Lawrence Lessig on Principles & Values



I won't resign after one law; that was totally stupid

Lessig said on HBO's "Real Time with Bill Maher" that, if elected president, he will no longer resign after passing a law that would expand voting access, end partisan gerrymandering and reform the country's campaign finance system.

"You said that you were running on this one issue and that when you got elected and fixed it, you would quit," Maher said.

"Yeah, that's stupid," Lessig replied, looking downward. "That was totally stupid. I withdraw that promise," he said. "I am not going to resign. I am running for president with the commitment to pass legislation that gets our democracy back."

Lessig said he did not anticipate that his promise to resign would overshadow his message of restoring democracy.

"What's weird about politics is that you come in and you say, 'I don't want all the power,' you're a little bit humble about what you want. They're like, 'What's wrong with you?' They don't trust you," when you do that, he added. "And I didn't quite get that. That was my stupidity."

Source: RealClearPolitics.com on 2016 presidential hopefuls , Oct 23, 2015

Acknowledge elephant in the room: partisanship doesn't work

Q: Why exactly are you running?

LESSIG: I'm running to get people to acknowledge the elephant in the room. We have to recognize we have a government that does not work. This stalemated, partisan platform of American politics in Washington right now doesn't work. And we have to find a way to elevate the debate to focus on the changes that would actually get us a government that could work again, that is not captured by the tiniest fraction of the 1% who fund campaigns.

Q: So, campaign finance reform, voting rights reform?

And also dealing with crazy way we have political gerrymandering where politicians pick the voters rather than the voters pick the politicians.

Q: And you're saying that if you win, if you become president and you pass that platform, you'll resign?

LESSIG: That's right. Because what we need is a focus that could cut across partisan lines and say this is the mandate. The mandate is to achieve this fix to the corrupted system, to fix the democracy first.

Source: ABC This Week 2015 interviews of 2016 presidential hopefuls , Sep 6, 2015

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Page last updated: Aug 18, 2016