#1214 - Lawrence Lessig

The Joe Rogan Experience #1214 - Lawrence Lessig

December 13, 2018

Lawrence Lessig is an academic, attorney, and political activist. He is the Roy L. Furman Professor of Law at Harvard Law School and the former director of the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard University.

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all right my guest today is Lawrence lessig Lawrence lessig is an American academic he's an attorney a political activist he is is a professor of law at Harvard Law School and the former director of The Edmond J Safra Center for ethics at Harvard University that's a very lengthy resume to look at this Photograph he wears a bowtie is Wikipedia a brilliant guy who offered a lot of great in insight to me about the way campaign Finance works the way the government works the Electoral College all kinds of great shit and spelled it out in the way the dummy like myself can understand it and good for you as well listen enjoy learn and I hope you like it please welcome Lawrence lessig

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The Joe Rogan Experience

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how are you sir hey I'm great thanks for being here man I really appreciate it is the coolest thing I've done really ever said talk on what was the word that used Lester land and hopeless like it if people don't know what I'm talking about. You just give like a brief synopsis of the way you were describing how completely rigged our election system is and in what would it actually takes to be elected and how much of the time they spend is involved in raising money and why where we have a money primary and then we have a regular election to compete

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you got a raise tons of money to be able to fund your campaign and when you raise that money you raised it from a tiny tiny fraction of the 1% so in less than two in the Ted talk about Lester and I said you know imagine a place called Lester land

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we're basically it's the Lester's who Rule and by the Lester's I mean the same proportion of people named Lester is in the United States right now so he's about a hundred and fifty thousand Americans named Lester and one of them but here we are the Lester's so imagine a world ruled by Lester land because that's essentially the world we have

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because of the way we find our campaigns because there's about a hundred and fifty thousand men who give even just a maximum contribution to one political candidate if you ask the number of people who give the maximum contribution over the course of a campaign meeting in the primary in the general election is about 22,000 Americans in 2014 who gave them maximum contribution to one political campaign so what time is this it's a tiny tiny fraction who are the most important funders of little campaigns and candidates for congress members of Congress Pence 30 to 70% of their time sucking up to this tiny tiny fraction and so is it any surprise that you see Congress bending over backwards to keep those guys happy because they know without those people they don't have a shot at getting back into Congress and the way you would describe me as when you were saying it as Lester land it was like imagine if

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we were this screwed up that was essentially what you're saying but we're more screwed and I was realized it was emerging as you were speaking I was like wait a minute

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is it that bad you know it's I actually sent that video of come to think it's even worse so why Clarence land could be worse because it's even smaller number and it didn't look at the number of Super PAC donors who gave more than half of the Super PAC money in the last presidential election send a hundred you know so this is a really tiny tiny number but what this tiny number represents in the way we fund campaigns is extraordinary in a quality I'm not to mention but since since I was focused on the money you know more recently but I think about the other screwed up Dimensions by gerrymandering districts in America so that about 85% of the House Seats in the United States Congress are safe seats which means if you're a Republican and a safe sea Democratic District

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reviews just never matter to the Congress for a second that vote of a republican will never determine who's in Congress or a Democrat the same soup Republican District that's that's the same meaning of Congress people are not afraid about real action of course they are afraid about what it will be reflected but they're afraid not of a Democrat running against the Republic and they're afraid of an even more extreme Republican running against the incumbent Republican so what those incumbents in those safe seat districts do is they obsess about what the extremists in there a hearty cares about so the extremists on the left and the right have this ability to leverage extraordinary influence inside of the House of Representatives simply because we've decided to gerrymander these districts to create a safe seat so those extremists are a kind of Lester's to there more of them more democratic than Lester land but they too have enormous into

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silver Ordinary People in most Ordinary People views then to these Congress people just don't matter

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that feels hopeless for a dummy like me sitting on the outside looking at this and like God if this is this deeply entrenched with I mean it I guess it's not technically corruption because it's all legal but it's an entanglement with money and with influence that I mean how do you unwind this so that point is really critical it's not technically illegal and what that means is the people are engaged in this or not doing wrong things they're just playing by the rules they're playing with the system it's just that the system has become corrupted when did it start

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well I think that the moment the United States Congress begins to fall apart in a really dramatic an interesting way is when Newt Gingrich becomes speaker of the house so when the Republicans take control of Congress in 95 the first time the Republicans to take me to all the House Representatives in 40 years so the house becomes incredibly competitive each election you know is up for grabs who's going to be call the house so Gingrich turns his members in the house into Perpetual fundraisers basically we got to raise the money to defend ourselves next time around and then the Democrats followed suit so the Democrats turn their members into Perpetual fundraisers and who gets to be chairman of committees it's no longer like who's the person with the most experience of the most inside increasingly becomes who pays the most money and the Democratic party I know about the Democratic Republicans don't talk to me much for the Democratic party increasingly changes its focus from what are the policies

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but our members care about to what are we going to do to make sure that you was a member meet your fundraising Target and so from 95 until today

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the institution becomes an institution focused on the game of getting reelected Jim Cooper a Democrat from Tennessee who went to Congress first in like 1983 so he's been there for a long time I'm Cooper says Capitol Hill has become a kind of farm league 4K Street okay so what he means by that is members go there they learn how to raise money they become focused obsessively on right made it raising money but one of the things that they're really focused on its how do they go from Capitol Hill to becoming a lobbyist because that's where the real money is going to a member of Congress gets paid about as much as the students I educate at Harvard Law School in their first year as lawyers cut himself to Ordinary Mary's that's a lot of money but two people I'm having a little doesn't seem like a lot of money but then they going to become a lobbyist I can make ten times that as long as I'm in so what Cooper says is you have this institution which has become so focused on the money

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that it's it's just a Institution for producing influence that can be sold and first the congressmen are basically sucking up to the people who want to buy influence and then Congress then become the people buying influence themselves because they're working as lobbyists for these important interest so they're in the rig game they understand how it gets rigged and then they work to rig it yeah they cut they see this is there that's their business clients their honey pot and there is whatever the district is outside of Washington DC and Virginia where there's some ungodly number of wealthy people per capita where there's more there's more lobbyists in that area than anywhere else in the United States right giant collection of wealth rights Washington DC is an incredibly prosperous place in anybody's been there for a long time and seen it for a long time like I I clerked there in the early 1990s it was a pretty grungy place but it's really

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opulent City it's like a golden City on the hill you know the odds and the reason for that is the extraordinary amount of money that's been poured into that district for the purpose of buying influence to buy legislation that makes it so these incumbent dinosaur corporations that are protected themselves against competition across the country continue to you to process it's a weird place though because even though it's incredibly wealthy is also incredibly poor there's a vast difference in the nineties was that that's the Marionberry time Rite Aid mean he won as mayor again when he came back after being arrested for smoking crack people like whatever crack

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yeah it's it was an ugly place that it's becoming a grotesque place now from the from the standpoint of the principles of what America supposed to be yeah because the privilege there

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I know people who are privileged cuz they've you know Elon Musk like a drive to the great new product or they work incredibly hard at a competitive Marketplace and succeeded their privileged because they leveraged influence in a corrupt system to the prophet and the people were failing their you know a lot of reasons are failing it's just we don't have a competitive powerful economy that gives me opportunities right now because that that District Washington DC cuz it's got no effect of representation is one of the worst represented districts in the country so essentially this all started out with new crank gingrich's group and they decided to spend so much time concentrating on fundraising and then once that became successful everyone else followed suit. So the game became no longer how do we legislate for America but how do we rally our troops to raise the money we need to win the next election the game is just about the election my mother lives in in Hilton Head

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eucrisa very Republican District but they elected their first Democratic Joe Cunningham and Joe my mother loved him and wanted to support my mother's Republican but here you outshoot check for on her behalf to the soundtrack he was elected he started raising money for the next election his whole Focus from that moment. Now he's heard a big membership organization members to sort of helped him to get back to Congress next time around their sole focus is the elections in this is really different in the 1980s you know they would go to Washington for 18 months they would do the work of governing and then for six months they do the work of politicking so you know

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to a year-and-a-half they could figure out how to solve the problems of America and then for a half years I figured out how to get reelected that's no longer the game the game now is from day one how do we raise the funds we need to make sure we can get reelected I'm and with the Democrats extraordinary turn around in this last election you can be damn sure that's exactly the obsessive focus at will be going into 2020 if there's no other viable alternative this is a game that they have to play good people have to play at the hookah say I'm not going to play this game you know Alexandria ocasio-cortez I mean she doesn't have to raise money I'm sure and people on the right to know who are the famous people that write their work at this for the ordinary congressperson nose

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given the way the system is right now they've got to obsessively focus on how to raise money that means they develop a sixth sense a constant awareness about how what they do will affect their ability to raise my becoming the words of the X-Files shapeshifters as they constantly adjust their views in light of what they know will help them to raise my congressman Leslie burn Democrat from Virginia to describe that when she went to Congress she was told by a colleague quote always lean to the green and to clarify she went on you know he was not an environmentalist so the point is you know in your heart of hearts which way you got to go to make sure and if you're good and you're smart you never say anything to indicate it but it's operated but sometimes you're not so smart so in the tax bill the meaning of the passage of the last tax cut you know them one point six trillion dollar gift of Corporations and wealthy people primarily

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a congressman or extend on the floor of the house and said you know my donors have told me that if we don't deliver on this I should never call him again. I should never call him again so it's basically you know as simple and clear as possible you don't reduce our taxes don't ever ask us for more money

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and and that's the reality what Washington has become now once this gets started and it moves in this direction that would we don't have a long history of this to understand the the waves and the ins-and-outs of the tide it just this is what it is and it keeps moving in the same general direction how would at that ever stopped how would there ever be some sort of Reform that put this back in the position where make sentence tenable I've been in this business for about 12 years now in the business of like trying to figure out what can we do to perform this corrupted system and you know part of me feels as you said like it's hopeless but part of me feels like it's the most hopeful moments we've seen because like a decade ago

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when I would I go around and say you know we got this really corrupted system and like money is right people saying that when he talked him out and look at the policies we aren't passed now almost everybody realizes that until we fix this broken Congress nothing else can happen so it's not like this is the most important issue out there and all you can think climate change or Healthcare or jobs are competitive you can think those the important issues but what people increasingly saying is that this is the first issue if we don't fix this we don't fix anything and what's really encouraging to me is that that frame is increasingly being embraced by important leader so you know about six years ago I think I'm Nancy Pelosi was on Jon Stewart show

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The Daily Show and Stewart second of all systems corrupted Nancy Pelosi's none of this is a ridiculous that statement is now but now Nancy Pelosi is going to introduce his hr1

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the most ambitious and comprehensive reform package that Washington I think has ever seen I mean it is unbelievable in its breath I'm so has Public Funding of congressional campaigns so that Congressman don't spend 30 to 70% of their time sucking up to look to the Lester's it has a mandate to end gerrymandering political partisan gerrymandering exercising Congress has power under the Constitution to tell the state's clean this mess up it has an incredible ethics package to her clothes block the revolving door so Congressman or not running off to K Street and it has an incredible restoration of voting rights the rest of the restoration of Voting Rights Act automatic voter registration it's the most comprehensive package of political reform I think the Civil Rights bill of the generation but of course nobody outside of Washington has heard anything about it because most

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look at Washington Tyson says sister game the Democrats are playing to embarrass the Republicans how would they stop congressman from becoming lobbyists do but one thing I can do is I can basically say once your Congressman you can't be alive is for 5 years and 5 years or whatever the time is but the more fundamental fact is if you change the way you fund campaigns

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if it was no longer the lobbyists who are kind of channeling the money in or that we're getting their clients to channel the money in

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that's not like I wouldn't be lobbyists anymore they just wouldn't be so well-paid they wouldn't be as a valuable and if they're not as valuable it's not as valuable to them to pay the congressman an incredible amount of money to become car. Lobbyists know they would become almost like being a lawyer policy wonks the kind of go to Capitol Hill and say Here's what'll happen if you adopt this legislation that you know that's an important part of the process but they wouldn't be the mockers in the system they wouldn't be the people who call the shots and so the value of their services would fall and if the value of their services fell then it wouldn't make so much sense to go and become a lobbyist maybe you come home and be a doctor again come home in like be a business person we can never do whatever you want back in your District so I think if you change the way you fun campaign you would change 70% of the problem you would just fix it right then and these other things a good addition but not as critical but without changing the way you find campaigns I think all of these other changes are irrelevant I just can't

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you always hear the phrase take money out of politics it's a constant phrase but that's not really possible.

