Vote in the House of Representatives or Keep Talking to Sam? (with Rep. Ro Khanna)

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When Congressman Ro Khanna has a big decision to make, he wants to gather all relevant information and hear many differing opinions before he makes up his mind. When he’s at home, he defers to his wife. (Smart man.) Sam asks Rep. Khanna what it feels like to make decisions that affect millions of people, how he stays optimistic about progress when things feel so dire, and what the heck is going on with House Republicans. Plus, Rep. Khanna makes a choice in real time when the vote buzzer goes off during their conversation!

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Samantha Bee, Ro Khanna

Samantha Bee  00:00

Washington DC is old. No, I did not say called I said old, like really very old, like the average age of our current Senate is 64 years old, old as my dear children like to remind me I am ancient. And yet still I am 10 years younger than the average age of our Senate. Make it make sense. The Constitution states that one must be at least 35 to be president 30 to be a senator and 25 to be a representative that save for a handful of people in Congress. Our politicians are very far removed from those numbers. And sure, okay, Maxwell frost might be the first member of Gen Z to be in Congress. But there’s so many boomers there who need help setting up their two step verification that he can’t possibly do it all on his own, he needs backup. And moreover, he probably needs people to eat lunch with elect him some friends. But you know what, today for change, I have some good choice words, I give my nicest choicest words to young people all over the country who choose to run for office. They’re running for school board, City Council’s for local state houses to Congress, and someday, I hope even for president, they inspire me. They’ve grown up in a social media age where information is readily available, and it’s easier to find people who agree with you and support you. They were in grade school during Sandy Hook and college for Parkland. And they’ve seen generations of other politicians fail them on gun control, among other things. They understand technology, and they see how much current politicians do not. They see failure after failure to enact legislation that could give us a fighting chance at saving our planet. While the rest of them hem and haw about a degree fall days. They’re running to make real change. Because they know that if we don’t their generation, the generations after them will be the ones to suffer most as they try to inhabit. Surely an uninhabitable planet. Oh, why did my good choice words end up being so depressing? I’m just saying. There are great things to do with your life when you are in your 60s and 70s. Life can be full, if I Tality of bounds. I don’t plan to be making decisions for other people at that age. I don’t know. Some are great. Others are a little behind. Please have mercy on us.

Samantha Bee  02:47

This is CHOICE WORDS. I’m Samantha Bee. I am honored to be joined today by Congressman Ro Khanna who himself was once a young person running for Congress, he ran for and lost his first congressional race at the ripe young age of 27. We talked about the serious decisions that our politicians make every day, the way they are felt around the world, which is why it’s more important than ever, for those politicians to be representative of every generation of Americans. So take a listen, make good choices and register to vote.

Samantha Bee  03:28

Okay, Congressman Khanna, I know you’re not busy at all. I know you just have like nothing going on in your life and things are not. Things are not at all dumpster fires out in the world. So thank you so much for talking to me today. Okay. I have been talking to people a lot recently about the idea of choice the choices they make in their life. That’s how I like to launch into this podcast. So I have to ask you, it’s very different for everyone. Professionally, you make choices that affect hundreds of 1000s of people, millions of people, what is that? What is that responsibility feel like?

Ro Khanna  04:13

Sometimes you don’t think about it, but other times you do. I’m thinking a lot about it right now with the Middle East, right with every word that a member of Congress says has some influence in the outcome there and literally is a matter of life and death for Israelis for Palestinians. And it gives a person humility. And not just me, I think most members of Congress just a sense of the burden of being in positions where what you say is really impacting human lives and something that someone said to me when America sneezes, millions of people’s lives are impacted. And it’s not just America, it’s that what we do has such profound consequences around the world. So it for me, it’s just it’s a reminder that, yeah, there’s the thrill of politics that are the things you’re passionate about. And ultimately, these jobs are real responsibilities and burdens.

Samantha Bee  05:27

Right? Right. So how does it I guess, how does it feel in your body right now? I mean, I, are you sleep? Can you sleep? Are you? How much do you immerse yourself in? In the discourse? I guess? I mean, I assume you’re listening to people, you’re listening to your constituents? Are you moveable? Do you find that when you make a decision about something, that you’re steadfast in it? Or can you be like? Do you ever feel like you’ve made the wrong choice about something? And that you will? Are you willing to change your mind about things?

