“I think the focus on Trump is a mistake. You can look anywhere, look at any newspaper, look at any sort of public commentator; you can see all of the criticisms of the Trump policies, of the administration, all of the issues that they have there. They’re clear, they’re obvious. Yes, we are in uncharted times. Yes, we are facing a period, not just of localized risk, but of systemic risk. But what should we actually be looking at, right? Faith in elected leaders, to fix our problems is THE mistake….; that we keep repeating.
When President Obama was elected to the White House, when President Obama was elected to the White House he said ALL of the right things. Right? He said he was going to make a more equal America, we were going to move into a period of co-operation, rather than partisanship. He said he was going to close Guantanamo on day one of his administration; it’s still going to be open on his last day of his Presidency. He said there was going to be no more warrantless wiretapping in America: we don’t do that. We don’t need that. That’s not who we are. And in fact he expanded it. He made it worse. It went deeper. It got better, it got more sophisticated, it got more pervasive. And it continues. Right? If we’re hoping for a champion, if we’re waiting for a hero, we will be waiting forever. Because it’s not a politician that you’re looking for, it’s the people in this room. It’s YOU, it’s the person sitting next to you, all of us have a responsibility we can’t fix by ourselves as individuals. But we don’t need to.
What we have to do is make one change. A small change. A positive change that can be replicated, that can be shared. We need to create our ideas; we need to think about these problems. We need to identify, not that Trump is a bad person, but WHY he is so threatening, and we need to start creating defenses for it.
Moreover, we need to realize that defense is not enough. WE need to create an offense, for free and open society. We need to recognize that one of the central problems right now, is one of debate.