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The point is to get money that doesn't represent a tiny fraction of special interests controlling how Congress people think so I think today Congressman California Rokon is going to introduce a bill that he hopes will be eventually part of whatever this big reform packages that would create a way of funding campaigns where everybody gets a voucher

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receta vouchers you know Seattle is done this for City elections where everybody gets for $25 voucher is there only usable to fund campaign so Canada comes around and tries to persuade you to give him or her the voucher and then they take that couch and they use it to fund campaigns okay if his bill passed in everybody have vouchers to use to fund Congressional campaigns and you know the idea is basically you take the rebates of the first $50 of your taxes which every American pays at least $50 to the federal government you take that first $50 you give it back and you give it the form of the voucher and you say take this voucher and help fund campaigns with it, Richmond would still be raising money

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they'd still be spending a lot of time raising money but they wouldn't be raising money from the tiny fraction of the one percent to be raising money from everybody and so the point is that you would be using that money to spread the influence in the weather Tamaqua see a supposed to spread the influence to every American as opposed to the influence in a tiny tiny fraction of the 1% so that wouldn't get less money I think I could be more money in the system but it wouldn't be corrupting money because it would be money that is democratic account but the Lester's of the world would probably try to put the kibosh on that before. Move I mean you know the biggest block to anything like hr1 happening

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is that the most influential people in Washington have the most to lose by the lobbyists you know the value of the industry of lobbying just collapses and those people are going to fight like hell the block it which is why as wonderful as it is to me to see somebody like Nancy Pelosi take up the charge and say here it is here's a package of Reform is going to be the first thing we do fix democracy first what was true it's obvious about this is without a president taking up the charge it's never going to happen and what's the most depressing to me is that right now in the Democratic party you don't have any candidate for president who's making reform even an important issue let alone a primary issue I'm and of course we had a president who was elected under the drain the swamp slogan but of course nobody believes he has any plan or any intent to do anything to drain that swamp yeah I was hoping that having him in office is such a that the whole thing was such a klusterfuk

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and that's so many people are so Disturbed that is going to make people more politically active and more aware of the consequences of having someone like that in office and actually weirdly

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unifying yeah because even though the Democrats are not doing this right now which is really depressing to me you know that we have these things that we know we disagree about and we like fuel thought politics of hate as we kind of it yell at each other about these things but there's a set of issues that we all agree about in the most important set of issues we all agree about is the deeply corrupted nature of this government never supposed to end by University of Maryland the middle of 2016 asking about anger and frustration with government and the highest level of frustration in the history of Polo and then when they ask the reasons why they were so angry and so disaffected with her government the reason people gave her all the same things like the influence of money the influence of lobbyists to parties care more about corporations in about and then we broke them down about how do Republicans think about this and how did Democrats think about this there was no statistical difference between Republicans and Democrats you know sometimes a Democrat

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CERN sometimes the Republicans in the levels at like 80 at 90% so literally 84% of Americans would say it is big money that a corrupting the way our Congress functions right so here is common ground and what was so extraordinary about the 2016 election as watch a Republican candidates stand on a debate stage in September of 2015 Donald Trump student appointed to every one of those candidates and said I own all of you I've given all of you money and I know the way the system works in the system is corrupt and he called super Pacs an Abomination and he attacked the idea of money in politics and so what that signal is that Republicans to could be rally to this cause of addressing this deeply corrupted political system if only we could find the candidates who would do it and I think what Donald Trump has done is TWP this moment where we can step back and say look we disagree about a lot of things whether it's GMO or climate change with Hertz healthcare for all

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college for whatever we disagree about 11 we going to work a lot of things out but here is something we all agree about and we should be smart enough to realize if we don't fix this then none of the things were arguing about matter it's not serious to stand on a debate stage and say you support single-payer healthcare without also saying but first we're going to fix this corrupted system because there's no way to get single-payer healthcare in a world where doctors and pharmaceutical companies and insurance companies are funding elections you can't say you're going to get climate change legislation in America

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without addressing the corrupting influence of money in politics because the oil cap that the dirty energy industry has an enormous opportunity to block this change through the way we fund campaign so this is a moment where we should be able to get everybody in this political system to step back and say hey wait the system is broken we can see is broken the first thing we have to do is to fix the broken Congress in a prefix that Congress that we have a chance to have an argument about what policy makes sense for American and we each have our views but no views are different but the thing we don't agree about we should be able to agree on now if that's a universal agreement amongst Republicans and Democrats set funding than that money and that all all this is what's ruining politics

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did the people that are donating all this money did the disease disease Lester's of the world what could they possibly do to stop this reform and what's their reaction to this kind of Reform so let me be clear about one really important thing when I say Republicans and Democrats what I mean is people in the districts Across America right now I'm Mitch McConnell is I think the focus of evil in the modern world Mitch McConnell will block any reform here at all so you know I'll never get through the Senate because Mitch McConnell into their many Republicans in Washington we're going to block any reform but but when you ask you know the Republicans in Washington and the Lester's what can they do to stop it well the game the game strategies clear they've deployed it before right so you know that they'll say things like this is welfare for politicians

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this is Jess corrupting Free Speech you don't believe in the First Amendment if you don't believe that you know the Koch brothers or the sauruses have the right to spend unlimited amounts of money and political speech until I think the way around that fight is to agree

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free speech is the fundamental value

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and nothing of the reforms I support would like try to restrict people's ability to speak what we're talking about is Congressman raising money not talking about individual speaking in the marketplace so you have a very loud voice change your voice is heard by millions and nothing in our constitution should permit the government to be able to suppress you at all so long as you're within the bounds of decency or at least enough decency because that's not a bound boundaries. Gas is off and but at least if you're not going to spreading false rumors and causing great harm but the point is I'm even though this free speech needs to be protected

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we still should be able to focus on the influence the economy of influence congressmen live under when they spend 30 to 70% of X sucking up to the Lester's to fund their campaigns that should be a focus of Regulation without the First Amendment getting in the way because we want to Congress filled with people who care about what their voters want other funders want the framers didn't create a constitution to replicate an aristocracy they were fighting an aristocracy they had a system where there was a house the House of Lords that had to ask the aristocracy what do you want and everything could be blocked if the aristocracy didn't like it will be replicated that system more efficiently in America than they had their because we have a system where both the House of Representatives and the Senate is filled with people who are obsessed with a single question what to my funders want and if they can't answer that question in a way that supports the legislation and they're not going to support the

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or if it's important for them to block legislation they would block legislation and that's the dynamic of Washington right now trying to figure out how to describe our government to say hi Chrissy Vito ocracy what he means by that is that there's so many places or influence powerful influence can block the ability of the government to do something. Just can't do anything anymore and that's I think the consequence of allowing this Corruption of Monday to be so deeply woven into our political system is it possible to fix yeah it is possible effects

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because you know for example hr1 + Roca Huntersville

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all perfectly constitutional unit to amend the Constitution to it I think that bill alone would solve 80% of the problem the possibility the problem isn't like conceiving of what changes have to happen the question is how do you build a political movement to get there and what that takes is leaders willing to say we have to fix this corrupted democracy first and end leaders who stop like pretending that we can get like a Christmas list of great changes in government without fixing this democracy first so you know Bernie published last month in the Washington Post

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list of a 10 things that should happen in the first hundred days in the next Democratic Administration 10 great ideas not a single one of those ideas address the corruption of our political system and I was just told it was just a Christmas list of all the things that the progressives wanted to know I haven't progressed if I want some of those things but the point is I wish things were a trillion dollar infrastructure project single-payer healthcare free college it'll all the things that Bernie is pushing it has made so sale at them things that I think it's great that he is a hero in like making this issue Central to at least the debate but which frustrates me

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is that instead of focusing our anger on the billionaires what she does we need to focus more anger on the congressman the politician which he does not I mean the guy's been a congressman almost 30 years now and so it might be natural for him not to notice that the people around him are the problem is it a natural thing or do you think that he's possibly aware of the consequences of stirring up that hornet's nest because you know if anybody has a right to complain when the DNC conspired to rig the primaries against him he's the number one guy he should be screaming from the rooftops you're dealing with a corrupt system in this is disgusting and he didn't it didn't do that and he didn't do that while Hillary Clinton was running for president and he knew it he knew he had been screwed out of the primaries he knew they had conspired he knew was all illegal and he kind of just kept his mouth shut

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I was a person reflecting on the horrendous outcome if he took Hillary Clinton down and so I think he restrained himself you don't know perfectly I mean the fact is after it was clear he was not give me the nominee he still continued to talk about the court corruption rent Hillary which Donald been picked up and moved into a weapon against her but I think he he recognized you know his every responsible politician. Is that you know it's not just about him it's about the future of America so when he restrained himself and didn't want to take the whole system down then I got that came out when you got the House of Representative talking about fundamental reform it'll be the first thing they take up we at least I have a presidential campaign board candidates are saying hell yes the first thing we will do is to end the corruption that makes it impossible for this Congress to function and stop pretending like we can get all these wonderful things given to us by Santa Claus without fixing this first you got to do the hard work

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convincing America that there is a solution because you know the reality is I think most of America's where you started this podcast most of America thinks it's deeply corrupted and there's nothing that can be done there half right it is deeply corrupted but it's not true there's nothing that can be done we can do something and in fact I think we can solve almost 80% of it is I still think a constitutional changes it might be necessary and I've been working like how do we get constitutional changes and talking to people of my podcast which of course has about one one-thousandth of the 1 millionth of the people the same as it's yours does what is your progress so people can listen to it's another way so season 2 is released today which is about an article 5 Convention of season 1 was about how to think about the 2020 election but you know I think that we might have to have constitutional change and I have been supporting the efforts to think about that but we've got to do is to give people a sense that there's something we can

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do before we amend the Constitution and we did a poll and found 96% of Americans believe it important to reduce the influence of money in politics 91% didn't think it was so that's the politics of resignation you know what you've gone to Egypt under Mubarak can you stop the average person on the street and said you know what do you think I'm a bar they would have said you know we hate Mubarak and then say why aren't you doing what do you think about Jimmy we hate him for a while but that's how Americans think about this political corruption they hated they think it's deeply I'm just inconsistent with what they thought America was about but they don't do anything about it because I don't think there's anything to be done about it and that's where leaders have a role and what we need our leader is running for president right now to begin to explain to people here's what we could do