Ro Khanna  06:04

Sure, absolutely. I know it’s fashionable in politics these days to say, you never make a mistake, and just always think you’re right. But that’s, that’s not human. Yes, I’ve made mistakes and decisions that I wish I had done something differently. There’s certain things I’m not movable on, right. I mean, I was on the board of Planned Parenthood, I’m 100% for reproductive choice, you could have 1000s of activists come in and talk to me, it’s not going to change my mind. I’m, I believe we need to build more steel plants in Ohio and Pennsylvania, you’re not going to change my mind on that. But on on an issue like this. Yes. I in fact, if you look at my tweets and statements, they have become louder and louder about the humanitarian situation with Palestinians in Gaza, because of things that I’m inheriting because of constituents, they’re going to come stronger on speaking out against both Islamophobia and anti semitism because of community input. So on issues like this, absolutely. And it’s one of the things that I do want to say to folks who think God doesn’t matter if you write a letter to a member of Congress doesn’t matter if you call a member of Congress. And here’s the candidate truth, the more effort you put in, the more in matters if you just kind of say, Okay, I’m going to do an email to some to a member of Congress, yeah, you’ll get counted probably won’t make a huge difference whenever you take the time to go to the office and meet or protest. Or, of course, it matters and particularly in fluid situation. So yes, in my opinion issue.

Samantha Bee  07:36

I do think that people don’t understand that showing up in person, obviously, is incredibly important. But letter writing is actually kind of a big deal.

Ro Khanna  07:47

It is, it is it’s a big deal in writing letters to the editor, because if you write a letter to the editor into my local paper, that that’s going to make it into my, to my script, if impress clips if you write to my office that is going to make it in so Absolutely, it’s a big deal.

Samantha Bee  08:14

Are you different when you make decisions when you make decisions about important things? Do you is your process? What does your process look like? And is it different for you in in your capacity as a civilian like as just a regular human being outside of the job that you do? Is your process different? Does it come easily to you do?

Ro Khanna  08:36

[…] much outside to my wife because I know she is that I try to do anything that it’s important to her but on. And I try to minimize decision making. I’ve met a lot of people saying this that, you know, I’ll try to wear it’s similar suits and similar ties and not not make a ton of decisions about those type of things. In it being in Congress, I do. I want to get every fat. And I want to find every law. And in some cases, if I was going to be self reflective and critical, it’s that I may be too analytical almost looking for this analytical answer, where some of these things are not analytical. Some of it is values based, some of it is emotion based, but my default is give me the information, give me the data, give me the facts. And that helps me but it almost is creating a false sense of, of certainty. These are ultimately deeply humanistic values based decisions.

Samantha Bee  09:35

Right? And how do you I mean, how do these decisions sit in your heart? I mean, it must be I can’t. I find it’s unbearable as a human being to watch what we are witnessing. And you have to do a job that requires that you you know you’re actually If your job is to make decisions and guide the government and guide your constituents how, how do you compartmentalize that I guess in your human heart?

Ro Khanna  10:13

Sometimes it can be exhilarating and empowering when you’re passing legislation that you think is going to make a difference by that I helped, right and bringing semiconductors to America. That was great. After years of work, there’s something that you’re getting done. And other times there’s feeling of some guilt, some feeling of concern of what what are my kids one day get to think about?

Samantha Bee  10:42

Does that impact your decision making you kind of look to the future and go, okay, how’s this going to resonate? Historically?

