Over the past several election cycles, I’ve become convinced that the only issue that truly matters is getting the money out of politics. Until we do that, no meaningful change is possible. Lawrence Lessig’s recent TED talk expresses this problem in clear and engaging terms.
This talk would be difficult for most students, but it provides a wonderful counterpoint to a naive understanding of the purity of American democracy. In my experience, many students (even those from democratic countries) see their own governments as being much more corrupt than America. An excerpt from this talk might help them to gain a more critical understanding. One way to use this video might be to take a 3 minute excerpt from early on (when he is explaining the statistics) and ask students to create a summary poster or other visual representation.