► 00:40:55

if only we built the power to do it recognizing the most important opposition here the lobbyists in Washington are going to be an incredibly difficult group to to defeat but we can do that and if we do that every other issue becomes easier to resolve in a sensible way now there's nose public support for lobbyists right there's nothing out there that are super psyched lobbyists are out there and exerting their influence on our world but they obviously have enormous Financial backing behind them and they have incredible influence in our in our culture but if you had some magic wand you could wave across this system and and fix it wouldn't removing lobbyists be one of the first things you would do no no government legislate a whole bunch of issues that they don't have a clue

► 00:41:55

right didn't know squat diddly about 99% about the legislative come out they need information

► 00:42:02

I'm one of the other things Gingrich did was to completely Macy 8 Congress his own information service fees to have a really powerful information service that help Congressman figure things out all that's basically gone so they rely on Outsiders to come in and help them understand that not my view is you know that's an imperfect system because there's great and equality among the quality of lobbyists but if all lobbyists were doing was providing information Connors when he was going to happen if you pass this bill like these jobs will disappear for this lead will reappear in the water system that's all they were doing that's a really valuable thing information to the Congress to help Congress decide what to do is an essential part of making democracy work the part of lobbying that is erupting Park

► 00:42:52

where they become the mockers for the money not so much that they give it to directly but you know they call their clients and they say you need everybody at the sea level in your corporation to send $2,700 to this person and they steer it like that when they become the kind of source of resource for members of Congress that's when they have this influence which is not related to their argument so you know I met lobbyists who who hate the system as it is right now he'll say things like look I want a system where I win because my ideas are good my arguments are better I don't want a system where I win because I'm able to channel more money than that guy cuz that's not a democracy like a democracy should be these representatives are listening to us and then they do the right thing based on what they think helps their constituents not how much they're going to raise if they do this over that

► 00:43:44

how many lobbyists are there I can't answer that question you know what are the big problems we've got is that the law has been weakened and registering lobbyists so we have tens of thousands of people were functioning effectively of lobbyists but don't have to call themselves lobbyists you have these members of Congress who go to government relations departments

► 00:44:07

and they oversee the government relations department as long as they don't go on to Capitol Hill and shake hands but instead set up the meetings on Capitol Hill with a lower people shaking hands they're not called lobbyists so if you look at the lottery numbers looks like we peaked and lobbying about three years ago and now our decline it but what that is in fact is that the rules have been interpreted or allowed to be on in 4 so that many people who are lobbyists actually aren't actually function as lobbyists today so they are lobbyists but they don't wear the label as lobbyists what do they call themselves government relations experts in the Arctic today they're not technically lobbyists and I got into a huge fight with her Scott Brown remember Scott Brown who ran

► 00:44:54

where he was a senator in Massachusetts he ran on the Tea Party ticket and I was like this amazing Republican doing is the senator of Massachusetts and then Elizabeth Warren if you did I'm in the in the in the election two years into his term he then went to Massachusetts to New Hampshire and ran for Senate and I was helping a republican in New Hampshire who is the former running for Senate in refer to him as our lobbyist and he went ballistic so not a lobbyist and then he said I'm not technically a lobbyist is a government relations person who's like calling people on Capitol Hill used to be with for the Senate trying to get them to do things right but he isn't quote a technical Lobby or so because the IRS wouldn't refer to him as a lobbyist he thought it was outrageous and fraud for me to refer to him as what we all know he is but it is a lobbyist so lobbyist being a lob is not defined by your actions it's defined by your label it's defined by

► 00:45:54

did you have to fill something out once you are a lobbyist according to the law you got all sorts of obligation to report it we are spending your time with what you're spending money on government relations government relations people at a certain level to do certain things aren't call Flavia but yet they have the exact same function even more because I got tons of people working for them having to work a dream loving

► 00:46:21

how would that ever be how would you ever put a damn up there if you got the political will

► 00:46:31

to make it happen right you only get the political will to make it happen if you have a political process that focuses America on this deeply corrupting problem and says God damn it we have to fix this and if you have that will if you said we're just going to fix this and you had like that you know the Geeks then go down the list of 25 things that have to happen to make it so we have our Congress as worried about being representative of America as opposed to representative of the Lester's in America we can do it it's not rocket science it really is not that hard you got to think carefully about what kind of incentives are producing I'm not saying it's kind of obvious when I get to sketch the full plan here but it's possible it is constitutional to do it and if we just built the political will to get there we could do it in the only way we'll look like it's really important right now because right now people especially people like you need to be saying to every one of the politicians is going to be sucking up to try to be on your show to try to have a chance

► 00:47:31

to get their voice outfit class of Youth to the people who are listening to your podcast people like you to say okay what is going to do about this problem this problem in particular is it a priority was like one of 12 things on your list mean I imagine it's 11 for Bernie or 12 somewhere every one of them is going to say yeah of course I support around so that America thinks I'm gay 1 this is what will happen whatever else happens this is going to happen and my view is if there were a Democrat running for president who said luck

► 00:48:09

hold on we're going to fix this and the trumper's who were drain the swamp the 25% of that base that's drain the Swampers come with me because that guy did not drink that guy filled the swamp monsters are bigger and more and more vital now then now than they ever were but come with me we actually will do it I think there's a way to break the selection so that it becomes an election about the unity around this recognition rather than the disunity which is the screaming left against the screaming right which is the way things right now real faulting the person sitting on the outside he doesn't have any involvement politics like myself it seems so unbelievably complicated that it is it's a good exhaust you when you start examining it and trying to pay attention to it and how the system works correct me if I'm wrong with them in the recent past there was something that was changed that allows corporations to donate money the same way that an individual would

► 00:49:09

2010 United States Supreme Court decided to kids called citizens united

► 00:49:14

end citizens united said that you couldn't limit limit of Corporations ability to spend money independently of a political campaign so corporations not allowed to contribute directly but that's not worth that much because you're only allowed to give a total of $5,400 to a candidate over the course of the life of his campaign but it was his as United said his the Constitution protects the right of the corporation to engage in political speed independent of a political campaign so if you know if some congressmen is running for congress Exxon Corporation can come in and spend a million dollars to say while a congressman is a good Congressman the way that Congress was a terrible Congressman but they have a constitutional right to do that now when that happened

► 00:49:57

there are a bunch of us who are you know chicken littles about this who said this is the end of democracy cuz these corporations just going to spend unbelievable amounts of money in the political process like spending their money to affect the results and that was not correct

► 00:50:13

because what happened is corporations quickly discovered the high price of free speech rights so corporations like Target back to Auntie gay candidate for governor and all the sudden found their stores being

► 00:50:31

pick it up cross the country because people were Furious if they would be supporting such a candidate for governor so cheap to engage in political want to do it like that instead they wanted to find a way to channel their money

► 00:50:46

into dark money organizations or into what evolved after citizens united something else super Pacs so super Pacs were created not by the Supreme Court

► 00:50:57

super Pacs were created by a lower court that said well if you can spend unlimited amounts of money

► 00:51:03

you should be allowed to give unlimited amounts of money to an independent political action committee that was the Super PAC Supreme Court is never

► 00:51:12

ruling that question

► 00:51:14

we have a case that we're taking up to Alaska that's trying to appeal to the Supreme Court to get them to actually decide whether super Pacs are mandated by the Constitution and what's different about this case as the argument were making is to the conservatives what we're saying is the framers of our constitution were obsessed with corruption that was the issue that they were overwhelmingly trying to avoid and they were focused on bribery

► 00:51:40

your focus on institutional correctional institutions it became unconnected to their purpose representing Americans and our view is is you know these conservatives on the Supreme Court like you don't know Gorsuch for justice Thomas or break having a who say that we interpret the constitution of the way the framers would have been terpenes it we're going to make the argument to them witches there is no doubt the framers of the Constitution would have looked at the super Pacs and said these are an Abomination these are outrageous from the perspective of the Democracy they were trying to create and those justices should at least one of them be willing to stand up and defend the framers values against this modern corruption and it just one of them voted with the for liberals have already said they think Super Pacs are an Abomination then we could have a way to end the super Pacs in this system and that and that would be an enormous benefit because they've become so powerful

► 00:52:40

but the courts alone can't save us even if you ended super Pacs tomorrow

► 00:52:47

you still have Lester land because the super Pacs are not what I was talking about unless true that when I was talking to Lester but I was giving two candidates directly and the small number of people would still be giving two candidates directly and the only way to solve that is for Congress to pass the new laws that changed the way campaigns get funded that's the sort of thing HR one is trying to do as a sort of thing Road behind us trying to do but that's the sort of thing that we don't have a president to support right now we don't have Democratic presidential candidates were making it the champion issue right now and it won't get done unless they do it seems complicated when you try to explain campaign financing try to explain contributions to candidates and contributions to sitting senators and congressmen it's it's complicated in the end there's so many different things to think about when you were discussing that to a person who's on the outside will how do you fix this well what it what are the laws now well how did it get that way well well how about make it so they can't give him money and it's

► 00:53:47

is like real simplistic views of it from the outside but it seems that it at the very least limiting the amount of money that someone's a lot like what is the maximum amount of money someone can give to a cat right now in the primary and the general it's $5,400 27 in dollars in each and that goes up according to inflation and that's pretty small potatoes compared to what the super Pacs are doing right so you have these people running who expect they're going to raise the money to run their office from their direct contributions but they're counting on the super Pacs to come in and spend ungodly amounts of my tens of millions of dollars to support their candidate wear topos drop mother opponent and so the supporters for those

► 00:54:32

super Pacs aren't even tiny there's of the Adolph's people named Adolphus tiny tiny tiny number of people who are contributing to those to those things but there is no reason why most Americans should understand the complexities of campaign Finance law and they don't need to what they need to ask is do we have a system of Integrity in the way we elect representatives and if you're if you're not brain-dead America you believe the answer to that question is no we do not have a system of Integrity there's no representational Integrity it is corrupted and all the obvious raise and like nobody should buy the forest and study campaign Finance in order to have the entitlement to say he'll he'll know the system has got to end so I think you're right if we you know people are forced to like articulate all the 34 different changes that have to happen when everything to get there but let's not go there let's just start and end with it is a corrupted system and we want pallets

► 00:55:32

things to fix it and if they don't fix it will throw them out until we get the politicians who to I'm and if we could build that as the movement the recognition Decor message of 20/20 I think there's a real shot because we've Prime the Republican party but a lot of people in that party you are now so disgusted with the corruption of this system not necessarily Mitch McConnell he loves it but you know Ed Warner Republican voters and the Democrats have now committed themselves to fixing this corrupted system is my moment to do that and we don't have to get into the details of how much you should be allowed to contribute to say there is a way to fix this that would give us a representative democracy maybe not again but for the first time why is Mitch McConnell so uniquely evil this guy has had it in his DNA from the first moment he went to Washington

► 00:56:24

end any regulation of money in politics he engineered the selection of the FEC this is the Federal Election Commission Commissioners so that they would block basically every enforcement action if you see the FEC does nothing now because it's a commission that has half Republicans and have Democrats so if the Republicans disagree from the Democrats stand nothing gets done they can't enforce the most simple rules anymore because Mitch McConnell is populated the fucc with people who don't believe in campaign Finance rules he said citizens united this decision to take corporations could give unlimited amounts of money to independent political speaking as one of the greatest decisions of the Supreme Court and he said he's going to fight like hell to defend it and when this proposed hr1 Thomas Rhett's dad, said there's not a chance in hell this will ever even get a debate in the Senate this man is obsessed with the idea that money should

► 00:57:24

the power in Washington that it has right now and people talking about reforming it are the enemy and so you know the thing about Mitch McConnell is he's actually an incredibly smart man and he's an incredibly smart strategist and he's been playing this game for a long time I'm and and I think he's like responsible for 85% of the judicial structure that makes it possible for this to be blocked this amazing series debate happened 20 years ago between John McCain and Mitch McConnell to this is when Congress is passing something on the mccain-feingold law which was the last great effort to deal with the problem it was flawed in a bunch of ways but it was an important success

