Good Will Hunting star Matt Damon has given a powerful 20-minute speech slamming Donald Trump and exposing the corruption within Wall Street.
The actor delivered his first-ever commencement address at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) for the class of 2016.
“It’s an honor to be part of this day — an honor to be here with you, with your friends, your professors, and your parents. But let’s be honest — it’s an honor I didn’t earn. Let’s just put that out there. I mean, I’ve seen the list of previous commencement speakers: Nobel Prize winners. The UN Secretary General. President of the World Bank. President of the United States.
“And who did you get? The guy who did the voice for a cartoon horse. If you’re wondering which cartoon horse: that’s “Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron.” Definitely one of my best performances … as a cartoon horse.”
…he got funnier and minced no words in slamming presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump. Citing the simulation theory, the idea that the world is merely a simulation set up by supreme intelligence, Damon took shots at Trump:
“If there are multiple simulations, how come we’re in the one where Donald Trump becomes the Republican nominee? Can we, like, transfer to a different one?
But then he got serious and asked MIT graduates to dedicate their future to solving the world’s greatest problems, including income inequality; scandal-driven media; a corrupt banking system and a broken political system, instead of turning away from them:
“MIT, you’ve got to go out and do really interesting things. Important things. Inventive things. Because this world, real or imagined, this world has some problems we need you to drop everything and solve. Go ahead: take your pick from the world’s worst buffet.
“Economic inequality, there’s a problem. Or how about the refugee crisis, massive global insecurity, climate change and pandemics, institutional racism, a pull to nativism, fear-driven brains working overtime, here in America and in places like Austria, where a far-right candidate nearly won the presidential election for the first time since World War II. Or Brexit, for God’s sakes, that insane idea that the best path for Britain is to cut loose from Europe and drift out to sea.
“Add to that an American political system that’s failing. We’ve got congressmen on a two-year election cycle who are only incentivized to think short term, and simply do not engage with long-term problems.
“Add to that a media that thrives on scandal and people with their pants down.Anything to get you to tune in so they can hawk you products that you don’t need.
“… So, graduates let me ask you this in closing: What do you want to be a part of? What’s the problem you’ll try to solve? Whatever your answer, it’s not going to be easy. Sometimes your work will hit a dead-end. Sometimes your work will be measured in half-steps. And sometimes your work will make you wear a white sequined military uniform and make love to Michael Douglas.Well, maybe that’s just my work. But for all of you here, your work starts today.”
— MIT Alumni (@MIT_alumni) May 31, 2016
Damon chose some really fiery words to blast the banking industry as well, accusing bankers of fraud and theft and labeling the Wall Street as a scheme that “steals people’s money.”
“Like I said, I’m never running for office! But while I’m on this, let me say this to the bankers who brought you the biggest heist in history: It was theft and you knew it. It was fraud and you knew it. And you know what else? We know that you knew it.”
After throwing a shout-out to Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren, saying “if justice does come for you in this life, her name is Elizabeth Warren,” Damon passed along a piece of advice that Bill Clinton offered him a little over a decade ago.
“Well, actually, when he said it, it felt less like advice and more like a direct order. What he said was “turn toward the problems you see.” It seemed kind of simple at the time, but the older I get, the more wisdom I see in this. And that’s what I want to urge you to do today:
“Turn toward the problems you see. And don’t just turn toward them. Engage with them. Walk right up to them, look them in the eye, then look yourself in the eye and decide what you’re going to do about them. In my experience, there’s just no substitute for actually going and seeing things.”