Lawrence Lessig on Republic Lost to Funders

Posted by admin on Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Lawrence Lessig Money Quotation saying during his TED talk quoting Leslie Byrne, a Democrat from Virginia to illustrate the cost to US politics of big money Funders controlling elections. Lawrence Lessig said:
Leslie Byrne, a Democrat from Virginia,  was told by a colleague, 'Always lean to the green'. ... He was not an environmentalist Quote

“Leslie Byrne, a Democrat from Virginia, was told by a colleague, ‘Always lean to the green’. … He was not an environmentalist” — Lawrence Lessig


In the context of politics and funding, “lean to the green” means to prioritize the interests of wealthy donors over the needs of the general public. The phrase is used to illustrate the influence of big money in politics and the idea that politicians are more likely to cater to the wishes of their financial backers rather than the people they represent.

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This quote is providing context for the advice “Always lean to the green.” On the surface, it could be interpreted as environmental advice to support green policies. However, the context reveals the real meaning.

The colleague telling Leslie Byrne this was not referring to environmental issues, but rather suggesting he always lean toward (i.e. support) whoever provides more money or “green” (cash). It’s a cynical reference to the influence of money in politics. The humor comes from the subversion of the environmentally-friendly interpretation, revealing the actual meaning to be about prioritizing financial contributions over principles.

The quote uses this misdirecting advice as an example of how lobbying money can influence politicians to stray from core issues like the environment. It serves as commentary on the corrupting power of political donations and how rhetoric does not always match reality.

The Tsumoney by John Cole, The Scranton Times-Tribune

John Cole, The Scranton Times-Tribune


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