Taking a page out of Rep. Maxine Waters’ playbook, Sen. Cory Booker called on activists to physically confront members of Congress.
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Speaking at the National Conference on Ending Homelessness, the New Jersey Democrat encouraged attendees with a “call to action” to be more aggressive and proactive in their activism.
“Before I end,” he said Wednesday, “that’s my call to action here. Please don’t just come here today and then go home. Go to the Hill today. Get up and please get up in the face of some congresspeople.”
Booker’s advice echoed rhetoric by Waters last month calling on supporters at a rally to harass members of President Trump’s administration.
The potential Democratic presidential hopeful for 2020 also claimed this week that anyone who supports Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh is “complicit in evil.”
“I’m here to call on folks to understand that in a moral moment, there is no ‘neutral.’ In a moral moment, there is no ‘bystanders,’” Booker said Tuesday on Capitol Hill, even quoting scripture in his efforts to pillory Kavanaugh. “You are either complicit in the evil, you are either contributing to the wrong, or you are fighting against it.”
By Thursday, Booker had flipped his rhetoric and encouraged civil dialogue instead, calling on people to love their political opponents.
“It is so easy to love people who agree with you, but the real test comes, to love someone who you disagree with. And our political culture right now has become so toxic,” Booker said in an interview with On Being on Thursday.
“I really hope that we are going to see more vulnerability in our politics, that we’re going to see more people willing to talk about their own evolution. I just do hope that this dialogue does come. I don’t know,” Booker said.
“We’re in such a new political space, where you’re seeing the fracturing of the news media, snippets and tweets and soundbites and memes.”