► 00:58:03

Mitch McConnell on the Florida Senate and said Mr McCain says that the Senate we can't same system is corrupt and the name the corrupt people

► 00:58:18

Emma Cain Simpson said I'm not talking about particular individuals I'm talking about the system it's a system is corrupt and then what kind of assistance corrupt that must be corrupt people if there's not corrupt people in the systems not so the only corruption he could imagine

► 00:58:35

what's corruption where somebody was taking a bribe and if that's the only corruption were allowed to remedy then the whole system of influence we have right now is not to be touched but now I think McCain's point was you can have a system filled with lots of on is Congress people and lots of other Senators who never engage in bribery but they know how to Bob and weave and bend and speak and say the right things to attract the right kind of money and that's as much corruption as bribery is Anne McClain's view was we had to end so he was the last great Republican Fighter for reform of this corrupted system they've been many before Barry Goldwater was an incredibly vocal opponent of the role of money in politics but I think what we have to do is find a way to revive that

► 00:59:27

and The Leverage from This president's assertion that this is a corrupt system and we have to change the system into actually building the political power to make that change happened another thing that's very weird is it every four years or so there's this cry to eliminate the Electoral College at every four years ago people realize that the Battleground states are so critical and that so much money is being spent on the small handful of States because they give you all the electoral votes and this is how you win an election and then people say will buy is that that doesn't make any sense it should be one person one vote are we really that divided as a nation that we need to isolate ourselves in to be small little lines in the on the dirt where do you know it did this part is worth this amount that Parts worth that amount so everybody plays this weird electoral college game and then you get a situation like what what just happened where Hillary Clinton win the popular vote but is not the president because the Electoral College is what what makes everything the way you just described

► 01:00:27

problem is exactly the way people have to think about the problem is it is a bad thing that the loser wins I mean that's just not the way election supposed to work so that's happened twice in our lifetime and it happened a hundred years before that and it's going to happen more frequently going forward we can show that demographic like but that's not the real problem the real problem is that in every other

► 01:00:52

the presidential candidates are focused on just 14 States the Battleground States the purple States and those fourteen states are the only states that matter to those candidates and and what Scholars have demonstrated is the president's and campaigns Bend themselves and their policies to make those dates happy and those states don't represent America they're older their wider their industry is kind of nineteenth-century industry that are seven and a half times the number of people in America working in solar energy as mine coal but you never hear about solar energy in a presidential campaign cuz those people live in California and Texas they don't matter to the presidential election what you hear about is coal mine because the 50,000 Coal Miner's left in America happen to live in these Battleground States so this is just a product of the way the Electoral College for the way States Count Their votes to allocate their electric something of the winner-take-all system so all the Tuesdays

► 01:01:53

sit at the winner of the popular vote gets all of the electoral votes for that stayed so you know what mm in Florida George Bush won that state based on a stop to recount by 531 bucks I think all the Electoral College votes in that state even though he just barely one that's day and so winner-take-all is what makes it so that it doesn't make sense for anybody to spay pay any attention to any of the non Battleground States and 10 all of your time in the Battleground States in 2016 99% of campaign spending was in 14 States 1999 % 95% of time but the only reason they were not 99% in those Battleground States is the other 5% they were in New York and California raising money I'd say this is a system designed to give power to be thawed ground States and then you say what why

► 01:02:47

is it something the Constitution requires and the answer to that is absolutely not Constitution does not say how the states will allocate their electors and indeed when states started adopting this winner-take-all system

► 01:03:02

many thought it was an outrage perversion of the Constitutional design so Jeff to Jefferson was outraged but then he said most some states are going to do it then all states have to do it because if you're a state that allocates all of your electives to the winner you can have more power than your neighboring state to drive half the electric very quickly there was a race to the bottom and that's kind of where it's stuck answer the question is that what we can do about it while they're too big reform efforts out there

► 01:03:33

one of them is called the national popular vote compact

► 01:03:37

I mean I should tell you know you can imagine amending the Constitution but it takes three fourths of the states to change the Constitution and 3/4 of the states are not going to agree with abolishing the Electoral College this is not going to happen anytime soon to the Constitution but they're two ways without amending the Constitution we can fix it from won the national popular vote compact is basically States who say look we're going to pledge are electors to the winner of the national popular vote

► 01:04:04

so I'm estate you know looks at who won the national popular vote and then picks the Slate of electors from their state

► 01:04:12

with a party of the person who won the national popular vote so in a state like New York if the Republican won the national popular vote even though most people in New York a democratic they would allocate their electors to the Republican vice versa in Texas that's that's the way that's it to my work

► 01:04:28

and you know I personally like the system cuz I believe in the idea one-person-one-vote everybody's vote is an American citizen for the American president should be equal it shouldn't shouldn't matter that you happen to live in Wyoming vs Pennsylvania vs New York but they're people too worried about this cuz they fear that it'll become a kind of fly over democracy but the only places that candidates will care about will be pissed as like you know LA or New York or Chicago I actually don't think that's right but I get the understanding I think they're wrong about the way the campaigns work but I understand why you're anxious about it so then that leads to the alternative solution which is something in my group equal citizens. U.s. is litigating this right now we're just trying to declare this winner-take-all system violates the Constitution because it basically says that if you're a republican in California your vote never matters if you're a democrat in Texas your vote never matter because we just count your vote up and then we throw it away cuz we allocate all the electors to

► 01:05:28

the dominant party Interstate that's what we've got David boies is our chief litigator we've got a case in California Texas South Carolina and Massachusetts asking the courts to declare winner-take-all unconstitutional and instead say that electric have to be allocated proportionally see if you get 40% of the vote in the state you have 40% of the electricity to get 50% to get 50% doctors and what that would do overnight

► 01:05:56

is it would make every state in the nation competitive like there be a reason for a Democrat to go to Texas because you're not going to get all the electoral votes and I can get a half the electoral votes but you'll get 40% maybe 45% and that could matter or republican we go to California because you know you're not going to get all the votes in California but you can get a lot a lot of Republicans in California so this change would immediately make every state in play

► 01:06:25

but unlike the national popular vote alternative there many people look at this and say this would be better because small states would still have a pretty important role like an elector is an elector and if I can get it from Arizona I'm going to care about Arizona from Arkansas eye care about Arkansas I'm so it's not going to just be the big states are the big population centers going to be every state and so if we can get you know what court to say this violates the Constitution then you can have States Forest to Alligator electors proportionally and if they did that then the problem that you identified at the start which I think is the problem could be solved overnight you would no longer have these Battleground States deciding everything you never present who cares about getting elected by all of America and that would be incredible Improvement those. Seems like in and of itself would be a game-changer because if they could do that that that would change a lot but one of things you said you said you don't think that it's possible that we would ever

► 01:07:25

without the Electoral College

► 01:07:28

what is their support for the Electoral College is there a good argument for it so there is support for the idea that every state have a role other support for the idea that small states get a kind of thumb on the scale which is about the Electoral College. So there is some support it but most people in up 70% of people don't like the idea that the president is not chosen from the majority of Voters feel so most people would oppose it but the point is to change the Constitution

► 01:08:01

you need the state legislatures or state conventions to agree with the change and what many states at least 13 states I fear would say is that we actually win more in the system then we lose so we're not going to change the system until unless you get like some overwhelmingly popular movement to support it or again you can imagine a presidential candidate who kind of made fixing this part of the Democracy part of the plan to I don't see how you can build a political movement together another way of putting it is that which is going around state to state and getting States to join right now has about a hundred and so the way this works is that when the equivalent of 270 electoral votes have been committed than the compact kicksend so when I get to 270 the problem goes opinion of the problem of this electoral college goes well cuz at 270 Gordon to the plan the winner of the popular vote wins The Electoral College they right now have

► 01:09:01

172 electors pledged

► 01:09:05

right so they have less than a hundred more to go

► 01:09:07

but the problem is they've got to convince States to join the Compact and they're having a big kind of hit this redwall now because many Republicans think the only way to win the presidency is through the electoral college now so many state legislatures why do they believe

► 01:09:24

I think many Republicans just think that they're great benefit is from the Electoral College it's not surprising because the Battleground states are primarily Republican because the base number of Republican states is so high right because I'm going to be small rural States get disproportionately more electors than States like California but I'm going to Wyoming is three electors disproportionately soon as it is and you know you look back and you say well they got George Bush even though he didn't win the national vote and they got Donald Trump even though he didn't win the national. It's not hard to understand why they're there I think I guess I don't think they're right about this you know in 2004

► 01:10:05

if 50000 votes had switched to John Kerry in Ohio

► 01:10:10

did John Kerry would have won the electoral college but lost the popular vote and if that had happened in 2004 I think the Electoral College would be dead today because a republican won in 2008 Democrat running two thousand four people and say this system is just crazy we got to get rid of the system but now people think well Republicans benefit from this so I'm a republican I'm going to block the change and if that's true then it's never going to happen at a constitutional level because the Constitution requires 3/4 of the states to support the reform and the reinforcements that has a Donald Trump won without having the popular vote of course nothing is no hypocrisy that touches this president but we remember in 2012 when there's a moment for about 10 minutes when the national media was reporting that that's hot Romney was going to win the popular vote but Barack Obama was going to be elected by the Electoral College Trump start weeding vigorously about how this is a denial of democracy we have to move

► 01:11:10

turn Washington's to end this Banana Republic like system because the Electoral College was the worst possible thing in the world and of course after 2016 he had different views but I wasn't old enough to understand what was going on during Watergate what year was That 70s Show another break-in happens in the lead-up to the 72 election and then he eventually resigned but this is our Watergate at this moment right now in Collins going to go to jail for 3 years and I mean he's testifying against Trump and all these people are testifying and they're calling him what do they call him co-conspirator number one is that what the official individual never won this is very unusual moment for us to be watching this all unfold and to see this slow dissection with Mueller seems to be doing is like slowly closing off all the Escape Routes and slowly circling the troops around this one

► 01:12:10

area that he's trying to that is that is attacking so he's a brilliant tactician and and so I think it's clear that the worst for Donald Trump is yet to come

► 01:12:24

and I do think the parallel is Watergate but there's a really important difference here you know so I'm old enough to remember while I was like 12 or 13 minutes happen and my uncle happened to be the lawyer who worked in the House of Representatives convincing the House of Representatives to vote the articles of impeachment so he and that weekend when Nixon resigned he came to visit us we lived in the Kentucky part of Pennsylvania the kind of right-wing middle part of the state he came to visit us and he told me this was going to happen and that was the event that was the weekend that I decided I wanted to become a lawyer but but the big difference between these two times

► 01:13:04

is it when that happened the way most people got access to news was three television networks

► 01:13:12

everyday they watch the news at the same time cuz there's nothing else on and those three television networks kind of shot right down the middle and told the story is they saw it and I was kind of the Walter Cronkite era of news and as the story broke they just reported it as they saw it and as they saw it it was a pretty damning indictment of the president and what's amazing is he watched the polling among Republicans and their support for the president six months before the president resigns the poll says among Republicans he has been an 83% support rape and then when he resigns who support right about my Republicans is about 50% and that's because the news newspapers and television head like told everybody the same story and Americans during the same story came to the same to you that there was something deeply corrupt about this president had to go

