After decades of allowing the right to claim spirituality and morality as theirs, leaders like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Bernie Sanders and William Barber are fighting back

After the 2016 presidential election, headlines described a “divided” United States. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez – at the time a 27-year-old bartender, now a progressive political star running for US Congress after she pulled off a fantastic primary upset in New York last month – sensed an underlying problem that was deeper than politics, more personal than demographic data.

“I just really felt like our country wasn’t understanding itself,” Ocasio-Cortez told me by phone while campaigning for congressional candidate Cori Bush in Missouri. “We didn’t understand each other, and we didn’t understand ourselves as a collective nation.”

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