Serj Tankian Goes Off On Mitt Romney And Paul Ryan

During a recent interview with American Rock Scene, singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, poet and political activist Serj Tankian shared his views on the upcoming presidential election.

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During a recent interview with American Rock Scene, singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, poet and political activist Serj Tankian, shared his views on the upcoming presidential election, Blabbermouth reports. Speaking about the two-party system that dominates American politics, Tankian said, "Here's the thing: if you want more choices, you have to create more choices. We need more parties, and that's been the case for many, many years. Even the communist party of the Soviet Union had two sides of the same coin; they had kind of a liberal side and a conservative side, they were kind of like two parties, kind of like the Democrats and Republicans, in different ways, obviously. But I point that out just to say that with two parties, it's not much of a democracy. But what makes it less of a democracy is money in politics, the K Street lobbying firms and groups like Citizens United, who make corporations into people."

He continued, "The real problem isn't just the choice of candidates, it's what's happening around it. The money in there. The electoral system. We really need a healthy left-wing party in this country like the Green Party or I'm down to start a socialist party because President Obama is not socialist. The Republicans are calling him socialist and I'm like, 'Come on'. The guy made legislation where you have to buy insurance from private entities. That's not socialism, there's no public option. Most of his policies are centrist, just to the right of center, sometimes left of center. That's not socialism, but apparently, America has no idea what socialism is."

Asked what he thinks about the religious beliefs of the candidates, Serj said, "I'm not as concerned about the candidate religious beliefs as I am their policies. Mitt Romney's policies are... Well, first of all, he's gone back and forth between so many different policies. First he supported health care in Massachusetts, and then he turned a 360 and said, 'I don't like it anymore. I was wrong. Everything I thought, was wrong, I repudiate.' He's just trying to get the right-wingers on his side, but ultimately they are failed policies of the past. It hasn't worked for America. It's left us in debt, it's left us in wars. And the fact that he actually even said that he doesn't care about 47 percent of America. I would fucking toss him off the ticket now. That's offensive. His answer was that it wasn't a classy way of explaining it, [but] he didn't even refute it. He admitted saying those things."

Serj also spoke about Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan, who was blasted by Rage Against The Machine's Tom Morello in an op-ed piece for Rolling Stone after Ryan listed the guitarist's band as one of his favorites, despite their hardcore leftist leanings.

"[Ryan] didn't use Rage's music, but he said he was a big fan", Serj said. "And I actually think he does like it, but the thing is he never actually paid attention to the lyrics. He never paid attention to what they are trying to say with the songs and what they stand for. And that's kind of scary, because if you don't know what Rage Against The Machine stands for in the United States of America, where the f--k have you been?"

He continued, "I was on the East Coast on tour with System [Of A Down], and I read what Tom had posted and I e-mailed Tom and said, 'Bravo. That's one of the most beautiful things I've ever read this year.' The way he put it was so incredible. He could have just said, 'You should not like my music because we don't stand for that,' but he literally laid into him, and I was like, 'F--king beautiful!'"

