SXSW

Cory Booker Wants America to Believe in the Power of Love

At South by Southwest, Cory Booker declines to say whether or not he will run for president.

|

Credit—Peter Suderman

New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker opened this year's South by Southwest Interactive conference in Austin today with an extended meditation on the power of love. Love, he said, is the "most powerful force in the universe" and the guiding idea of America's founding: America is here because of "a conspiracy of love." Love, Booker said, is far better than mere tolerance. "Tolerance builds fences between people. Love rips them down." And only love, he argued, can fix what ails our broken nation. "It is the greatest force in our country right now," he said, "and our only salvation—and that is to love one another."

Booker's speech was earnest, heartfelt, and the crowd—well, it's fair to say they loved it. Perhaps surprisingly, however, for a sitting U.S. senator, his opening remarks were almost entirely devoid of any mentions of actual policy.

That would come later, though, in a question and answer session with Google Senior Counsel on Civil and Human Rights Malika Saada Saar. In the follow-up conversation, Booker talked more specifically about what, exactly, it would mean to pursue love as a political strategy. In part, Booker said, it would mean removing yourself from ideological bubbles and reaching across the aisle to work with individuals and organizations that aren't always your political allies. He mentioned, for example, an "incredible experience" he had at a conference hosted by the American Enterprise Institute, and talked about working with Sen. Jeff Sessions—who he recently blasted in a widely shared speech during Sessions' confirmation hearing—on legislation.

But Booker's politics of love turns out to cover a lot of other ground as well. For example: fixing America's food policy, which Booker called "tragically broken," because it allows tax dollars to fund beef industry advertising. Also, doing a better job of regulating drones and other technologies. The Federal Aviation Administration's regulation of drone tech amounted to a "horrific strangulation" of the industry. He's also worried about government procurement polices that are rough on small business, America being left behind on "next generation nuclear energy" tech, bipartisan criminal justice reform, and the treatment of women in prison (he said he's working with a coalition in hopes of writing a bill to reform the treatment of incarcerated women). He's also rather excited about the power of social media to empower activists—and legislators like himself.

Booker, who declined to say whether he would run for president in 2020, was typically charming and energetic, and many (though not all) of the ideas he sketched out were good ones. As for love, well, mostly it seems to to be a catchall term for policies that Cory Booker already likes.

Advertisement

NEXT: Trump and Medicare Drug Price Controls: New at Reason

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Good grief, there’s more intellectual gravitas in the average Hallmark greeting card than this sappy, incoherent drivel.

    1. Ladies and gentlemen, the next Democrat nominee for (and likely winner of) the 2020 United States Presidential Election.

      1. The sadder part is that, out of everyone whose name I’ve seen thrown out there who might actually have a realistic chance of winning (then again, who knows what that means after this last election), he’s probably the best.

        1. Maybe Al Franken will be his running mate and we can rehash the whole “dynamic, young, drivel-spouting black guy/washed-up, senile joke of an old white guy” dynamic from the Obama/Biden years.

          Which party is the “conservative” one again?

        2. he’s probably the best.

          When’s the last time you visited Newark?

          1. That’s not entirely fair. Newark sucked before Booker got there and it’s likely to suck long after he’s gone.

            1. I would venture to say it sucks a tiny bit less if only because g14n.

          2. I didn’t say he was good (also, echoing what the other person said, Newark has sucked for a long time). Have you seen the other names thrown out? Elizabeth Warren is probably the other most common name I’ve seen, and I would definitely take Booker over her.

      2. Jesus Christ. Who would his VP be Ringo fucking Starr?

        1. At least that might lead to easing the War on Pot.

        2. That would be awesome. You’ve convinced me.

    2. Did you hear the full speech? What’s incoherent about it?

  2. This 80s nostalgia has to stop.

    1. But it’s a curious thing.
      Makes one man weep,
      makes another man sing.

      1. Booker don’t need money, don’t take fame,
        Don’t need no credit card to ride this train

  3. Love, he said, is the “most powerful force in the universe”

    Not gravity?

      1. But there’s a lot of it. And I felt that “the strong nuclear interaction” would be less funny.

        1. There’s a lot of Chris Christie, too, but we don’t say he’s the most powerful man in the universe!

          1. Chris Christie so fat, he has smaller fat governors orbiting him.

            Chris Christie so fat, when he sits around the statehouse, he sits AROUND the statehouse.