► 01:14:05

we don't live in that news environment today

► 01:14:08

We Live in an environment where half of America lives in one news world and the other half of Miracle is another news world and 1/2 of America living in the Breitbart Fox News world are not being told the stories that the people living in the MSNBC NPR news Universe are and so in this world the opportunity for Americans to it like see the facts the same facts and have a reflective judgment about and then come to a view that This president's on you know needs to resign or be impeached I don't think you should be impeached but let's touch a separate question is is not possible and that's what's so terrifying about it when you live in a democracy

► 01:14:49

we don't all live in the same universe you know we don't know the same facts how do you knit together a public that can address these critical issues of national import I meant and that's I think our biggest challenge will it gets greater than that right with characters like Sean Hannity that they separate the line between not just being some sort of a political pundit but actually campaigning for the president showing up at speeches addressing the crowd making making these big statements in support of the president is very strange to watch cuz I don't remember that at some point time know it wasn't the past but I think the thing we need to realize is it is the future because it pays

► 01:15:36

cable news tremendously when these people become partisan hacks inside of a politics of hate which is the current politics of like both of Democratic and Republican parties and the cable news stations they build tribes who are deeply loyal to them and a loyal to those tribes translates into advertising dollars it is the business model of cable does Sean Hannity looks to you know old geezers like me like an Abomination from the perspective of what new should be like but from the standpoint of what the future is going to be he is the future and so that it becomes a question like how do we get together a democracy given there will be people like the Sean Hannity is on cable television and you know I've begun to talk about the slow democracy movement but I think you know I think I pointed to you as part of that I think that there is a need to begin to think about how do we build political understanding

► 01:16:31

not to broadcast television but through something else that gives people a chance to think in more than thirty second bytes yes and podcasting I think is a core part of that is it entirely possible that something could be profitable to does shoot down the middle because people are so tired of this CNN Fox bipolar distribution of information I mean I remember when the elections are going on I would flip back and forth between the two channels and it was like two alternative universes are there different worlds you different worlds of focus different worlds of what they're projecting I don't think the point is that it has to be down the middle I think it has to be deep so this is what I think is so powerful about podcasting like you know the fact that you get people to listen to you talk about an idea for an hour or two hours a month 3 hours is astonishing

► 01:17:24

literally astonishing in an age where the most cable news channel will allocate to a new story is a minute and a half 2 minutes 3 minutes right and you know in the context of like the Tweet thinking of cable news they can't afford to go deep on anything and everything they're going to talk about other things that can talk about sensibly in 25 seconds for 30 seconds or 40 seconds and what you know because you would live this life of like having deep conversations about things that are important is that it sometimes takes more than 30 seconds to understand something stuck in trunk and that's how America understands the issues we're never going to get anywhere and the only way to get to the get some places to begin to have conversations better at the hour-long trunk or the two-hour long. It's not important that be neutral or balanced I don't care for the balanced I care that it is attempting to be serious and ended up understanding issue so I don't care

► 01:18:24

Kate wants to have podcast the try to tell us the Deep story of Ein Randy and economics or something like that that's fine that's good I think it's important that people start thinking about these issues in a Richard deeper way and I think the challenge we have now is how do we begin to produce understanding realizing that the world of Walter Cronkite is never coming back and it might be a good thing but it is just never coming back and the world of Sean Hannity is a world that will destroy democracy so how do we rebuild democracy outside of that and you know if you if you had to pick the three things of the most hopeful I think I'd castings number one having some of the reflective deep in a funny playful but in the end at the end of the hour-long segment of a podcast you understand something you didn't understand before I think that's number one

► 01:19:14

I think comedy by comedy television like brings people into understanding things in a way that's not possible on Fox News I think that you know as number two I think shows like Homeland

► 01:19:28

how do you know whatever and then it went dark. In the middle but the recent seasons are just on focking believable and because they're unbelievable because they are such a deep rich understanding of the tensions at is she like you would understand the around nuclear deal watch the last season because after watching that season you like understand the tensions between the CIA and the president and what's actually going on with Israel and and I think that if you imagine television shows aspiring to tell the story in a way that brings people end up if they voluntarily want to watch it but that in the end at the end of watching a season you understand something I understand the prince isn't about the Russia in a struggle and I can't wait to watch it because it's going to be a richer understanding of that story than anything on television did you watch House of Cards I did up until this

► 01:20:28

did you quit at the season I watch the season I was very disappointed right by watch episode 1 and I said this is seems like they just gave it to some different writers a hold of it and they said I'll take it and I want to ride it my own way right but yeah House of Cards is it made it seem like stuff actually could happen while you're like really powerful guy Frank Underwood actually can actually get important bills passed rights and I remember watching that sang holy shit this is just completely not the truth this is just not the way the system works I mean it would be good if it works like that cuz at least I could do stuff for the way it actually works is that these guys would be screwing around trying to figure out you know what the tentacles of funders are directing them to do and the tentacles of funders added together it would be don't do anything that's not what you're there to do but would it be at least did is sort of highlight the influences these people experience

► 01:21:28

and it showed How Deeply entrenched everything is a man I want a million different things like this on Bryson said something that gives people give him a rich or understand and understanding. Because for the most part would people doing you go to school you learn about democracy and our system of representative government and then you become an adult and you forget most of what you learned and then you hear something about the Electoral College and the popular vote and you know then you see bills getting past you know what the hell is that and set in the stuff you learn at school is so politically correct and can't actually give you an understanding of anything like you actually talk kids in high school the way Congress were you you know the school board would go crazy and I know you can't talk down American democracy like that set for truth is not teachable the only way to get people to see the truth is to expose it to them in a way that they want to see it and you know my point is that

► 01:22:28

not going to be Fox News Fox News can never recover it at the depth in the interest level that it needs to be covered is going to be things like what you do or things like what you know great illusion can do is our system of government and now just to like taking like dos or Windows 95 or something like that and just continuing to patch it and never revisit it and never come up with a new operating system I think a better analogy is an operating system that has been taken over by malware because it's not innocent. And I was a fun system and it like cranked to a halt after a while when you try to pile more and more on top of it but it was just kind of the limits of what I can do there was nothing malicious and its failure but there's something maliciousness failure there are people who are eagerly focused on how to make sure our government can't govern because if our government can't govern they win

► 01:23:28

so you know I'm the Koch brothers have this amazing bipolar character on one hand they're talking about the ideals of government but the reality is there interventions make it so we don't have any PA that can regulate their companies so basically you know we have environmental policy that leaves our company's alone which means they can make tons of money by polluting our environment without ever having to pay the consequence of it and what they want is not change of a particular kind except for tax cuts what they want is nothing to happen I'm in so that's the kind of you know malware that's taking over the system of our government is blocked the ability of the government to function and rather than having leaders at the center who say hold it let's just pause for a second and realize this is a fucking broken system we have politicians continue to pretend as if everything's working just have to elect more Democrats and we'll get what we want

► 01:24:22

yeah voting online

► 01:24:26

what would be the pitfalls of that and why has not been implemented if you can Bank online why can't you vote online so I think you know most of it that the experts who are disinterested meaning they're not working for the ball or something like that I would tell you that we don't yet have the infrastructure to be able to be confident about this another a lots of people working on I think really great open-source implementations that could be could eventually produce the kind of confidence that we need to have to be able to vote online and so I don't work clothes at in the long run but I think what we've seen in the short run is that when we turn to these proprietary providers of technology to enable us to vote they give us shit going to look at look at these voting machine there's a recent story about this 11 year old who is able to within like 15 minutes hack into the Florida election

► 01:25:27

system and change the results from her in a 1-1 candidate to another because you know the companies that build these Technologies are not filled with a bunch of rock just like if you're really good you're going to go work for Google or Facebook or something like that so so the proprietary software has all of these bugs and holes and intended back door is built into a attended back door because they need in a company that sells needs a simple way to get into check or to fix things but then they worried about the fact that other people will get back doors to be like in this is the argument for diebold system that did have a third party entrance tons of allegations about. I mean about it was all because I've seen so much that contradicts some of the claims about you know the extent to which there was real differences in the numbers I remembered at the election really being anxious about it because it's

► 01:26:27

give me in Ohio in particular a really compelling case was May 3rd some something weird going on but the point is not so much of the particulars of a particular election it's recognizing that if you turn this over to proprietary software companies we're going to build these clothes systems nobody can inspect there's no reason to trust them you know that it's not like they are intending to make themselves vulnerable to the Russians they're just going to make themselves vulnerable to Russians and they're alternative systems like open source systems except my notes on people are building right now that I think eventually could guess there an open-source system like a linux-based something that we go onto your phone well it could be on your phone but the point about the open-source is that anybody can inspect the code and be confident that the code is doing what it says it's right what I'm saying about being on your phone is the Biometrics that we use on her phone today are some of the most secure in terms of being able to establish that it's you that's making that boat like Iris scanner

► 01:27:27

do you have any I have a Samsung Note 9 does an iris scanner check my eyeballs you know you're my iPhone text my face takes to the show I mean there's did pretty amazing fingerprints obviously but the fact that this is probably in terms of our own personal like Security in terms of information this is probably the most secure our smartphones are probably the most secure devices we've ever possessed so on the one hand yes and that's why I say I agree with you that in the long run we should imagine a world where to be truly easy to vote just like it's easy for me to venmo you I'm or I'm a cash app you against your favorite here at money that should be the way the futurist but on the other hand we need to realize that these Technologies are also incredibly insecure in the sense that there is now a commercial Market to exploit

► 01:28:21

are insecurities inside of these funds and you know these companies basically have bounties that they post on the web right for people who will come forward and find certain holes and hacks and once I get those hacks they use them to leverage power and government play this game all the time and you know there's a pretty strong argument to pick a shogi murder was a product of one of these xploitz which was Django to be revealed and the need to cover up the fact that there was such an exploit out there what is this I didn't know this what is this about what you know these companies in many of them most prominent ones here Israeli companies who facilitate the ability of governments to buy access to your phone right and that the standard way in which this is Dynasty is to pierce the security by sending you something that you click on it and then embeds itself in the phone and there's no way you see it and it no way that done I can reply

► 01:29:21

but there's rumors now that in fact we've got something more than that going on we're all they need to do is get your telephone number and able to hack into the system to get access to your phone but the point is he's companies have a market now or I'm selling this type of insecurity soap melt like sell the ability for you to get access your end the story that you know I don't have a lot of reasons to the absolutely confident about this except that I trust the person who's inside the security world that says this to me the story is that this is part of what happened to show the contacts that the Saudis had exploited this in a way that was going to be revealed and and The Simple Solution to that Angela Revelation was to remove the person who would reveal it and that's why she yasso to this the point about it recognized with these phones on the one hand for the ordinary life it's more secure than anything you've ever had but in the other hand systematically it's building

► 01:30:21

security into our lives in a way that can be exploited by powerful people on and for most people doesn't matter like most people ordinary ordinary chose you know they're not going to spend a billion dollars to get a hack against the individual person when I hear that from a person justifying why they don't worry about it it drives me crazy I can't do anything to do I'm clean don't worry about me but it's not that's not what we're doing it doesn't we're talking about because if we have a system are systematically powerful people can just push the button and like find a way to control you or actual anybody or tomorrow cuz then we've got a system that no longer makes it possible for ordinary people stand up to power that's that's basically what it is like this is this is a structure that allows powerful people if it is insecure to protect themselves cuz they can just leverage that against us and I think you know this is a completely unknown focused Prague

► 01:31:21

nobody is talking about this politically but the market for this commercialized security exploits is hugely important and we've got to find a way to talk to a dresser