Ro Khanna  10:51

Yeah, I mean, not in some grand sense, you know, of history. I mean, maybe Obama were to think like that as the first African American president. But for me, it’s a little bit more mundane, but more like, what What will my kids say? What would I What will my family think when it my grandkids one day, if I were lucky enough to have grandkids? We’re gonna be like, Oh, my grandfather was in Congress. Was he one of the good guys? Was he on the right side? Where would they think I’d fall short? And, you know, our role in in the Middle East right now, we’re inextricably tied to what’s happening. We can’t just say, oh, that’s, that’s something distant I mean, we’re involved. So when I say it doesn’t matter as much as what the President or Secretary of State says, But it matters. And I can’t absolve myself saying, Oh, I’m just expressing an opinion. It’s actually that there is some real consequences taking place. And so I do feel, do I have a right? Am I? Am I doing the correct thing? questioning myself on it, I found myself in this context and this conflict are the last three weeks wrestling with that in wrestling with issues of conscience and wondering whether I’ve done enough wondering if they have some guilt, probably more than in my seven years of Congress. So it’s an interesting time to be doing this podcast because I haven’t felt that like the weight of it as much on other things.

Samantha Bee  12:17

Right. There is the weight is the weight is tremendous. And it does feel like the world is to some extent imploding. It feels definitely to me like we’ve really uncorked something that feels different, you know, and I wonder how you make people believe that progress is possible. With that as the backdrop, I guess, how do you keep energy moving forward, when everything can feel so dire?

Ro Khanna  12:51

I look to history in a very personal sense. I mean, my grandfather, I’m gonna throw a deal on car, spent six years in jail, alongside Gandhi in India’s independence movement and spent 15 years fighting for India’s independence, not knowing whether India would ever be a free country. And I look at his life. And I say that is so much more challenging than anything I would ever face. And he lived to see a free India and I then think of my parents who came here as immigrants, and they couldn’t get a fit meeting with a staff member to a member of Congress, I remember when I would have some event or something I wanted to invite my relative how hard it was for them to even get the attention of a member of Congress. And now their son is a member of Congress that we have five South Asians in Congress. And so I think this country is progressing in becoming this cohesive, multiracial, multi ethnic democracy. And as we do that, we’re going to play a more empathetic and just role in the world. But progress is slow in progress is hard. But that narrative of the sacrifices of the past, give me a sense of wanting to continue and understanding the things take time. Right?

Samantha Bee  14:06

We’ll be right back with Representative Ro Khanna after this. Can I ask what is because this practice is primarily or, you know, the launch point is that idea of choice. Can you point to a decision that you made like a choice that you made in your own life and career that really changed everything for you? It can be something small, or it can be something huge, for example, a congressional run in your 20s I mean.

Ro Khanna  14:49

I’ll pick two, one very small thing, which was not a choice I made, but a choice pushed on me by a ninth grade English teacher. Like she said, you have to go get published and call our entire class, we all had to get something published somewhere in matter where this was before, you could just put up something on Facebook or Twitter and say it was published. And so I wrote a letter to the editor to the Bucks County courier times, and the vice county courier Times ran a headline, read this 14 year olds lips, George, George Bush Senior was the president. And I thought at 14 in ninth grade, wow, the president United States is going to read my op ed and my view on the first Gulf War. Of course, that’s not the case. And now I realize even if I write op eds, in the New York Times, the President is not going to read it, most likely not going to read it. But it was exhilarating to say this young person can have a voice. And everyone in Bucks County, where I grew up was talking about at least I thought they were talking about it. And it gave me a sense of Yeah, I want to participate in the public conversation. I didn’t know at the age of 14, I would one day run for office. But I certainly knew I wanted to have my voice in a democracy. And I looked at that, if that if that ninth grade teacher hadn’t done that, who knows which way I would have brought out, like sparked my interest in, in public life. And then my first congressional run where I got crushed. If someone had told me, You’re gonna run for Congress, and you’re gonna lose 71% and 19%, but you really need to do it, I would have said, that’s crazy. I’m glad I didn’t know the outcome. Because I would never have done it. But you don’t want if I hadn’t done it, I probably never would have been sitting here in Congress. Because I’m so proud of that campaign, I ran against the Iraq War, it turned out to be the right position, the person I ran against Tom Lantos became a mentor of mine, because he was impressed with the hutzpah. He introduced me to Nancy Pelosi, Nancy Pelosi got me involved in politics, and it was something I did, not knowing all the consequence, how hard it would be. And sometimes it made me realize sometimes making choices without all the information is better. I mean, not making choices without all the information on something like Israel, Palestine, but in our own lives, having choices without all the information sometimes allows us to take risks and get out of the comfort zone and get out of conventional thinking. And for me, that was a turned out to be a great decision, even though at the time I was thought I had gotten crushed.

