America’s top banker says the American people are being increasingly manipulated by the rhetoric being lobbed by Presidential hopefuls this election season.
JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon called the political environment “terrible,” and blamed talking heads on cable news for exacerbating the issue.
“They are just jazzing you up. You’re being manipulated,” Dimon told CNNMoney’s Poppy Harlow.
The JPMorgan CEO specifically mentioned both FOX and MSNBC, suggesting an echo chamber exists when voters go home and watch these networks.
“Once it’s ideology, your feet are stuck in cement. You can’t move anymore. You can barely breathe — and then you’re just angry,” Dimon said.
Dimon also said the use of “scapegoating” and “finger pointing” are not helpful.
Dimon urged voters to “learn to think for yourself” about the key issues.
“It’s really important that policy be properly designed. It’s not enough just to…get angry over a subject,” Dimon said.
Dimon pointed to candidates bashing free trade. Both Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders have blamed trade deals for shipping jobs overseas and Hillary Clinton has said she doesn’t support the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
Dimon said he gets why average Americans are upset following the Great Recession.
“I understand too that there are segments that have been left behind. And they are angry,” he said.
Dimon has given money to both Democrats and Republicans in past elections but admits he has given nothing to any candidate this year.
In his annual letter to shareholders, Dimon said it’s important for citizens to “read and listen to great thinkers who have an alternative point of view.”
Dimon isn’t against all politicians. During the interview he praised House Speaker Paul Ryan, calling him “wonderful” and also expressed his utmost admiration for Bob Gates, who served as the secretary of defense under both Republican and Democratic presidents.
In a rallying cry for both sides Dimon asked politicians to remember the teachings of Abraham Lincoln.
“Abraham Lincoln never denigrated, never scapegoated, never finger pointed. And he had reason to,” Dimon said. “Those problems were worse and he held the country together and got people to work together in a wonderful way.”
He quoted Lincoln’s famous pledge in his second inaugural address to “bind up the nation’s wounds” following the Civil War.
“We need a little binding this election. A little love,” Dimon said.