Springer urges political participation

Depending on one’s position on the political spectrum, Jerry Springer could either be seen as a loud-mouthed liberal or a straight-talking breath of fresh air. Springer spared no one during his lecture at the Sun Dome last night, delivering enough colorful rhetoric for the nearly 700 onlookers to form a new view when he discussed the media and politics.

Citing some of the most significant moments in modern American history, from the assassination of John F. Kennedy to the Vietnam War, Springer spoke on the vast impact that television and the media have had on putting both the highs and lows of politics and society into the direct view of every American.

“Television became the conscience of America,” he said. “Generally, it has made us more humane.”

Although to some it may seem odd that the host of one of the most controversial shows on television spoke of social conscience, Springer made it clear what place he thought his show held in society.

“Our show has no redeeming social value,” he said.

Despite that viewpoint, Springer said it is important to present people on television who are not the upper-middle class white people who have dominated television shows until recently. Springer even defended the 34,000 guests he has had on his show over the last 17 years, saying that they are not trash and really not all that different from everyone else – just unpolished.

“We are all alike,” he said. “Money just buys you a better outfit to cover it up.”

Turning the discussion back to today’s political environment, Springer made his vehement disagreement with the Iraq war very clear, saying the bombing of Baghdad was “like taking a bat to a beehive.”

Rather than spending our nation’s resources entangled in a futile war in the name of national defense, Springer said national defense should be taking place within the country itself.

“If we know that 99.9 percent of people will be killed by disease, why don’t we spend our money in this country on healthcare?” Springer said. “There is no national defense if there is no national healthcare.”

Springer then spoke openly about supporting Hillary Clinton as the Democratic presidential nominee, calling her “very smart, but flexible.”

In the fashion of his infamous “final thought” – the time at the end of his show in which he offers advice and insight on its participants – Springer urged the crowd to demand what is right from politicians and embrace the ability to think and act liberally.

“Don’t run away from being liberal – it’s OK,” Springer said. “The mistake of a liberal is caring too much, and there is nothing wrong with that side.”

“I was really surprised, I thought it’d be more about media and culture,” said sophomore Erik Myxter, a member of the College Democrats. Despite this surprise, Myxter liked Springer’s speech. “It was really clever.”