Samantha Bee  17:21

That’s such an interesting perspective that sometimes it can be helpful to actually dive into something and not have any kind of predictive outcome, or just not try to put too much value on what the outcome will be. Just go for it.

Ro Khanna  17:35

Yeah, I think, you know, especially if it’s something you feel in your heart, I mean, at that time, I was so opposed to the war in Iraq, I was so opposed to what was happening to South Asians in America, after 911. And the racial profiling every time I go through a metal detector, I come out for advanced screening, and I wanted to speak out about it. And sometimes doing things that are not purely strategic, calculated, and just doing things, we open up doors, that doesn’t mean that you can continually do that. Look, I then didn’t run for office for 10 years. And I said, Okay, you got one of those. And next time, if you ever want to do it, again, be strategic and make sure you have enough money and make sure you have enough rapport. But I think it’s it’s to me, it’s a balance between sometimes putting yourself out there and then saying, Okay, now I’m going to be a little more strategic about things.

Samantha Bee  18:24

Can I ask, what was your what was the substance of your op ed?

Ro Khanna  18:28

The substance of the Op Ed was that I said, if we’re going to go into the Gulf War, it shouldn’t be just for money or oil. It should be for the reasons that we don’t want Kuwait to be taken over by by Saddam Hussein. And it was pretty decent for a 14 year old. I don’t know if I’d stand by everything today. But if you come to my office, it’s it’s the first thing people often say, and I’m very proud of it because I’m proud of it. Because what it said about my ninth grade teacher and and how certain incidents actually can inspire you to get involved.

Samantha Bee  19:02

Well, that was the first I the first protest I ever attended was about the Gulf War in Canada was a very activating time. That’s amazing. Very activating time. Okay, so we’re talking and we have a new speaker of the house. What a process that was, I feel like I’m talking to the person who lives you know, in the crazy house on the street that all the kids are afraid of. What is it at the time, okay, at the time of this recording, we have Mike Johnson, who knows what will happen between today and the time that this airs it seems like it’s, it seems like it’s happening. What is the hell is going on? What is what is going on? In the crazy house? Please tell us we cannot imagine the chaos.

Ro Khanna  19:56

One of the best ones I had when Kevin McCarthy first one after 16 votes is Yeah, I don’t know, I don’t know who’s gonna last longer and American Speaker of the House or a British prime minister, and I kind of said it as a joke, but it apparently turns out to be true. I mean, look, it is. It would be funny and entertaining if it weren’t as sad. But the reality is that you have a group in the Republicans who just want to cut government, like that’s an ideological belief. And they don’t mind a shutdown. They don’t mind dysfunction, because their view is no one else wants to cut government, we have these massive deficits. And we want to do that. And so they they have a veto power, and they can bring down any speaker at any moment who’s not willing to go along with their cuts. And that’s what brought down my car then and they weren’t willing to vote for Scalise and then Jordan, what didn’t have the votes on the moderate end? And so, you know, Mike Johnson figured out the Rubik’s cube to get elected. And now the question is, can he stay there? Look, I know Mike, I, we came into Congress together, he actually did the Civility pledge, he is a decent person in temperament. But he had to make a lot of compromises to be or do a lot of things like file lawsuits in 2020, saying that Trump really won the election in random states to be able to win that that nomination. So it is a it is Donald Trump’s party. And I don’t say that in a partisan way. It’s just the truth. Like I know people love pointing to Liz Cheney or Mitt Romney. They have absolutely zero power, they couldn’t get elected dog catcher and in among most of the Republican caucus, and this is Trump’s party, and Trump today is stronger in the Republican Party than he was the day I got the Congress, which was when he was president of the United States. So it would be foolish to underestimate him.

Samantha Bee  21:58

Oh, it’s would be very foolish to underestimate I think we are in for a wild ride with. To say the very least, do you have a memory? I know that they say that memory is so short and politics but like, it is like the we have the attention span of goldfish these days, it would seem to me do you think that there is just no? Do people not remember? I? I’ve answered my own question. No, they don’t. What the government shutdown actually felt like, these things are incredibly consequential. The fallout from government shutdowns. I mean, it’s tremendous. What are we doing?