► 01:31:34

so Is it feasible that as technology advances and as the security advances as well I mean the Biometrics that we have today are far greater than the passwords we use just a few years ago that there could be something that you can't exploit what actually considering open-source variants were there can be checked by the community

► 01:32:00

so the problem is is not the kind of particular Technologies working the way you intend them to work you know you got great biometric Technologies those are really good at making sure in the ordinary case that you're the right person using your phone but the problem is the code is so big and so complicated

► 01:32:21

there's always going to be little bugs inside the code and what these exploits are are like coders who like poke at the code looking for these little hooks and I link one hook to another hook to another hook and then they find a way into explain the system so the exploits are never but I wasn't never lose another story is important to recognize a second but not in the main cast intended by anybody it's just the unknown it's just a natural consequence of having in a literally hundreds or millions of lines of code that go into making this machine work and that's what being exploited him when you have a world like the iPhone which is monoculture like you know everybody has the same operating system are the same versions of the operating system if you find an exploit and apple doesn't know about it I'm and you can exploit it for six months or a year you can you know do a lot of damage to a lot of people's lives before anybody gets around to it blocking it

► 01:33:21

that's even in the best-case where everybody's working hard to make their system as secure as it can it can be you know there was this. After the

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when is in a very strong and credible allegations of the United States government went around to these technology companies and said we need you to build back doors into your technology so we can track down the terrorists and destroying allegations that in fact many of the most important technology companies complied and what they quickly discovered is that the back door is intended for the United States government trying to attack terrorists were being exploited by the Chinese trying to steal trade secrets from American company so this infrastructure that was intended to be secure to protect American companies so that they could do their work without being spent about foreign Espionage can have them became infrastructure that's Espionage again because it's so complicated to get it perfectly right and the the return from exploit is so huge that you can just expect the market is always going to supply it what was the other example that you're going to bring up that was it that was handed back to worst that that turn out to be

► 01:34:33

for the purposes but isn't the system itself like when you deal with hanging Chads or the paper looked at their counter giving up to human beings the potential errors massive right to just account things up for the potential for corruption the decision to ignore certain collections I mean this this is all the documents right in all of this follows in the fact that we bizarrely in America unlike most mature democracies around the world make the running of Elections apart as an event Republicans in a district or democrat Senate District control the voting system whose self-identity professional framework is non-partisan independent like Election Commission that's about a note above the part is about so that there's no incentive in Georgia for example

► 01:35:32

for the government to allocate money to fix voting machines Justin Republican districts and not in Democratic districts or there's no incentive to shutdown a voting polling place in Georgia and said that people in that area would have to go huge distance to be able to vote where they created so that it takes 7 hours to vote in some districts in 20 minutes to vote in other districts have no incentive to do that if your job is simply to make it possible for people to vote efficiently in if we measure you and and and reward you based on how easy have you made it for people in the state to vote easily and efficiently we don't get that kind of efficiency we don't get that kind of innovation because it's a rigged game you know you might have people who I'm sure many of these people are above part of the motivation but we also know that many of these people are deeply motivated by partisan politics especially that kind of middle level of Party politics and if they can set it up so that their side wins because of the way they've played the game for allocating

► 01:36:32

learning resources then more power to them and that's exactly what happened to George fight with this recent Governor's election the kind of outrageous that the man running the election system secretary state does not resign from his job as he runs for governor and the governorship is decided and such a very close sway by the decisions that he made about you know how they're going to throw people off the voting rolls or which allegations of voting system technology will be made across the state this is product is making a political we could make it non political I might not have all of these guys we're dealing with this very unique landscape now of Google and Facebook and Twitter and Instagram and all these different social media groups that have a vested interest in the specific narrative being portrayed and one thing specifically is and this is being address right now in Congress is the discrimination

► 01:37:32

conservative voices and there's a lot of denial that but there's also a lot of evidence that that is the case and that they feel like they have some moral or ethical obligation to suppress certain conservative voices for whatever reason and push The Narrative of a progressive and liberal voices this is a very strange thing because the amount of influence that something like Google or Facebook has a day is arguably as great or greater than that the Sean Hannity's of the world and the CNN's and the that did the traditional news outlets so no doubt there's a big debate about whether they were more important than 2016 then the cable station is my colleague if he thinks there has a book that are Jews pretty powerful I think that it was actually the cable stations that were more responsible for the results then the Facebook's but weather in 2016 there was more powerful Sunday in the

► 01:38:32

you sure they're going to be more powerful and certainly powerful absolutely and the question is what we mean by bias or discrimination here like you know in 2017 in the fall it was revealed that Facebook was selling ads for people who wanted to Target quote jew-haters

► 01:38:52

so you could go and you can buy ads for Jew haters out there was never how how did that work okay and you know they have lots of categories you get to pick when you buy Facebook ads you know liberals or people who voted people over 60 whatever this was one of the categories it was exposed you can buy at 4 to hit an actual Choice marketing person decided we ought to create a jew-hater category is not a decision of any human it was the product of the machine AI that was developing the categories based on what they saw people happen to be interested in and then throw up categories to see what sticks and then certain categories stick and then they run with them so you might say he would say oh my God Facebook is in a discriminating to encourage jew-haters but from another perspective

► 01:39:49

the machines doing it no doubt but to what extent you want to say Facebook is doing it and I think that's off that's often what you're going to see in this argument about whether their quote biasing the system against one side or the other you know like a hilarious hearing that was just telling Capitol Hill 2 days ago I don't want negative results in the sewage then don't do bad things by then I'm so you know I think this is how I see quite fun it was really funny this is like nobody's intend to explain that we were talking about there was an argument about you know whether Google was tilting the ads to embarrass one side of the other and I guess I owe everybody thinks it that's the guy who didn't know that Google did make the iPhone exchange with basically here I'm going to show you a demonstration

► 01:40:49

hey man that's yet cars and Smith and then up comes this or reference to his race-baiting and he's like that's ever going to make it to every time you put Smith in their UpCountry spading we don't do individual search results like we give people what we think people want based on what they've done in the past and what they've shown interest in a mint and so that's what's producing it hits the machine that's producing this resolved and that let Congress Lou come back with you know if you don't like the connections than just don't enable them to be doing things like don't do things like race-baiting if you don't want negative search results don't do that

► 01:41:38

when you say it's the machine is doing it you know what's the future going to be like when we can just say is not my promise machine that this is just Facebook though when when you're talking about or Google rather when your we talkin about Twitter Twitter has a different issue and their issue is there's accusations of Shadow Banning that they have decided that they're going to silent certain voices or make that much more difficult to find or eliminate them from certain people's feeds you know and they're doing this this is the allegation that they're doing is based on their own personal preferences their their beliefs that do you know their Progressive ideology wants them to lean left and to somehow or another distribute that information and much more left leaning way and I hear these and I don't not an expert on what they're doing and I wouldn't be surprised if you know certain complaints come in about certain feet

► 01:42:38

they say were going to take these off and you know quite frankly some of these like feeds you know what the Alex Jones stuff you know if you're the consequences if your news show is did somebody takes a gun to a pizza shop in Chicago in in Washington to try to prove that Hillary Clinton is running a sex slave operation in the basement there something wrong with what's going on there, I'll sex right now so I understand why they feel like they're responsible there and you know it was kind of environment like so Facebook required to identify yourself so that under the shadows of anonymity you wouldn't be causing drinking lots of Havoc inside the system but look I think the more fundamental problem hear what I said so far people like Google and Facebook might like your stuff they're going to hate the more fundamental problem here

► 01:43:34

is it we have no antitrust enforcement of any of these companies against any of these companies and we've allowed them to become so incredibly powerful without any justification under the law isn't the issue though that this was never anticipated that this is not like when they created Twitter they didn't think of it as going to beat there's going to be some voice of distribution of information that's unprecedented worldwide but that's what it is yeah no it didn't expect no doubt they didn't expect it to work exactly the way it worked but the antitrust law has from the beginning have standards that should have said we need to step in and certain place it's so pretty up in 2010 Facebook is facing a pretty powerful competitive threat from Instagram

► 01:44:19

and the question is what they're going to do it's cooler to be Instagram it's using it much of the growth rate is much faster

► 01:44:28

in an ordinary competitive market what they would do if they would build a better product to compete with Instagram their response was to write a check for a billion dollars and they bought Instagram and anybody whole bunch of other countries WhatsApp what you know it was a very important competitor in people to leave the really secure way to communicate by Boston Dynamics to Wikipedia and robots is antitrust law in any of these moments should have been historically would have stepped in and said wait a minute wait a minute you can't buy your way into complete dominance of these Market I'm and I think one of the biggest changes that happen the last 20 years

► 01:45:21

is it the antitrust department has just shut up its doors and just stop doing its work so if we had a more competitive in an environment where companies had to compete against each other you have company is to try to compete by protecting your privacy differently by refusing to sell your information differently you have lots of pressure on companies like Facebook to behave not because idiot Senators who don't know how Facebook works are calling him before hearings but because the market itself is creating the competition that drives them to behave in a way that actually conforms with what consumers want so I agree with you these are real questions and important questions to figure out are they biasing in one way the other and if they're biasing systematically that's a really important problem but the solution to that problem might not be more government regulation the solution of that problem might be government's making sure we have the right kind of competition going on here so that time they can't get away with behaving in this pathway would be that ride,

► 01:46:21

is in fact Google bought it and I've actually sold it last year interesting like what would be the right kind of competition it would have to be something that bounces it outright like some sort of a right-wing social media platform but those tend to get infested with trolls and 4chan type people than the seat when you soon as you say we're not going to have any regulation the idea would be right you say oh Google and Facebook they are so Progressive they lean left they suppress conservative voices and they don't believe in freedom of speech so we are going to create a right-wing platform that allows freedom of speech and doesn't suppress conservative voices and you know what happened to those things they get Infested by 4chan people and the Pepe the Frog people and they start saying racist thing I can say anything I'll say anything anything means anything and that's

► 01:47:21

the real problem in today's day and age because there's a lot of bored people out there and they get excited about a platform where they can say something that they know is completely outrageous under the anonymous screen name and people think will this is indicative of a person's actual real beliefs sometimes sometimes it's bored people that are trying to fuck with people and they're trying to get a rise out of folks and they know that if they write a bunch of n words and Heil Hitler that it's going to get a reaction and then they'll check it every couple minutes to see what kind of what

► 01:47:54

this is what happens so it's incredible progressive tense tooth when you think of someone is being Progressive or be having a progressive voice you tend to think of being inclusive you know I did not supporting homophobia being open to all sorts of different marginalized groups rights but when you think of conservative you open the door for a lot of people that are rejected by these Progressive groups and they might not necessarily be conservative but they are not welcome in these Progressive space is so they come out to these new places and they take turns into it a dumpster fire look at the store you just described as the story of cable television right so he knows that in certain point people like Robert Rodger Ailes and the murdocks decided that we didn't have enough conservative media out there and so they funded not just magazines like the new Republic

► 01:48:54

what is funded the beginning of cable television and and that created this bifurcation in media with cable television and you know one to make these observations about what you'll have been closed book is all about like what the nature of Truth is on cable television on the right is different from what it is on the left on so I think that's all fair and I don't think anybody has a clear sense of what the right answer look looks like in this space I mean in a Facebook is a technology in here to the Facebook friends are going to really hate me for this but here on Facebook is a technology to exploit in security for the purpose of selling ads that's what it does what it does is make you feel like you check in your like why didn't she like that photograph or why isn't he friended me and so you constantly engage because you're constantly trying to feed this no feedback and that is exploiting Tristana just on Harris's