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    Turned a 360, Serj?
    Tony Vivaldi: What is this, Benedict? First you're my friend; now you turn a... 360 on me! Benedict: 180, you stupid, spaghetti-slurping cretin - *180*! If I did a 360, I'd go completely around and end up back where I started! Tony Vivaldi: What?
    Kinda confused here with the last part. Am I not allowed to like Rage simply because I disagree with the lyrics (I know exactly what they mean) and think they're a little too far left? I also believe they (Rage) also happen to be incredibly talented musicians, despite my disagreement. Open minds please, gentlemen.
    Agreed. And I can listen to Mr Bungle and not be obsessed with pooping and dirty sex. Musicians put way too much importance on their own lyrics, myself included. The reality is that many, many, many RATM fans couldn't care less about the lyrics.
    Then are they supposed to ignore the rallies they perform at, their music video's, the things they've said in interviews, and even the name of Morello's guitar? Hell, I have a shirt from them with an american flag upside down. It'd be different if they just wrote political lyrics, but they don't. They walk the walk. Being politically/morally conservative and liking RATM is like being homophobic and liking Lady Gaga.
    I saw the singer of a band whose albums I owned strip down to his boxers onstage, rub himself all over with orange juice, and pretend to masturbate. Doesn't mean I went home and threw out all their albums. Well, actually, I did - but we gotta draw a line somewhere. That was MY orange juice.
    Yeah they walk the walk by raking in piles of cash and taking advantage of the Capitalist system they rage against... sure, I believe it. *No really *not really
    They use said "piles of cash" from "taking advantage of the Capitalist system" (I have no idea why you capitalized that, it's not a person or a place) to fund non-profit organizations. Like this one:
    Oh, so they don't have much nicer houses with nice recording studios, piles of expensive music gear, etc? Why can't I have those things so I can be equal to them? They should have to give me some of their nice Les Pauls because its not fair that they have them and I don't. If they have two they can give me one and we can be equals.
    Because you don't really need those. You need a house, food, health insurance, in some areas a car, and possibly some spending money for random, important, expenses. The modern concept of equality is not about giving you their things so you have the same amount of stuff. It's about helping people get the essentials, so no one has to suffer due to poverty.
    When the americans want a better political system it will dawn all by itself. What good is a green party or socialist party when nobody supports the idea. Once people start to notice that such parties might be a good idea the density of supporters will eventually form small local groups that eventually evolved into parties. Those will have a hard time at first but *that* will be the change another lobby marionette tried to promise.
    You nailed it. If all that green and socialist crap is so wonderful, why isn't it in place? I don't like that stuff, all of my friends don't like that stuff, and we all vote. We'd never vote for any of it. Thats part of democracy everyone seems to love. Mob rules. Nobody cares what you think is a good idea. I think those things are fundamentally wrong and borderline evil so I'd fight to the death against it. Democracy is two wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for dinner. Of course liberty is a well armed sheep.
    I got a quote, too: "The best argument against democracy is to have a 5 minute conversation with the average voter." -Winston Churchill
    Dude, you obviously don't know Serj. He's in Politics all the time. Have you ever listened to half of his lyrics in SOAD's music? Or read any of his books or listened/read anything from him? Obviously not. Your statement was an uneducated statement from a ignorant person. YOU go home and look something up about him and then come back and talk.
    dr718, 1. socialism isn't communism, and he didn't say anything about supporting tyrants. 2. as long as tax rates are progressive, there will always be rewards for ones own efforts. Only a fool who doesn't understand progressive taxes would turn down a raise because it pushes him into the next bracket 3. with a top tax bracket some 10,000x lower than the top earned incomes, with a rate well under 50%, even more favorable terms for capital gains, and 400+ US billionaires, fear we will "take all the money from 'the rich'" is laughably alarmist, right-wing, propaganda speak 4. The poor and stupid sometimes actually do offer jobs, granted not necessarily good ones.... and the wealthy, stupid or smart, don't necessarily have any reason to hire a single person just because we continue to let them pay the same and lower rates than many of the poor, and most of the working class. In summary, your position is umm... nonsense. Sorry.
    In time, in due time. I used to be a close minded thinker when It came to politics, being from Canada I always supported the Conservatives and I am happy with Steven Harper being Prime Minister. Lately since Ron Paul came to my attention I started to open my mind and Im thinking that sooner or later, In America you guys might see a change. Just look, Ron Paul seemed like he had more support than what most people thought. Times are changing, the status quo with it.
    seriously serj, what are you doing? an educated statement on politics from a musician? go home, serj, you're drunk.
    Because he's a musician doesn't make his opinion total crap. Not every musician's mind is filled with drugs like stereotypical society wants you to think. Don't be condescending.
    dude, feel the sarcasm. he's one of the few musicians out there that actually think before they speak, unlike mustaine or nugent. why on earth isnt there some sort of sign that shows sarcasm when it's written? someone should invent that.
    Actually there was once a punctuation mark to denote irony and sarcasm. It's called the percontation point. In the day and age of the internet, I do believe this should be revived.
    "The worst type of sarcasm is the one people dont get" Have a good night kind sir.
    It has been around for a while. It's called /sarcasm. The joke is HTML based, when you put a / in front of something, it means that the command is over. So if you're being sarcastic, and you say /sarcasm, you're saying that you're done being sarcastic. Some invented it, the joke got old, where the f*** are you?
    You obviously don't know Serj. He is in a lot of politics. Have you ever listened to any of the lyrics in SOAD's songs? Highly political like Rage Against The Machine. You made an uneducated statement here so YOU go home and do a little research before you talk about something or someone you know nothing about.
    I might be missing something here, but how can you have less parties than 2 and it still be fair...?
    What I think people mean by that, is that we shouldn't have parties at all. We should be voting in the people based on their actions, their statements, and what they stand for, not because they play for our favorite team.
    He makes some pretty valid points. I've always had respect for Serj for these kinds of things. But I think we need less parties, not more. People just side with someone just because they're with a certain party, not because they feel like he (or she) is the better choice, and that's just wrong.
    That type of partisan affiliation would likely dissipate with a larger number of realistic party choices. People would look at all the options and vote for who they believe is the besttheoretically of course.
    No they won't. They have these choices now and they don't do it. They won't put down their cellphones or turn off the TV long enough to put any effort into the democratic system. So, the mess we have now is exactly the mess we deserve. We did this to ourselves. Serj and every other douchebag can blame anyone they want but the answer has always been waiting for them in the mirror.
    Obama FTW
    I like how Serj actually sounds somewhat intelligent in this compared to the other political rants from musicians. I'll be waiting for someone to reply to my comment and say 'you're just okay with this because Serj isn't bashing Obama'. Seriously, cut the bullshit. I made this name 5years ago. I respect an intelligent argument whether its for, or against, my beliefs.
    Sounds intelligent? Look at the medal winning comment..... And a governmental system without parties will never work. People don't agree ever, and it would eventually destroy whatever nation you care to try it in. None of the policies would make sense, whether they are economic or foreign because they aren't uniform. Imho.
    Also, I would like to add: 1. You did not make your name 5 years ago. It shows when you registered in your profile. 2. You make that your name and don't think you are going to get any flak at all, intelligent or not? Naive