Henry Rollins
Former Frontman, Black Flag
02:21

Henry Rollins for President

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Henry envisions his first days in office.

Henry Rollins

Henry Rollins is an American singer-songwriter, spoken word artist, writer, comedian,publisher, actor, and radio DJ. After performing for the short-lived Washington D.C.-based band State of Alert in 1980, Rollins fronted the California hardcore punk band Black Flag from August 1981 until mid-1986. Following the band's breakup, Rollins soon established the record label and publishing company 2.13.61 to release his spoken word albums, as well as forming the Rollins Band, which toured with a number of lineups from 1987 until 2003, and during 2006. Since Black Flag, Rollins has embarked on projects covering a variety of media. He has hosted numerous radio shows, such as Harmony in My Head on Indie 103, and television shows such as The Henry Rollins Show, MTV's 120 Minutes, and Jackass. He had a recurring dramatic role in the second season of Sons of Anarchy and has also had roles in several films. Rollins has also campaigned for various political causes in the United States, including promoting LGBT rights, World Hunger Relief, and an end to war in particular, and tours overseas with the United Service Organizations to entertain American troops.

Transcript

Henry Rollins:  If I were president the first thing I would do is probably get sat down by the Pentagon and the powers that be who would say, “No, you’re probably not going to get done the things that you—we saw your one sheet and you’re not going to get it.”  
 
I think a lot of presidents go in with a big to-do list and someone sits them down and says “That’s really not how the game is played, son.  You’re going to have to learn: this is the beltway.  We do things a certain way.  You had high hopes and you’ll get a few of these things done, watered down, neutered and relatively meaningless by the time they crawl through the Senate, but as it is now these big burly strong changes, no.”  So I would probably be told that because my first day in office I would have lost Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.  I would have reestablished Glass-Steagall.  I would have demanded that the Bush tax cuts—they would have sun-setted, they would have gone away.  There would have been some pain.  The middleclass would have been hard up against it, but we would be in a much different position than we are now.  

So I would have gone in reacting to eight years of George W. Bush, two useless wars that make America hemorrhage life and treasure.  I would immediately start repairing the perception of America in the world, like our president did by speaking out in Cairo to basically Islam.  So I would do things like that, realizing my first four years in office would be to repair and somehow neutralize the eight years that came before me, so maybe in my next term I could go slowly up field to a noticeable degree, and that would be my legacy.  The first four years, clean up the storm, clean up the wreckage, make nice with the world, demilitarize as far as American military presence in the world.  I would get my military force out of the, like, 141 countries that we’re in plus all the black bases we have off the record.  I would bring these people home.  

Directed / Produced by
Jonathan Fowler & Elizabeth Rodd

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