Far to left, Jerry Springer takes center stage at UR

Melissa Goldin, Editor-in-Chief

Television personality Jerry Springer, who is best known for his 21 years of work and counting as host of NBC’s “The Jerry Springer Show,” paid UR a visit on Thursday, March 1 to talk about his expansive and diverse career, as well as his politics which, he briefed the audience before he began his lecture, are “a little bit to the left of where most people in America are.”

At the heart of his speech was his belief that most Americans are more liberal than they make themselves out to be and that liberalism itself is inevitable.

“The business that we’re conservative is absurd and we should just get away from that,” he said.

According to Springer, we fight over the wrong issues. He explained that while anyone can be personally opposed to abortion if they want to, the idea that it is acceptable to mandate the choice of other women “defies everything that is the concept of freedom in America.”

He also brought up the point that the issue about abortion is not the argument over where life begins — according to Springer, it is scientifically proven that it starts at conception — he explained that the debate has about to be about at what point is the life of a fetus is entitled to the rights of the human being that it will eventually become.

As an example, he brought up a hypothetical — if a 3-year-old is stabbed, he began, there is no question in any person’s mind that the murderer should be punished with the death penalty or, in the very least, life in prison. But, he said, would a 16-year-old who got an abortion deserve the same harsh punishments? According to Springer, most people would think that’s a ridiculous prospect because, he explained, “in our own minds we distinguish between a fetus and a human being.”

Moving away from abortion, Springer touched on what he deemed a class war in America against the lower and middle classes.

The wealthy are not out to get the lower classes, he said, the issue is that they aren’t even on the radar screens of the well-off.

To him, much of the problem stems from the fact that it requires money to run for political office and so the only people that end up running are those that are either born into wealth or acquire it from contributors. Therefore, the officials that get elected are those that represent wealthy interests.

“They just want to please the big contributors, so all the laws that get passed benefit wealthy, powerful people,” Springer said. “That’s the truth.”

As a self-proclaimed liberal, Springer was particularly critical of conservative thought.

“When someone tells you how conservative they are, be polite, listen, but don’t believe it for a second,” he said.

Following his speech, Springer opened the discussion to questions from the audience. The queries ranged in topic from what

Springer thought about mandatory voting systems and if they should be implemented in the United States to why he thinks people choose to be featured on “The Jerry Springer Show.”

The TV personality has done everything from serve as the mayor of Cincinnati to be a contestant on “Dancing with the Stars. But what’s next?

“I’d like to be king,” the London-born star quipped. “In fact, I left England when I found out I couldn’t be king.”

Goldin is a member of the class of 2013.

You can contact Melissa at mgoldin@u.rochester.edu.

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