Why doesn’t poverty play a bigger role in US politics?

What is at stake for the poor on Tuesday?

It is not a question that was asked much in the lead-up to Election Day.

With 46 million people currently living in poverty and close to 90 million hovering just above it, the absence of a more frank discussion about America's poverty problem remains a mystery in our national political discourse. Who are "the poor"? Who represents them?

Asked these questions, politicians, activists and academics repeatedly made two points: One, talk of poverty has largely been replaced by talk of inequality in American life with an emphasis on the middle class, and two, nobody wants to say that they are "poor."

"Referring to income-challenged individuals as 'the poor' came from a moral or religious underpinning that used to be a very profound part of American politics, as late as maybe 30 years ago," said Brenda Jones, a longtime congressional staffer. "Now, people have moved away from morality as a primary motivation or an overriding sense of what is good, and so it's harder to discuss the idea of what is 'right' in American politics today. It does not resonate the way it used to."

Read more: http://ncronline.org/news/politics/why-doesnt-poverty-play-bigger-role-us-politics

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