America is a “total … failure,” according to actress Jennifer Lawrence.
Thankfully, the 28-year-old’s experience making Hollywood movies prepared her to change the world, and Lawrence is starting with “Unbreaking America: Solving the Corruption Crisis.”
The 12-minute video features Lawrence and Josh Silver, director of Represent.Us, a group working to “bring together conservatives, progressives, and everyone in between to pass powerful anti-corruption laws that stop political bribery, end secret money, and fix our broken elections.”
Lawrence explained that she’s “constantly overwhelmed” with American politics and convinced “it really doesn’t” work for average Americans, so she’s concocted a plan to make it all better.
Lawrence told CBS News last year that she never finished middle school or obtained a GED, but the lack of basic civics isn’t stopping “The Hunger Games” actress from lecturing her fellow Americans on “what’s going on.”
“America is no longer even considered a full Democracy,” Lawrence said. “We are witnessing a total political system failure in America, which is the complete opposite of what our nation’s founders had in mind.”
Several quotes attributed to the nation’s founding fathers confirm Lawrence’s assessment.
“We are now forming a Republican form of government. Real liberty is not found in the extremes of democracy, but in moderate governments,” Alexander Hamilton said hundreds of years ago. “If we incline too much to democracy we shall soon shoot into a monarchy, or some other form of a dictatorship.”
“A democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where fifty-one percent of the people may take away the rights of the other forty-nine,” Thomas Jefferson warned.
Regardless, Lawrence pointed to research from Princeton University that allegedly shows that the popularity of specific political policies don’t necessarily correlate to the likelihood those ideas will become law.
“If there’s zero support for a law, there’s about a 30 percent chance that Congress is going to pass it,” she said. “And if there’s 100 percent support for something, the most popular thing ever, there’s still a 30 percent chance Congress is going to pass it.”
It’s all about the money, according to Lawrence, who was listed by Forbes as the world’s highest paid actress in 2015 and 2016, with annual earnings of about $100 million over the two years.
“In order to win a seat in the Senate in some races, you would have to raise $45,000 every single day, 365 days a year for six years to raise enough money to win,” Lawrence said. “Now consider only .05 percent of Americans give more than $10,000 to politics, then you see why politicians have become completely dependent on the .05 percent of Americans – billionaires and special interest groups – who fund their campaigns.
“Meanwhile, you’ve got lobbyists writing our laws and donating to the politicians who pass them. We have a two-party duopoly of Democrats and Republicans that makes it so independents can’t win. While the American people are leaving the major parties in droves,” Lawrence said, showing a chart that purports that 42 percent of Americans identify as Independent, 24 percent as Republican, and 31 percent Democrat. The source of the data is unclear.
Lawrence also decried the “crazy shapes” of voting districts that give politicians an advantage and lead to less competitive races.
“It all adds up to this vast ring of influence over our elected leaders,” the actress claims. “It’s a corrupt system in which we the people have near zero influence over our own government.”
The lack of direct influence, Lawrence contends, is at the root of all of America’s problems, from trillions in waste and fraud in the federal government, to rural poverty, expensive healthcare, crowded prisons, job losses to other countries, “and we’re not even doing enough to keep our air and water clean for our children.”
The big question – one Lawrence is “obsessed” with – is “How do we unrig this system?”
Silver explained that he talked to a lot of important and smart people who said America needs a law that would stop political bribery and fix broken elections, “and if you could do that, you could wrest power away from the corrupt establishment and put it back in the hands of the people.”
That simply requires an end to gerrymandering, “ranked choice voting,” automatic voter registrations and “vote from home,” overhauling lobbying and ethics laws, making political spending more transparent, and tax vouchers for donating to politicians.
Represent.Us complied the changes into the “The American Anti-Corruption Act” and are now lobbying state by state in hopes of building momentum for changes on the federal level. And that just takes three simple things: building a movement, calling out corruption, and right-left coalitions, according to Lawrence and Silver.
“We believe the government should work for every American, not just a handful of billionaires and special interests …,” Lawrence said.
The video comes about a year after the actress announced a break from the big screen to focus her attention on politics and saving the world. Since 2012, Represent.Us has accumulated 85 legislative “victories” in several states.
The group’s board consists of media big wigs like Buzzfeed co-founder John Johnson, venture capitalist Josh Jones, researchers at the University of California Berkeley, “social activists,” big money donors and Hollywood producers.
Represent.Us’ advisory council includes fund managers and investment bankers, former politicians, academics and political strategists, while its cultural council names numerous Hollywood headliners including Michael Douglas, Jack Black, Orlando Bloom, and Kate Walsh.