Mandela Barnes says US needs to ‘block capitalism’ to fight climate change

Wisconsin Democrats say free enterprise has put world on ‘road to destruction’

Alana Goodman September 14, 2022 at 5:00 am

The video shows Wisconsin Democratic Senate candidate Mandela Barnes arguing to the UN that the US needs to “stop capitalism” to fight climate change, arguing that the free enterprise system has sent the world on a “road to destruction” washington liberty lighthouse From the UN Archives.

Speaking at the 2019 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Spain as Wisconsin’s lieutenant governor, Barnes was asked how policymakers should address climate change. Barnes placed the blame on the United States and its economic system.

“The simple answer is to make money from politics,” Barnes said. “The second answer is to stop capitalism as it does in America.”

Barnes went on to be a vehement critique of American capitalism, far stronger than any statement he made on the campaign trail. The unearthed rhetoric could be a hindrance for Barnes as he struggles to distance himself from the far-left policies he has championed during his decade-long political career. His speech — originally reported by Empower Wisconsin but not previously published on video — blamed climate change and gun violence on widespread greed in the United States.

“How greedy can humans be? The reason we’re in this mess is the pursuit of greed. It’s capitalism running rampant, and that’s why we’re in this predicament right now,” Barnes said. “It’s the same reason gun violence is so rampant in the United States of America, the same reason we deal with all other problems that have common sense solutions.”

“The thought process has been so short for so long. It’s been thinking, ‘How do we make the next dollar next year?'” he added. “We have to reverse that thinking. Again, until money is no longer an issue, we will continue down this path to destruction.”

Barnes did not respond to a request for comment.

A spokesman for Sen. Ron Johnson (R., Wis.), who now Barnes wants to step down, said Barnes’ remarks were “anti-American” and out of touch with mainstream voters.

“This anti-American, socialist rhetoric has turned into horrific liberal policy that destroys Wisconsin families every day,” said Johnson spokesman Ben Volker. “Mandela Barnes will make us Less prosperous, less secure, less free, all because of his determination to fundamentally change A country he thinks is bad for statehood. “

Barnes’ comments echoed positions taken by left-leaning activist groups backing his campaign. People’s Action, an activist group that supports Barnes, said its “long-term agenda” was to “build a new economy and society” in the United States.

As our economy transforms, we will rebuild sustainability and invest first in the communities most affected by environmental damage and economic exclusion,” the organization’s platform said.

Barnes has championed progressive energy policy throughout his political career and praised the Biden administration’s revocation of the license for the Keystone XL pipeline last year. As lieutenant governor, he leads a climate change committee that proposes to divest state pension funds from fossil fuels, impose a carbon tax and require schools to teach race-focused climate justice courses.

But he has been working lately to downplay his involvement in far-left policies and radical movements.he recently told Milwaukee Sentinel He “didn’t run for the Senate to join the squad” — a reference to a high-profile group of progressive Democrats, including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (N.Y.) and Ilhan Omar (Minnesota) ), he had praised them. He also distanced himself from the “defund the police” movement, despite working with the movement’s leaders during his tenure.

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