► 01:49:54

is really a powerful here it is exploiting your insecurities is that really what it is cuz I've always thought about it as being a fast-food version of the nutrients that were missing in an actual real Community that's exactly the right way to think about it but just in the same way that fast food companies figure out how to exploit the brain chemistry that makes it so that you eat chicken wings you know barbecue chicken cuz they know that's what's going to feed that kind of addiction and just like gaming companies figure out how to tweak the game so they'd know how to get the addiction out of your kids this company is really great if I getting you to like turn over as much as you can to them to build you into this quote Community why are they doing that not because Mark Zuckerberg is come some kind of freaky guy who wants to know your secrets but because the more you turn over to them the better their ads are and feeding you information so this is a technology for the purpose of engendering

► 01:50:54

answer that advertising gets really really good until you know you could say the Facebook is tilted to the left but the reality is there was an extraordinary amount of exploitation of the advertising on Facebook to feed information to the right in this last election mean to brag but I'm Kathleen Hall Jamieson book about this is really quite amazing and documenting and that's because it's gotten really good at being able to segment markets on the basis of what people know or care about I got not because anybody planned and nobody wrote you a hater. Because the AI is smart enough to figure that out until when you build this technology that is driven to the purpose of making it easier to sell ads you produce this world that you know has no necessary connection to figure people figuring out what the truth is I got cable television cable television is about building really loyal community building the tribal sense of the community if telling the truth did that they would tell the truth

► 01:51:52

if not telling the truth does that they will not tell the truth question is not whether you're telling the truth or not the question is what builds the advertising base until this this reality that we have these platforms that are a driven on the store or constructs drives that platform to develop in certain ways and that's why I think it's important to think what if we could create a competitive environment where there were different platforms available once it we're not focused on dinner driving at and this is something that I guess I think it's not that they're the reason why something like Google or Facebook has gotten so big is cuz it's so much money behind it while two things because they've been allowed to get so big and because so much money but I would stop them the best apartments in other people the way you're buying up competitors is disturbing to us the difference in that sentence you become so successful that's what we want to do in America

► 01:52:52

you know innovators and Marcus working that's really great but you bought your competitor is a separate statement like you have a bunch of money because the stock is so valuable cuz people think you're the future of money but then you turn and use that money to buy competitors what do you put in up Jamie what is this is the total number of those spent the last seven years so the companies they bought go back. Don't move total cost of Acquisitions what is a 23 trillion dollars 23 billion dollars more than the gross domestic product of Fiji Zimbabwe and Maldives combined talking about acquisition you're not necessarily talking about companies that are succeeding because they're so good right so you know when you say what are the Alternatives going to look like it's a really hard question but we have some of it in real space

► 01:53:52

I understand NPR has a different set of incentives from Fox News Windows 10 podcast have a different set of incentives from YouTube videos YouTube videos have a different kind of constraint if you did a 3-hour YouTube video you would not live in the same way that you got to live in the context of podcast but we do do a 3-hour YouTube video. It doesn't get the success that it gets because it's a 3-hour YouTube video it's because people are committed to your podcast mean I know these guys I could carry it around like when you get to a place where it sounds like it's going to be interesting to see what time the video then they flip up the video that you know the average successful YouTube video you do a political YouTube video more than 2 and 1/2 minutes on this everything is correct Jordan Peterson's doing a lot of really long YouTube videos that are very successful there's hurt his back right now for unedited thought

► 01:54:52

and I mean not not not the other than other than uncensored in terms of language but in terms of no one influencing what you're saying so if you decide to do a podcast or nothing on YouTube and no one was leaning over your shoulder with an agenda or a guideline to follow the desert real hunger for that because people feel like what you described about Facebook and cable news that there since she's trying to sell you things keep you on the hook so they can drop it from you there's a real hunger for someone is not doing that right I feel like there's got to be a market for news in that regard like an actual unbiased uncensored truly objective Centrist news station

► 01:55:35

well again I think that's the slow democracy movement the podcast feeds you know because the reality is if you had a simple way to be watching

► 01:55:47

in every second of your to our 3 Hour podcast what was working and what was not be really hard for you to resist I would resist okay I wouldn't pay attention of thing for so I've already been faced with that before people is like said to me you let you know how will this is when people start to none but throw that away life on MSNBC where is he that's because of Advertiser dollar backed steers it in a certain way and I'd say we need to build alternative platforms which what you're building in the in the pocket sound like advertising is not important to your stuff of course you start with you not talking about certain products to help sponsor what you're doing so it's not Auntie Market it's all for Market but the point is it allows you to develop the contents in a way that's not micro managed

► 01:56:46

by the advertising dollars are the marketing Center and that's critically important it's also other people's incentive to get you to do things in a way that they will feel they feel will be more profitable so that everybody gains I don't have those other people so there's no one else so if I bet if I've done television shows before when you do television shows before you will have meetings with producers and they will have noticed they will tell you that this is hurting our bottom line and this is not good for that we have to emphasize more days for the network wants that and it's really just about accentuating your ability to make more money right which is why we have to build these Alternatives that can compete with the advertising driven platforms if you could get a really entertaining news show on YouTube or I mean not cast The Young Turks sort of tried doing that but they lean so hard laughing fit yes

► 01:57:46

Walter Cronkite maybe that's not what it is maybe you know The Colbert Report is a new show delivering the information given to someone whose objective I would like someone is really objective who talks about the negative applications of whatever law or Bill that's being discussed like what would be bad for everyone what would be good for the Democrats Republicans poor people rich people who don't get that there's no version of that available right now every version leans towards whatever platform there on whether it's Fox News or MSNBC yeah I think not for want of trying I just think the world doesn't support it like a boss but the world doesn't support it because there's booze people are so tribal because they want to be there on the Fox News camp or they want to be in the MSNBC Camp I really feel like there's a lot of people just aren't being represented and folks like me who just I want to know what what is have

► 01:58:46

why is why is this the case why is this leaning in this direction what's the real motivation behind this bill what's the real motivation behind these actions and the question is whether you're going to get it from a single person who purports to be quote objective or whether you're going to get it from three or four people migrating across these different perspectives when I was a kid I was obsessed with the Soviet Union and in 1982 I went to the Soviet Union I was like I guess I was 20 just turned 21 and and I was hitchhiking to Eastern Europe and then I went through the Soviet Union and I was on a train I'm from Leningrad to Moscow and sitting next to a professor I always seem to be followed by people who spoke English but this guy looking Leslie said to me I'm you know we have a better system of free speech and Soviet Union than you do in America

► 01:59:44

I need simple when you wake up in the mornings he said she said when you wake up in the morning you read the New York Times or the Washington Post or lost return on you think you know the truth

► 01:59:56

but we know when we read our newspapers everybody's lying to us so we have to read seven or eight newspapers and triangulate on the truth and that makes us a more critical Free Speech society that America is but there's a kernel of Truth to that you know when my dad gets an email that says Barack Obama is a Muslim he comes from the time when you just believe was printed even though it's not printed just email the president a Muslim but you don't my kid gets an email that says Barack Obama is a Muslim he said yeah well I mean what else you mean like he's going to be like I want to see it so I think that in some sense we are producing a culture especially among our kids

► 02:00:48

I are at least one hopes where they recognize that everything is partial and you got it you got to do a lot of work to potent did it together and in the end. Might be a better I might be a better ecology for producing democracy and truth then one where you know you got to trust the source to be quote objective in this case that's an interesting perspective I do definitely agree that young people are more skeptical and more aware of the possibilities of fukery today than ever before is a funny story Michael Sherman you know. Michael Shermer who is a professional skeptic I get a DM from him says there's a story about you on Beast

► 02:01:34

what it what is the British BBC the story about you on BBC you have to log into your Twitter to read it so I look at that I go what kind of bush is this it would you get hacked so I sent him a message so hey dude you get hacked they send him the message and he said what there's a story about me and you locked in he's a fucking professional skeptic they got him but why cuz he's older you know I mean I think guys that didn't grow up with that they don't know they don't know tricksters they don't know the name was a nightmare for him he like I mean his whole system is screwed up every time he got hacked now it's a problem with us old people this is the way we live well just you grow up with one system and then I'll send you I don't know what to do here so it says it needs my login let me just give

► 02:02:34

and then all these pop-up boxes and the number of people who are being tricked into believing the IRS is calling them on the telephone and demanding where is hilarious and tragic images he called me and told me they're going to put my whole family in jail my whole family left a message since you did not return our call we will put your whole family in jail damn I hope family the dogs everybody what about the cats

► 02:03:05

it's like what the fuck man like they're trying to freak people out and it's you know what automated voice message that's very strange get roped into that stuff real hard it's very sad it's very sad because a lot of them are lonely and you know they don't have a lot of companionship and they get these messages and they don't know who to turn to explain it to you no soak

► 02:03:32

will be hopeful hear well younger kids which forms you going to I know there's so much that she might really bad stuff out there in the world that you know in the 1970s just would have been invisible like you could have looked at the world in the 1970s which I remember that and everybody else is kind of a troll does everyday assessment certain of these feet so just are amazing but I'm not there that's taking a bunch of data and data is beautiful and like demonstrated something amazing by the way he's built it and you get the sense that the world is filled

► 02:04:29

what is incredibly talented smart people everywhere who are you know many of them just have too much time but the point is they are out there everywhere so he asked why should we be hopeful that we developed is critical attitude so we have this ability to think across and the Army is filled with so many incredibly talented people and the internet service is it makes it possible for us to at least reach them yes I and then the question is can we use this power Leverage is power and actually do something with the forces of evil that no control I had an interesting moment last night at the Ice House Comedy Club where there was a drunk couple in the front row they were talking really loud and they were annoying all the people around them and they were kind of chimed in and heckling and raising her hands and eventually they got kicked out and I it was pretty fun if everybody was having a good time it was pretty crazy even as they were getting kicked out what the rest of the artist having a good time because we're making fun of it and I said Aziz people getting kicked out

► 02:05:29

I said this is basically us most of us are cool there's a hundred and fifty people in here and added a hundred fifty people hundred forty eight of them were having a great time everyone's drinking and laughing and where the all these Comedians and no one wants any extraordinary attention no one wants any special attention but two people fucked in their necks those people you would say all the crowd there sucks the people are always yelling things out of their drunks and they Heckle will because. Those two people required an exorbitant amount of attention they did ask for more attention than anyone else and if you use that buy a sample group and say well this is the crowd the crowd is these drunk people that yell things are no vast majority of the crowd a really polite fun people out having a good time and they approached it with the perfect attitude I think this is the world isn't the world I think the world is there's a small purse

► 02:06:29

people that fuck things up for everybody and I think that this this is in terms of politics in terms of business in terms of everything yes in terms of the net for sure and I think the net is a perfect example. If you're a person that gets if something happens to you and people start attacking you online for it if you just noticed the the number people are saved in your involved in some sort of a story right say maybe there's a million people that know about the story and you get off 550 people send you mean things you think it's the end of the world people you know you don't notice that it's a hunt you just see all these messages and it's a it's a manageable you like oh my God everyone hates me a hundred and fifty people decided to take action make you feel bad because they feel bad it's a small number in terms of the overall number of human beings but if you are Louis CK and it's coming at you you like holy shit the world

► 02:07:29

hates me you know and it's it's this is this is the situation that we're in right now it's we just have so many voices it's incredible though because out of all those voices as long as you're not personally trying to figure it out and filter it yourself with your own mouth which is completely impossible but if you could just look at it objectively from afar this is going to work itself out in a far better way than he's ever happened before in our past there's never been this many voices and our pastors Benes it like you were talking about a select few voices the Walter cronkite's the whoever it is on at the top and then everyone else so they had to wait for the narrative to be spelled out for them that's not the case anymore that's right and then again I think it's the best of times and the worst of times so I sometimes because all these new voices are bringing all sorts of great perspective and inside and intelligence to the to the story that wasn't there before and that's great the problem is is

