Kiedis Public Appearance Supporting Obama in Las Vegas:
Friday, 31 October 2008
In the mad scramble of these final days of the presidential race, there’s been no shortage of celebrity endorsements and appearances on the campaign trail. The University of Nevada at Las Vegas is no exception.
In an attempt to lure as many young voters to the polls as possible, each party has been doing its best to bring out the biggest names with the greatest star power. The Obama campaign brought out the arguably biggest celebrity yet Monday – Anthony Kiedis.
Kiedis, who is best known for being the lead singer of the legendary rock band the Red Hot Chili Peppers, decided to take a more active roll in this year’s election. He described his reasons for getting involved in the Obama campaign when he sat down for an interview with the Rebel Yell.
Kiedis doesn’t like to call what he is doing getting involved in politics.
“I take in an interest in the world, my country, people, but I don’t know if I’d call it politics,” Kiedis said. “That word has a [negative] connotation because I’m not a politician but I’m a person that likes to participate in life in this country.”
According to Kiedis, the country is at a crossroads in this year’s presidential election. In his eyes, the country has been falling apart over the past eight years under President Bush. “When things are ok, when the status quo is working, people don’t care that much, but now it’s getting pretty bad, and so people are realizing that this is a moment when they have to get up… and go out and participate in one way or the other.”
“Everyone can relate to the economy, [a] large portion of the country can relate to things like the environment or healthcare and I think everybody has an opinion on war,” Kiedis said. “What’s been shown to America over the last eight years is that some of the ideas that the Republicans have implemented are old and don’t work for the world anymore or for our country anymore and really they’ve served a small percentage of people.”
Kiedis made his stance on the war and those who benefit from it very clear.
“The war was a disaster,” he said. “No good came out of that. In the middle of the last century there was a reason to go to war. This time around the war was a really bad idea and I think the only people that benefited from anyway were Halliburton and people that made money from it, but that’s not an excuse to have a war. Killing American kids so Halliburton can make money is not a righteous reason to go to war.”
“From the standpoint of a father, I don’t believe that war is the solution to our problems anymore, I think that there are dozens of other solutions to our problems, and war isn’t a good [solution], it just doesn’t work. There’s a lot of negative fallout, and I don’t want my son growing up thinking that that’s the solution to a problem.”
While Kiedis made it clear that the war is a disaster, it wasn’t the only aspects of Republican policy he thought was unfit for the country. “It’s time to be transformational and proactive, and I think Barack Obama is that. I think he’s an incredibly smart person who’s capable of transforming and redesigning things that actually work for this time and place in the world.”
Another area of concern for Kiedis was health care. Kiedis has two sisters who sit firmly in the middle class. They both work in high schools, one as a counselor and the other as an administrator. Both have small salaries. Both have kids and both struggle when it comes to making sure they not only get healthcare, but their kids get healthcare as well.
“[Health care] needs redesigning, which is yet another thing and another reason for me to take interest because the Republicans historically have just been not too worried about the middle class,” said Kiedis. “And I think that’s something that needs to be taken care of. You shouldn’t have to be a millionaire to get healthcare in this country.”
When it came to the issue of energy, again, Kiedis lambasted Republicans for looking at things the wrong way. “I’m in love with the environment…but this whole short-term thinking of ‘let’s rape and pillage the Earth while we can’ is another idea that is old fashioned and doesn’t work. We can’t just go drill everywhere and take the last drop of oil. Why don’t we take half the amount of energy that we spend on that and invent a new form of energy whether it’s solar, wind. We can find alternate energy, it’s there, but it just hasn’t been a corporate priority. The Republicans are just working on an outdated model.”
When asked what the difference would be down the stretch, Kiedis made it clear. “The person reading this article right now is going to decide [this race]…that’s who’s going to change the outcome of this election. A lot of young people who haven’t gone to the polls in the past, I think that’s who’s going to change this election…all of the people who the republicans don’t want voting, don’t want to be heard are going to change the election.”
“College kids saying, ‘I’m not going to sleep through this one, I’m going to get up and make some phone calls…I’m going to reach out to people and say ‘hey this country’s in trouble, let’s go be the ones that decide who’s going to run it for the next four years.'”
“And for all those people that think Barack Obama’s got it in the bag, please, you couldn’t be more wrong.”
Thank you to Gabi Kiedis for her help sourcing the video for this article.