Find it here: http://www.truth-out.org/video/item/18538-the-end-game-for-democracy
The End Game for DemocracyMonday, 02 September 2013 11:15 By Bill Moyers, Moyers & Co. | Video
Bill Moyers. (Photo: Moyers & Company)Bill Moyers: We are so close to losing our democracy to the mercenary class, it's as if we are leaning way over the rim of the Grand Canyon and all that's needed is a swift kick in the pants. Look out below.
The predators in Washington are only this far from monopoly control of our government. They have bought the political system, lock, stock and pork barrel, making change from within impossible. That's the real joke.
Sometimes I long for the wit of a Jon Stewart or Stephen Colbert. They treat this town as burlesque, and with satire and parody show it the disrespect it deserves. We laugh, and punch each other on the arm, and tweet that the rascals got their just dessert. Still, the last laugh always seems to go to the boldface names that populate this town. To them belong the spoils of a looted city. They get the tax breaks, the loopholes, the contracts, the payoffs.
They fix the system so multimillionaire hedge fund managers and private equity tycoons pay less of a tax rate on their income than school teachers, police and fire fighters, secretaries and janitors. They give subsidies to rich corporate farms and cut food stamps for working people facing hunger. They remove oversight of the wall street casinos, bail out the bankers who torpedo the economy, fight the modest reforms of Dodd-Frank, prolong tax havens for multinationals, and stick it to consumers while rewarding corporations.
We pay. We pay at the grocery store. We pay at the gas pump. We pay the taxes they write off. Our low-wage workers pay with sweat and deprivation because this town aloof, self-obsessed, bought off and doing very well, thank you feels no pain.
The journalists who could tell us these things rarely do and some, never. They aren't blind, simply bedazzled. Watch the evening news any evening news or the Sunday talk shows. Listen to the chit-chat of the early risers on morning TV -- and ask yourself if you are learning anything about how this town actually works.
William Greider, one of our craft's finest reporters, fierce and unbought, despite a long life in Washington once said that no one can hope to understand what is driving political behavior without asking the kind of gut-level questions politicians ask themselves in private: "Who are the winners in this matter and who are the losers? Who gets the money and who has to pay? Who must be heard on this question and who can be safely ignored?"
Perhaps they don't ask these questions because they fear banishment from the parties and perks, from the access that passes as seduction in this town.
Or perhaps they do not tell us these things because they fear that if the system were exposed for what it is, outraged citizens would descend on this town, and tear it apart with their bare hands.
For his work, Moyers has received more than 30 Emmys, two prestigious Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Awards, nine Peabodys, and three George Polk Awards. Moyers' most recent book, "Bill Moyers Journal: The Conversation Continues," was published in May 2011. He currently serves as president of the Schumann Media Center, a nonprofit organization that supports independent journalism.
- Craig Clevidence 8 minutes ago
It's the late Roman Republic. No, not Empire with barbarians at the gates--which really isn't the way it happened anyway--but the first century BCE, when the rich bought elections, generals fought for power and the poor were permanently squashed. Eventually the democratic elements, the Assembly and Senate, became shells and while the forms survived and Rome went on to power as a dictatorship, the ordinary people were slowly (later rapidly) crushed. Maybe the analogy isn't quite the same since we have an empire, if not by that name, and no Caesar so far, but the fading and rot at home is similar.
Mr. Moyers is correct -- it is too late for the government, it's been sold to the highest bidder. The central thing we can do is to make an end-run around the big corporations and produce our own, more effective, economy. Capitalism is the problem, but not all competition is capitalism. (Actually, monopoly capitalism, which we have now, seeks to destroy competition.) Read parrysixte's post below -- the article about Grace Lee Boggs. And this:
THE WAY we will take back America from the corporations is:
1) Take our money out of the big banks and Wall St, and don't patronize those corporations any more than you must. (Put your money in member-owned credit unions. Or read "Locavesting".) Wall St cannot be tamed: it must be eliminated. Capitol Markets were introduced into America to fuel industrial growth. They no longer do this their job is done.
2) We will start a lot of worker-owned, democratically-run businesses, where the people who do the actual work get the say and share the profit. (Read Gar Alperovitz's new book, *What Then Must We Do?*)
a) Form locally sustainable economies. Institute "Job Ecology" (business for the sake of jobs.)
3) We must elect progressive candidates to protect us from the destruction planned by the conservatives.
4) We will start our own scrip, and gradually replace the old Dollar with the New Community Scrip, which We the People will control with our own banks or credit unions and regulating agencies.