► 02:08:29

infrastructure that used to be there to kind of bring us up all bring us all up to kind of basic level so that we understood the facts disappears so it wouldn't have anything that kind of makes it so that we all understand what it is you and let's take him out the facts are so that we can act as a democracy and a sensible way then the question is how we run a democracy you know because if we could have all these different I like to think about the difference between the culture Channel and the Democracy channel to channel this is the best of times by orders of a cat to get stuff on television today is a billion times better than anything from the 1970s and 1980s and it's a product of this incredible competition in the fact that you can have anything and anyone ish market and as long as it's enough to make sense do it and that's what's great but when you turn to the Democracy channel the same

► 02:09:23

fragmentation the same niche market the same reality of it's all living in these different universes means we can't address problems as a democracy with even the same faxed and that's a real problem because if we all live in our own fact you first but we have the same face the same real problems in the same real Earth then we're not going to decide them in any sensible way and how you solve that problem is really hard like we're not going back thank God we're not going back to the 1960s it's just not going to be the case that there are three channels we get to watch that's just not going to happen and ends great thing because we've got all this amazing culture but what do we do on the Democracy side how do we build a democracy recognizing that everybody's not going to spend all their time geeking out of that campaign Finance reform legislation and and that's why I think we need to think about these other ways to bring people to some sensible understanding I'm the first people that brought me into this

► 02:10:23

podcast and I remember like not even knowing when he did this like the length of that conversation and thinking what he going to cut this down to like six minutes for an hour and we already done two hours and 15 minutes wow wow this is the this is the changing of the world this is it as opposed to those panel shows is 3 Talking Heads turning over each other and you don't you linked it before and I think this is really the key it's it's it's exactly like Diet like we recognize that we have been like put into a world right now where we all eat City food because it's been designed to make it so tasty like we love it you know and the only way we were formed that is if individuals one-by-one begin to decide to eat the right stuff

► 02:11:23

side tit to engage in the right kind of healthy Behavior today to be able to survive in this world cuz the incentives of the market are to sell you stuff that doesn't necessarily do that the same thing with the information space that's why that slow food movement is like the slow democracy Movement Like a slow food movement is how do you produce food that's actually healthy in a way that feeds you if he's your body in the right way I think the slow democracy moving how do you feed a democracy and and the elements that have got to be contacts for people are free to get deeper than 30 seconds I mean if we don't build more of those we're going to have a we're going to have it really desperate time for the market we're going to have what we have which is the rise of authoritarianism around the world for see the possibility of alternative social media Outlets sort of viewing all the issues that people do have with Google or Facebook or Twitter and any of these

► 02:12:23

are perceived to be biased sources of information and coming up with something that has clear Protections in there and sort of like the founding fathers do when it established a system of government that they listen we don't want that let's let's organize that as we're starting to make sure that this doesn't doesn't ever turn into some sort of an echo chamber look it's way above my paygrade yeah but what I know gets us there is competition I know that the only thing that is ever gotten us to the next grade Innovation is the enforcement of competition which is why it's a problem when someone like Facebook buys Instagram what gave us the internet was interventions by the government against AT&T which was the dominant telecommunications company for more than a century that finally said enough of this you can't leverage your power to control all Innovation and once that intervention happened people could layer on top

► 02:13:23

their wires a new network called the internet and when they did that government said two companies like cable television companies okay yeah you've got Broadband across your table but that doesn't mean you get to decide what applications go on that cable line so you your HP Envy near the cable company you can't say that there can't be Netflix on the table are you can't slow Netflix down. Obviously they would want to slow us down because Netflix is a competitor with their basic business model but the intervention to ensure competition created the opportunity for these great new Innovations know nobody at the beginning of that had any clue about what would come out of it all that they knew was that the only way to get something new and great was to assure competition and that's the commitment we've given up since 2000

► 02:14:18

since George Bush became president 2001 there's been no major enforcement action by the antitrust Department against any of these companies and that is a huge problem until we ReDiscover the importance of competition not because we're Geniuses and we can figure out what the future will bring but because we know from the past that the only way the future comes as if you guarantee competition unless we do that we're never going to solve any of these problems yeah ensuring competition is ensuring Innovations insurance and then anybody who doesn't want competition wants to stifle Innovation and it's got to be thought to be a selfish property rights and the basic is the basic argument in competition law got taken over by a bunch of Chicago Economist who said the only question was efficiency or consumer welfare is another perspective that Libertarians like Luigi zingales who's up an economist at University Chicago business school and and people are not libertarian Sikeston woo-hoos are Professor Klump

► 02:15:18

embracing this is the idea of political antitrust any idea of political and he trusted you should also worried if companies are so big that they can corrupt the government like this is a dimension to worry about you because he think it to be so big that they can corrupt the government then you know that they will use that power to protect themselves against Innovation cuz if it didn't matter comes he doesn't come with 50 lobbyists he does comes with a great idea so this dramatically as he's developing this incredible alternative and try to figure out how to sell it inside of states and then a lobbyist for the car companies we go state-by-state and forbid them from being able to sell cars without a local dealership in the state that there's a huge fight as the incumbent Industries leverage their power over government to protect themselves from this new competitor and this is the this is the fight we have to we have to make Central again because if we don't do that then the dinosaurs will have

► 02:16:18

power through this corrupted political system to protect themselves against the future and this is just the moment when we need to figure out how to make the Future come I'm glad you're raising these warning flags but I feel like from talk to you that you're fairly optimistic you're the first person who's ever said that your perception of the internet and the young people, the way information is being distributed today and there's so many people participating in it and it's so much competition even in that form right I mean there's there's more voices now and there's a lot of look in the past when you had to be selected in order to speak. It was very difficult to get through that selection process and it's not necessarily the best voices that got through it just sometimes the most persistent in the most influential whatever the reason why they got to be one of those people with the tie in that block on those panel shows

► 02:17:18

that's not the case anymore. You know now you've got Kyle kulinski you've got all these you know these these people that are they don't necessarily fit in you know any traditional Jimmy Dore they don't fit in any traditional role on regular mainstream television but they have a pretty influential voice and they're very politically Savvy and they're talking about things in a way that they would be that would be it would be very hard to get a producer to sign off on the way a lot of these guys communicate and some of the things that they do it be it would be very very difficult but so you're optimistic to I'm very optimistic capacity to innovate out of it's what I fear and what I'm not sure any rational person should be optimistic about but you know that doesn't mean you don't fight it but I fear is Washington and until I said many times I like that

► 02:18:18

power of corruption in Washington might be so great that it cannot be defeated but that doesn't affect what we should be doing we should be fighting it whether or not we think we can win like winning is not the only reason to fight you fight because it's the right thing to do because we might be wrong or if we could take them down and and I think that's what we got to be setting up for it right now when you see people like Tulsi gabbard or will you see this the young woman in New York Alexandria ocasio-cortez to me that's very promising that people are leaning in this direction and that they're they're saying let's just let's let's look at this in a different way and let's see some new voices looks let's hear people that are clearly not influenced by Corporate America they're clearly not they don't have all of their veins hooked up to the Matrix yet

► 02:19:18

I'd known before your your interview with her at your interview with her I think gave people are incredible understanding of the depth of her soul which is deep, when she tweeted to the president making us Saudi Arabia's bitch is not putting us America first so she can go deep and also has done is like he's opened up the door for this kind of very hostile communication but what he's also done is open up the door for you to come back at him nothing he notices but you're right and Saturday night of the rest of the world notices though but I think is interesting about Alexandria is she is very disciplined about saying look we got to fix the system before going to get any of these things done so I like to think about like Alexander versus Bernie she like every time she gets up there and talks about in her green Energy new deal it's like you got to fix the political system and then we're going to be able to get this right as opposed to

► 02:20:18

like putting a list of 10 things you want to do without anywhere even mentioning the fact that you're going to make these things possible by picking fixing political system I think we need new people which this new Congress is filled with a hundred and seven members of people running for congress who wrote to the speaker of the house and said they want as the first thing is addressing this corrupt political system and Nancy Pelosi gave them not just that but all these other reforms to that's hr1 the younger people coming into Congress realize the system is broken I fear the older people in Congress have gotten so used to the system that they don't even notice anymore to tell broken it is how outrageous it is and they need to rage so they're going to Rage Against the Billionaire's or whatever but I think we need to focus the raid on the problem and that problem is Congress if we don't fix Congress first Nothing Else Matters nothing else will happen and we need to build the movement which I think could actually be a movement that brings people on the right and people on the left in to make that

► 02:21:18

that's it the philosophy that you have to have darkness in order to inspire light and that there's some sort of a balance to be achieved in in this managing of those two energies and that when you have an Administration that's clearly fucked up and then people come along and say it's time that I get into politics to make a difference is these the people are motivated because they see a need for change where I know some people with other Administration so I like I like the way things are going I'm going to go out to see the private sector I'm going to go do this I'm going to do the people see something like what's happening with Trump and they say I want to I want to stop this this is not the America that I know people entering politics with the best possible glasses and on the right in politics of the best possible reason and people on the left the question is how quickly do they get bent by the system how quickly do they become part of the system the dark side out for when you say

► 02:22:18

members of Congress to 80% of 70% of the time raising money you might think that means they're miserable most of the time but you know it's actually psychologically rewarding for them so I'm in up to be a member of Congress right now is a pretty miserable chop you don't get much done like you're spending all your time like rats in a maze like a bell goes off you got to run to the floor your aide tells you how you were to vote you vote then you leave from the floor it's nothing like what it the framers imagine like they were sitting on the floor listening to bait about ideas all that bullshit the only debate is debate to C-SPAN if I could speech to see spending and that's and that's what it's the life of a congressman is pretty miserable but when they fundraise it's kind of like push-ups you know it's like they sit down and they're told okay you got to raise $20,000 and I are the age sat there and they call Joe he cares about this and call Fred and he cares about that and you go through and when you hit your numbers it's like I did something so

► 02:23:18

make your accomplishing something but the point is the psychology of that increasingly makes you okay with the system that you're in and you realize you win in that system You've Won until your openness to changing the system becomes really sketchy so I think the critical moment right now is to is to solidify the recognition this Congress is corrupted and we have to fix it and only thing I'm worried about with HR one is it it's going to make it into a democratic issues like that Democrats care about it so the Republicans are supposed to not care about the critical thing now is to get Republicans to support the idea for reform and then make it something other than just a traditional tribal fight between left and right

► 02:24:03

are you optimistic

► 02:24:05

was ice is that correct in that

► 02:24:08

I'm optimistic about everything outside of the Beltway and I'm going to fight like hell to do to prove that we can fix stuff inside the Beltway but if you told me I had to bet on my son or daughter's life I'm not going to tell you what I think we're good thank you for doing this I really appreciate it I really enjoyed talking to you unless it was to us again hopefully you'll be right every time you ask all right sir appreciate it thank you for tuning in to the show and thank you to our sponsors thank you to the cash app download the cash app for free in the app store or the Google Play Market enter the reward code Joe Rogan all one word $5 will go to you $5 will go to Justin Reigns fight for the Forgotten charity helping build Wells for the pygmies in a Congos and at least now until the end of the year when you download the cash app and into Joe Rogan the cash app will also be sending $5 to help pay for UFC fighter Ray Borg son's medical bills it is an awesome company

► 02:25:08

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