Kid President’s Pep Talk for the World

Kid President: I think the world needs a pep talk. (A Pep Talk for the World) I need to look people. Look with your EYES! This is where we live. It's a good place. Look around you! What do you see? volcanoes sunsets Justin Timberlake's Teeth *all smiles* Those things are perfect. But I'm telling you world, we've got some work to do. Open your eyes! How cool is it that we are all alive on the SAME planet at the SAME time ?! I think it's time that we start making cool stuff happen! On the planet we live on there's… Poverty, Hunger, Injustice. The world is full of awesome! It's also full of not awesome. On the planet we live on there is also… Potential, Possiblities, Puppies! Yeah I said puppies! Ahh I'm getting distracted. I'm glad you're here. I'm glad we're all here.

We're all born to make a difference! It can be easy to get overwhelmed! Feel like you can't do anything! But that is why we have each other. Yeah, there's lots of bad stuff in the world… But there's also YOU. And there's me. Time to set some goals! I'm not talking squad goals… IM TALKING GLOBAL GOALS! All of y'all. The whole world is my squad goals. What the world needs is love and also… an end to extreme poverty, eliminating inequlity, fixing our planet! That's why we got you! That's why we have each other! That's why we got goals! Global goals! Together we're louder! Together we're brighter! Together we're gooder! That isn't a word. Global goal number four… Education! Talk about school, I gotta tell you something. School cafeterias can be scary places. Where do I sit? Where do I not sit? Where's the cool table? Lemme tell you something. The cool table is wherever you are! In the lunchroom of the world, there should't be a cool table. Nope. The whole lunchroom should be one big cool table.

A big table!!! A table where everybody is invited! Where everybody has a seat! Where everybody has enough! That's the kind of table that I want to be at. That's the kind of world I want to live in. That's the kind of world that we are building! Because of people like you. Yeah! You! I'm talking to you. Let's live in a world where awesome is celebrated every day, where people treat people like they are people. Those are my kind of people! So get out there! If you find yourself feeling like it's too tough… remember you're not alone. There's lots of people at the table and it's a cool table. Open your eyes, you'll see. (for Lily).

The decline of American democracy in one graph

There's this graph that I saw recently. It's the most unsettling graph I've seen in American politics in a very, very, very long time. And yet it's really boring to look at. It's just a nearly straight horizontal line. The line doesn't do anything interesting at all. But what the graph shows is something that's somewhat terrifying. What that line shows is the relationship between what the average voter wants, and what they actually get. In a huge study, looking at over 2000 surveys of people's policy opinions, whether people were on the left side of the line which meant they opposed something happening, or on the right side, which meant they all wanted it to happen, it didn't matter. Once you controlled for the opinions of affluent Americans and interest groups and other lobbying organizations — average people, their voice was not heard at all.

Or at the very least their voice didn't appear to matter at all. Average folks only get what they want if economic elites or interest groups also want it. And all this data comes from a time when these groups were arguably less powerful in American politics. America never sold itself as a democracy. It sold itself as a representative democracy. There's accountability from voters onto politicians, but politicians, they get time in office. To step away from the passions of the electorate for at least a little while. And do things that are right for the country, and then voters will judge them on whether they did a good job. So maybe its the case that affluent Americans and interest groups and politicians just — they're always right. And average voters. You can just safely ignore them. But it doesn't look like America's been run so well. We had a massive financial crisis because we didn't do enough to regulate Wall Street, we got into a disastrous war in Iraq. We have median wages that haven't substantially grown in many, many years.

It doesn't seem that we are so incredibly good at running this country. Maybe we need a little more democracy in our representation..