The Young Turk's Cenk Uygur recently appeared at the Conference to Restore the Republic at San Francisco State University. In his speech, he addressed many reasons why money needs to be taken out of politics, corporate personhood, and the current state of politics. Why do politicians ignore overwhelming polls of what voters want? It turns out, Democrats and Republicans agree on more than you might think; the power of money is astounding.
Is democracy lost at a national level? In short: yes. Cenk explains fully why this is, but the solution is to remove the corrupting power of money from politics so that our representatives will represent us again instead of corporate donor and lobbyist money.
First I view this as two issues here that I wanna discuss a little bit in my time. One is, are corporations people, and then two is amendment the right way to go. Let me just settle the first one in a minute.
How many people out there, show of hands, believe corporations are human beings. Ok and let the record note zero. That's why I put on the glasses, right. Just to make sure.
How many people believe that corporations have inalienable rights endowed by their creator? The record note that again we have zero. And I know some are concerned, what if we take away too many rights from them? Woah. Let me gamble, let me try that risk and see how that turns out. I know what we have now, and it is an absolute disaster. That's part of what I want to talk about here. So I might come back to the corporation issue but let's address the amendment and if that's the right way to go.
So I have good news and bad news for you guys. Let me start with the bad news ok? But don't worry, we're gonna get to the good news.
First in terms of the current state of our affairs in America, it is an absolute epic disaster. Right now we just voted on a bill where 91% of Americans were in favor of universal background checks on guns and we could not pass it.
Now here's what people don't like to hear but is an unfortunate, absolute reality. On the national level, we have lost our democracy. It does not exist. You know we grew up in America, we love America. I love the Steelers. I love subs and pizza and the flag. You know I love every part of it, right. I love Kentucky, I love Louisiana, I love New York, San Francisco, they're all part of this great country etc. And we all believe, well obviously we live in a democracy except we don't. It's over. It's over.
I was at a meeting of constitutional law professors in New York and I mentioned the idea of a convention. And an esteemed professor of law said, "Disaster". He said, "We can't have a convention". Why? Well then we risk everything. What do we risk? We've already lost democracy. You're not getting it.
Look. The people in this room get it, but so many Americans don't understand. So for example, social security polls around 87%. Under no circumstances should you cut it. And it's not a questionable poll. It's not like, hey are you kind of in favor of social security? Do you kind of like social security? Do you like that your grandparents aren't starving in the streets? It wasn't like that. It was should we cut social security under any circumstance? 87% no. Under no circumstance, right. And what happened? We got a Democratic president suggesting cutting social security 'cause he'd like to help the Republicans along. Alright, 84% don't cut medicare under any circumstance. Don't cut it. Don't cut it. How clear can we be? Don't cut it. And they wanna cut it. The Republicans and Democrats agree because we don't have a democracy. They've already taken over the government. Why do they want to cut social security and medicare? Come on how easy is this? Who do you work for? You work for the guy who signs your checks.
So I've got really bad news for you. None of your representatives represent you. They represent the people who pay them. And the donors pay them, the lobbyists pay them. Yes the Republicans are as dirty and corrupt as it gets, but so are the Democrats.