Ro Khanna  22:38

I mean, first of all, if you’re ever traveling on the, on the plane, or in an airport, you know, the air traffic controllers don’t get paid. And so you’re basically having people come in, maybe out of goodwill, and they’ll continue to come in, but they’re doing it without salary, and they have no obligation at some points to come in, and your parks get shut down. And anyone you know who works for the federal government, they don’t get paid. They can’t make mortgages, they can’t make rent. Most people work for the federal government are not in politics, they do it because they want to help people. They want to help people get Social Security checks out, they want to help people with services. And if you collect social security, and you want to call the government agencies, you think it’s a nightmare now, because you have to be on hold for 20 minutes, well, you’re gonna be on hold for an hour and a half. So it these things have real consequences. And we kind of forget until the next shutdown happens, but it’s no way to govern a country.

Samantha Bee  23:33

No, it’s such a failure of leadership. I mean, how do you intend to? And is it even possible? Like how I hate to even use these words? How do you capitalize on that in the next elections in the upcoming elections? I mean, in the sense that, how do you make sure that a year from now voters remember that Republicans are just like a circular firing squad, they just cannot. They cannot govern. They don’t want to govern. They don’t want the government to exist.

Ro Khanna  24:05

They don’t want the government to, to be funded in levels are willing to shut it down. They want to create chaos to to shut down things like the Department of Education, which provides funding for so many schools, which provides loans to people like me, went to law school, I couldn’t have done it without student loans. They want to shut down government agencies, including law enforcement agencies. I think we we say the truth that they’re for chaos, they’re for tearing down institutions, and we need responsible governance but but it’s not going to be enough to remind people what happened today. I mean, memories and politics are short. What’s going to matter is what happens starting in the summer and and the fall and we’re going to need a compelling economic message about not just the jobs that are being created, but what we want to do to help make sure that people can afford housing afford rent, afford, not going to medical debt, not have student debt.

Samantha Bee  25:13

Yes, I mean, memory memory is definitely short, but I’m starting to worry that people don’t have object permanence. That’s, that’s what we’re talking about. Hold that thought more with Representative ro Khanna after one more break. Perception is everything. You people don’t believe that the economy is doing well, even though all of the kinds of markers are telling us is even in New York City. Everyone’s like, all those jobs were restored in New York City. The people don’t feel it. They don’t believe it. They’re watching the cast and the house and they go, why would I bother? Why should I care?

Ro Khanna  26:08

Well, their right to feel discontent still when the economic conditions I mean, because for 40 years, we’ve had globalization, unchecked offshoring that hollowed out the working class and middle class we have a wealth concentrated districts like mine in Silicon Valley and a few hands. People can’t afford a house as anymore. They’re, they’re looking at wages that have stagnated. The good paying $35 jobs are now 15 $17 jobs. Joe Biden comes in there and says I want to try to reverse 40 years of this economic policy. And we’ve made progress. You know, we’ve passed the American rescue plan, infrastructure plan, but we can start there celebrating when most people are saying, I don’t think my kid’s life is going to be as good as my parents life. That’s the reality. And so I think what we’ve got to first do is acknowledge where people are, you can’t let your people to feeling good about the economy, it wouldn’t be like I liken it to my colleagues, it’d be like an apple, if you were selling the iPhone, and people didn’t like one version of the iPhone, or you’re like, well, they’re dumb. They don’t appreciate the iPhone, let’s just go tell him why the iPhone was great. Like, no, let’s listen to why they don’t like the iPhone. Well, people are telling us they don’t like things about the economy. And what the Democrats have to say is okay, here’s the difference. If we get another four years, we’re going to actually do childcare at $10 a day, we’re going to make sure that medical debt isn’t there. And we’re going to fight for the student loan forgiveness that the President that we’re going to fight to build more housing for people of working class families, and stop Wall Street from buying up housing, you know what they’re gonna do? You don’t have to take my word for it, we’ll get what Reagan did look at what pushed it, put it look at what Trump that they’re gonna get more tax cuts to the Silicon Valley millionaires and billionaires in my district. And that’s the choice. No one is saying that this economy is great. The question is our who’s going to be able to help the working and middle class better? And then in my view is the Democrats because that’s our priority.

