Clinton urged Americans to move past our differences in order to "create inclusive economics" and "an inclusive culture."
Clinton also discussed what he referred to as a "Dictator's Club," whose members want nuclear weapons and to "abolish the line between fact and fiction." O'Brien asked what most of us were thinking: Was he referring to Trump? After a long silence that sorta indicated the answer was "yep," Clinton shifted the topic to the issue of voter suppression — a huge problem that existed long before Trump entered the picture and turned American politics upside down.
"Look at the effort here to disenfranchise voters. To make it harder for young people, people of color, the elderly and infirm who are poor and vulnerable. The reason there is no immigration reform is because people who are against it are afraid it would adversely affect their electoral prospects," Clinton said. "When the Supreme Court gutted the Voting Rights Act it made a terrible mistake because it unleashed all these efforts to basically shrink the electorate."
He also added the incredibly important point that, if we don't like what's happening and we're troubled by voter suppression, we need to own some responsibility if we've ever missed a midterm election. And Clinton is absolutely right on that point — although it appears that the tide is shifting after Trump's victory, Democrats have a pretty terrible track record when it comes to voting in midterms. (As evidenced by the fact that the GOP currently controls the House and Senate.)
Because our representatives and senators make so many key decisions (including ones pertaining to voter suppression and gerrymandering), progress is impossible if we don't vote in every single election.
Although Clinton made a number of great points, his assertion that "we need to tell these people who make up stuff on the Internet to knock it off" was certainly a simplistic suggestion for an incredibly complex issue. As we recently learned, Russian-backed content reached approximately 126 million Americans during the 2016 election cycle.
I doubt telling Russian troll farms to knock it off will be effective, but perhaps Clinton deliberately chose to avoid any mention of Russia. And what we can do is fact-check Facebook content before sharing it and report "fake news" to social media platforms.
But the most important takeaway from the former president was that we need to do our civic duty and vote in every single election, whether we're electing a mayor, a representative, or a president. Every vote counts and we empower ourselves when we actively participate in electing the people who will make decisions that could change our lives.
Watch the rest of Bill Clinton's take on the political climate here:
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