[dropcap]P[/dropcap]resident Obama has been doing a tour of non-traditional media outlets in recent weeks. Vice, the still relatively edgy, mega-funded, multi-stream, youth(ish)-oriented journalism source landed Obama for about 20 minutes’ worth of some pretty damn good interview video, excerpts of which have been floating around the Web this week.
Obama talks with VICE founder Shane Smith. They didn’t go cliff diving or weed shopping or strip bar hopping, they just sat down with their legs folded, which was, let’s just say it, pretty traditional. But they talked casually and frankly about climate change, the present petulant phase afflicting the Republican party, Iran talks, youth voters, ISIS and the opportunity for the president to legalize weed and cement his legacy.
Obama: “There have been times in history where Democrats have been unreasonable, times where Republicans have led the way. But right now, on a lot of the issues young people care about, it’s not both sides arguing and creating gridlock. You’ve got one side that is denying the facts, who are often motivated principally by opposing whatever it is that I propose. Now, that’s not inevitable to our democracy. That’s a phase that the Republican part is going through right now, It will outgrow that phase. The thing we have to worry about is that the pace of change globally is so quick that we may not have the luxury of twenty years or ten years of not getting a lot done…. Some of these things are just moving! One thing young people can do immediately is vote. In the last midterm election about a third of eligible voters voted… The minute you withdraw in that way from the process of politics, well, then you’re destined to have the existing power structures call the shots.”