Samantha Bee  28:09

Right? How do we Okay, let’s talk about speaking of Apple, speaking of tech how, let’s talk about AI. It’s super powerful. It’s too big when snot going back and it’s like going back in the box. Do you think that enough people in Congress understand AI to even know where to begin to make decisions about it? To regulate it? They don’t they still call it the Facebook Summit. I’m looking at you, Chuck Grassley. But really, what do I do?

Ro Khanna  28:47

Here’s what here’s what I often say to people. I said the only people who can remain Mark Zuckerberg, look sympathetic is the United States Congress. People were cheering saying Please get him and then they were like, those are the people are gonna make the rules. I’m not so sure.

Samantha Bee  29:01

Like, Mark, I can’t remember my password.

Ro Khanna  29:05

But the reality is, is look, you don’t have to be a computer scientist. We don’t need a computer scientist. You don’t have to be like me, someone who worked in the tech industry to be in Congress. But it would be like this. If you’re gonna make rules for driving. It would be nice if you’ve actually been in an automobile, or better driven in automobile. And we have all these people who Dave never actually been on Twitter. They just got like young staffers that do it. They’ve never been on Facebook. They’ve got young staffers do it. We still have members of Congress who have their emails printed out and when you’re a member of Congress, you can get a lot of people do a lot of things for you. A

Samantha Bee  29:41

They’re like, I gotta get somewhere print me out my Mapquest.

Ro Khanna  29:46

So we need just more curiosity, more familiarity with the the process.

Samantha Bee  29:54

Was that the vote buzzer?

Ro Khanna  29:56

They just called they called votes. I’ve got five minutes and then I got over to the house floor. Okay, and we need to then understand what the big questions is that the big challenge for AI is not killer robots that are going to destroy the world. That’s a distraction. That’s what Elon Musk and others are, or folks are talking about. As sci fi, maybe that’ll happen in 10 years. You know what the bigger challenge is? The bigger challenge is, is AI going to be like unchecked globalization that that increases the wealth inequality in this country and hurts working in middle class Americans? Are we going to have aI generated scripts that are going to dumb down entertainment? Because AI can generate scripts? They’re not going to produce Hamlet, let alone? You know, certainly not even Titanic. They’re they’re going to produce stuff that’s pretty Bunnell predictable, not interesting. But maybe the American people will get addicted to that. And so are we going to allow both AI to to take away imagination, creativity, to automate jobs, that shouldn’t be automated to have the gains go to just a few people who control these technologies? Or are we going to have workers involved writers involved and getting their fair share in this economy?

Samantha Bee  31:11

Do we have but do we have the capacity to put those governors on, which is what we should be doing now? We’re social reactive place. I guess what I’m saying.

Ro Khanna  31:21

We’re a reactive place because we can’t even get a speaker the house. We can’t get the government. We can’t fun. We can’t keep the lights open.

Samantha Bee  31:33

Can you? Okay, I want to just spinning off of technology for this. I do want to talk about because we’re in a moment, I think where the volume of misinformation has been really laid bare. We are receiving bad information at a velocity that we have never seen before. It’s deepening our political divisions. And I don’t think that it’s you can deny that it’s our reliance on social media is creating the conditions within which this really flourish, it flourishes and is flourishing right now. And it’s dangerous. Make me feel like nuanced conversation can one day again, be possible? I mean, what is this all for this? I mean, just a quick vision of a utopian future before you go.

