Shepard Fairey and The Young Turks’ Ana Kasparian Discuss 2012 Election Day Issues

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  • Graphic artist and Obama “Hope” poster creator Shepard Fairey joins “The Young Turks” host Ana Kasparian in a 2012 election discussion with What’s Trending hosts Shira Lazar and Tyler Oakley — who sport Rock the Vote T-shirts for the big day!

    “I did it for my audience and it resonated far beyond that,” Shepard says of his viral “Hope” design. “I felt really proud that somthing that was a tool of grassroots activism – not generated by a corporation or even the campaign itself – made an impact.”

    While he’s considered making a similar poster for the 2012 election, the artist says that it would be naive to deny the realities and changes of the last four years. He says, “Now, it’s about action and it’s about taking the disfunction that’s happening in government and pushing from the outside to try to urge people to make progress in the right direction.”

    He did, however, recently judge a national art competition that shared the message, “Get Money Out of Politics” – and he chose the iconic “Monopolistic” as the winner.

    In that vein, he identifies the strongest corrupting force within our democracy as “the disproportionate attention that wealthy and corporations who can give big, big campaign donations – especially since the Citizens United Supreme Court decision – the influence they have.”

    Shepard is also still vocal about his support for Obama, having worked with “Rock the Vote” and written a piece for “90 Days, 90 Reasons.” He says, “When you look at the choice between the two candidates, my feeling was, do we want to move slightly forward or really far backward?”

    With the 2012 election, well under way, Ana Kasparian chimes in about the importance of ballot initiatives, citing the battle for the legalization of marijuana that is sucking our resources dry and Prop 37 in California, which would force food companies to label their products if they’re genetically modified.

    In terms of the constituency of young voters, Ana believes that they are not as energized today as they were in 2008, but are still approaching the election with careful attention for the issues. Based on the feedback she’s received on “The Young Turks,” she hears that many of them feel that they could do better with a three-party system.

    Shepard further advises young voters to make it to the polls and make their decisions heard. “By not voting,” he says, “You’re just ensuring that your voice is less likely to count.”

    So, get out there and Rock the Vote!

    Support the effort at Rock the and head to Vote 411 for more info!

    For more of Shepard’s art, check out and follow him on Twitter.

    Watch LIVE election coverage from The Young Turks and follow Ana on Twitter.

    Subscribe to co-host Tyler Oakley on YouTube and follow him on Twitter.

    For all of your YouTube exclusives and interviews with today’s hottest celebrities innovating online, subscribe to What’s Trending and join us LIVE every weekday at noon pt/3 pm est on YouTube.

    [Image via Getty Images]

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