by the government and by society and they don’t get the same element of health care, they don’t get the same quality education, they don’t get the same political rights.”

“I agree with everything that President Carter said,” Sanders stated.

“Look, here is the situation. You got all over this country tens of millions of people who are extremely angry and they are disappointed. Now we all know as a result of technology workers are producing more today than they did 20 or 30 years ago. Yet despite that you’re seeing people work not 40 hours a week, they’re working 50 or 60 hours a week. Their wages are actually going down!”

Evidence from the French election on Sunday supports their beliefs. Analyses by The New York Times and The Economist both came to a similar conclusion – support for Le Pen was strongest in areas that had high unemployment and low wages.

Carter and Sanders agreed on almost everything that came up in the discussion, prompting Carter to say, “Do y’all see why I voted for him?”

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