Ro Khanna  32:19

Maybe we need you in Congress, you have more understanding of this stuff than most members of Congress, but you’re doing it right. This is a nuanced conversation. This is technology being used for good. Here’s what I say, when the printing press was invented. And now we think the printing press was great. Erasmus, who was the champion of the printing press turns against the printing press, because all those printed with the printing press are horrible pamphlets, with the most salacious misinformation that actually lead to wars in Europe. And it’s not by magic that the printing press becomes good. It is by all of our humanities creations, where we say, We’ve got to create town halls, we’ve got to create the rules for liberal democracy, what are we doing to build up digital institutions and infrastructure that has conversations like this? Why couldn’t Facebook say, for every member of Congress, we’re going to have town halls in their district with moderated conversations in a thoughtful way, as opposed to just having algorithms targeting teenage girls to make them self conscious about their body weight and eating disorders that lead to suicidal thoughts, right. I mean, there is a monetized business model in these places that are just seeking attention. And we don’t have enough of building digital forums to have thoughtful, nuanced conversation. I think technology could be an enormous good one.

Samantha Bee  33:39

We are asking bad actors to act on behalf of humanity, and they will never do it. Like I do think a digital like nationwide digital literacy. That’s myself. Can you make that happen?

Ro Khanna  33:52

I think we yes, I do. I think the nationwide digital literacy and digital forums, right, imagine if you had a living room conversation with people from the South and California, in the Midwest and different races, 15 people in a conversation on Zoom for an hour, and why couldn’t we do things like that, like, we need to be more imaginative about using these tools of technology for good. i The problem with these tech leaders and I know them, many of them is they thought, okay, you know what, we’ll just create this technology. We’ll let everyone talk and and we’ll have world peace. If only it were that easy. You know, people have spent centuries thinking about how to have communication in ways that are healthy and constructive. And we need to do that hard work. But yeah, podcasts. I’m a big fan of I genuinely am I think we need more forums like this in this country. And I’m excited that more people are now tuning into podcasts and cable news and you know, that could change things.

Samantha Bee  34:48

I’m excited about that too. Okay, last question. Yes. What is it going to take for politicians to be banned from trading stocks, please.

Ro Khanna  34:56

I have a […] reform plan, no PAC money, no lobbyists, money members of Congress shouldn’t become lobbyists. I shouldn’t be able to sit on the Armed Services go and Raytheon, we should have some form of criminal limits, in my view term limits for Supreme Court justices and no trading a stock and it doesn’t mean that you can’t have a trust with a third party. It doesn’t you shouldn’t be there sitting trading on stocks while you’re regulating those very stocks. It actually has it had met gates, Ilhan Omar, Dean Phillips supporting it. It’s in the left, right. We just need a vote. But let’s put it up for a vote so that people can can vote on it. I’ll end with this point, Sam, when Harry Truman left the White House. He and his wife retire. And a few years later, someone invited him to speak in Washington, DC and Harry Truman said I’d be delighted to come. I just I’m a little embarrassed. I can’t afford the train fare. Would you mind picking up the train fare that is the President who won World War Two who set up NATO who set up the post World War era and he couldn’t afford train fare after his service. It used to be people went into public service to serve the public not to make money. It’s obscene that people are making monetizing these positions.

Samantha Bee  36:17

It is obscene. Thank you so much for your time. I know you’re so busy.

Ro Khanna  36:22

I’m a fan. Thank you.

Samantha Bee  36:23

Thank you so much. Bye bye.

Transcript  36:36

That was Congressman Ro Khanna and I had no choice but to look up one thing. He mentioned the salacious beginning of the printing press. And that got me all hot and bothered. Really? It is true. Some of the earliest printed smart dates back to 1524. That was mostly burned in bands by the Pope. Great. Anyway, good news. There’s more choice words with limonada premium subscribers get exclusive access to bonus content, like a special q&a from my recent conversation with Senator Tina Smith. Subscribe now in Apple podcasts. Thank you for listening to Choice Words which was created by and is hosted by me. We’re a production of Lemonada Media, Kathyrn Barnes, […] and Kryssy Pease produce our show. Our mix is by James Barber. Steve Nelson is the vice president of weekly content. Jessica Cordova Kramer, Stephanie Wittles Wachs and I are executive producers. Our theme was composed by […] with help from Johnny Vince Evans . Special thanks to Kristen Everman, Claire Jones, Ivan Kuraev and Rachel Neil. You can find me at @Iamsambee on Twitter and at @realsambee on Instagram. Follow Choice Words wherever you get your podcasts or listen ad free on Amazon music with your Prime membership.

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