            Chris Christie so fat, he broke his leg and gravy came out.

        2. Oh the tragedy. I would have been on the floor if you’d gone with the strong nuclear interaction…

          1. Sorry. Misjudged the audience.

            1. Nerdy pedantry is the hobgoblin of the libertarian mind, it is known.

              Word to your biological mother.

              1. Meh, hobgoblins are low CR so they’re no big deal.

  4. RE: Cory Booker Wants America to Believe in the Power of Love

    Cory Booker is right.
    Love destroyed Hitler.
    Love stopped Stalin in his tracks.
    Love ended kept Dr. Martin Luther King alive.
    Love ended the British Empire.
    Love created economic equality throughout our planet.
    Love cured cancer.
    I could go on and on…but you get the picture.
    Love solves all problems.

    1. I’ve even heard somewhere – I don’t know where – that love does indeed trump hate.

  5. All this “love” flapdoodle has been revoltingly everywhere lately.

  6. Cory Booker doesn’t seem to love me enough to keep his hands out of my wallet. When he does, I’ll listen to him. Until then he can keep his Care Bear audition tape to himself.

  7. This just in: Google has a senior counsel on civil and human rights.

  8. But tax dollars funding the milk, wine, cheese, corn, orange &c industries is A-OK because meat is murder.

  9. Yea i would be ok with booker (not preferred) but the dems are crazy

    Please no warren or sanders types or clinton

    1. He seems to be one of the more palatable Dems, if there were any. But I’m instantly suspicious of anyone elected by the statist retards of New Jersey.

      1. Yea. I really liked jim webb

  10. Love to a typical prog means you most love what they want or you are intolerant bigot

    Bookers response appears to be a bit different from typical love definition of progs

    1. Love = hating the Haters

  11. LOL. Dems always blast wasteful subsidies, over regulation and a hostile small business environment when they are out of power. Come to think of it, so do Reoublicans.

  12. Love, he said, is the “most powerful force in the universe”

    No, I’m pretty sure that’s gravity.

  13. “Tolerance builds fences between people. Love rips them down.

    Good fences make good neighbors.

  14. Perhaps surprisingly, however, for a sitting U.S. senator, his opening remarks were almost entirely devoid of any mentions of actual policy.

    So . . . like Clinton and pretty much every politician everywhere. None of them talk policy if they can get away with it. The last fething thing in the world they want is people *analyzing* their policies. So the more vague they are the better.

  15. Also, doing a better job of regulating drones and other technologies. The Federal Aviation Administration’s regulation of drone tech amounted to a “horrific strangulation” of the industry.

    So instead of strangling it, he’d just put the collar on tight so that the flesh bulges a bit around the top and bottom. It cuts in just enough when they swallow or turn their head to remind them who they belong to. And it’s that constant reminder that keeps them docile

  16. Why is it that these days ‘working across the aisle’ means you come to my side and ‘compromise’ means you agree with what I say?

  17. Poor Megan had better watch out, because from reading this endorsement/slobbering love letter I think PMS might want to have gay butt sex with this guy.

    1. Speaking of incoherent babbling…

    2. Mikey’s obsession with male-on-male anal intercourse rears its head again. And then, presumably, thrusts its head into the rear.

    3. Oh, come on, you missed a great opportunity to tie in the whole “cuck” thing and make some crack about Suderman wanting to watch the black dude plow his wife. Weak.

  18. Tolerance builds fences between people.

    I thought Mexico was gonna do that.

    1. Bridges, fences, what’s the difference.

    2. No, Mexico was going to pay for it. The US was going to build it. Good old fashioned American labor, rolling up their sleeves, grabbing a shovel or a hammer, and gettin’ it done. Good old fashioned American labor, provided primarily by hiring those guys looking for work in the Home Depot parking lot.

      1. This is government contracting. You can’t be hiring people who are ready to work hard all day.

  19. Tougher than diamonds, whips like cream
    Stronger and harder than a bad girls dream
    Make a bad one good, mmm make a wrong right
    Power of love will keep you home at night

    Does anyone else have this earworm after reading the headline?

    Sorry Cory, Huey has been preaching the Power of Love since 1985.

  20. “a conspiracy of love”

    Nice band name.

  21. Screw you hippie just try and take my hate

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.