5) Assume the frame of moral/ethical leadership. (Read George Lakoff.) Craig Clevidence 19 minutes ago
The most basic problem with our representative democracy is that the voters do not pay for the political campaigns, and our representatives rely on those who do. Unless our representatives are motivated to represent only the voters, our current broken system cannot be transformed. At Renew Democracy, we feel that just as many of the constitutional restrictions on social behavior ensure the primacy of individual rights to protect from the tyranny of the majority by making the rights of the group subservient to the rights of the individual, it is crucial to ensure the rights of the individual voter have primacy in the political process. For this reason we advocate for a constitutional amendment that would empower the American voter and transform the motivations of our representatives. . Here is the RDA proposal
"The right of the individual qualified citizen voter to participate in and directly elect all officeholders by popular vote in all pertinent local, state, and federal elections shall not be denied or abridged and the right to vote is limited to individuals.
The right to contribute to political campaigns and political parties is held solely by individual citizens either through direct contributions and or a voter authorized public campaign funding system.
Political campaign and political party contributions shall not exceed an amount reasonably affordable by the average American.
The rights of all groups, associations and organizations to other political speech may be regulated by Congress but only as to volume and not content and only to protect the right of the individual voter's voice to be heard.
The manner and course of lobbying and petitioning of federal, state, and local government officials by all groups and organizations and those who represent them may be regulated by Congress."
The Renew Democracy Amendment would create a constitutional guarantee of the right to vote and directly elect all candidates for whom they were qualified to vote. It would eliminate the Electoral College and it would restore the power of the individual voter by requiring our representatives to be funded solely by the individual voter. The RDA would create a campaign funding system in which nearly any American could be a politician's largest donor. Read more at http://www.renewdemocracy.org and consider signing the wall to show your support for the nonpartisan and powerful amendment proposal. Windenergy 3 hours ago
Several years ago a group of Black women who had meet with President Obama said, "He (President Obama) has no moral compass." I think the same applies to much of Congress and the Supreme Court. They all seem to be consumed with the welfare of the sacred Business Man. Capitalism is their god. Eric Hodgdon 6 hours ago
Bill your message lacks, I'm sorry to write. Bill, press harder for the harder decision you and the other long-time Democrats still avoid - the Revolution which is sorely needed.
You write "They fix the system..." and it's a system which can never be fixed not to be fixed. And, it's a system with too much baggage to bother fixing. The US Constitution is from too long ago and fraught with Imperial tendencies since its conception and implementation. It must be scrapped, and you, Dear Sir, must be one of those pushing for the new, and publicly declaring so, and every day until it is so. Rdzkz 8 hours ago
Yes, and do not forget that the one spokesman elected to stand up for us PresObama does not but installs B$CEOs in us federal government jobs and presses hard for the TPP to get thru in secrecy. ganymede1 2 hours ago
Mr. Moyers, There's a lot of despair going on right now in light of the ongoing Syrian tragedy and the corner that our President has boxed himself into. Let's hope that Congress nixes the planned assault on Syrian. I'm beginning to think the only way out of our insoluable impasse is to appeal to the small number of oligarchs who still have some human impulses to open up a discussion on how to reform our out of control capitalistic system. The greed of most of these kleptocrats is our biggest problem and reformation is desperately needed. The only other avenue is revolution because otherwise we will destroy ourselves along with the rest of the world. JustAMaverick1 2 hours ago
Capitalism and the monetary system are the key reasons for what is happening today. It is going to get worse as well. Our entire economy is, as I am sure many of you are aware, based on a unlimited growth paradigm. That is by it's very nature on a world of limited resources a system that is doomed to fail. We are now starting to reach it's limits.
Someone in a comment below argued that capitalism is a fairly effective system for resource management. I couldn't disagree with this point of view more. It would take too long to explain why here....but if you have netfllix watch Zeitgiest Forward,,,the latest of the three, and it explains it extremely well.
Bill Moyers is one of the few real journalists left. He has the pulse of the state of this nation and is correct, democracy has flat-lined and without some real effort is doomed to die with a whimper. Unfortunately this seems to be our fate. Such a nation as ours, with our access to information at virtually everyone's fingertips...yet dumb as a stump. Sheep to the slaughter....it pains me to say it, but I see little difference between them and most of this nation. Bruce 37 minutes ago
Been deteriorating since at least LBJ dictatorship in 1965. John Cable 42 minutes ago
Next time Bill, show some emotion! Dr Susan Reibel Moore, Sydney 2 hours ago
Dear Bill Moyers, Here in Australia I can't watch you on tv, which I did in America in 2007 when I was there for 3 months for my 50th high school reunion. The trip is very expensive and long; so now that my parents' generation is gone except for one person, aged 101, I rely on virtual reality. In another life I was at Harvard, where I met my Aussie husband.
Being able to read you this morning before I drink my breakfast coffee has been a real treat. I knew things were bad in Washington; but they're worse than I realised. Here, we're awaiting a federal election on Saturday that could ultimately bring me to my native land on an educational mission. I'm an international writer and teacher; and in the 90s I worked part-time in the same Think Tank office as our probable new Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, a very good guy! Mostly, since we had school-aged children, I worked at home.
This message comes with all of my good wishes, and my thanks for your enormously important work over a lifetime. acupuncher 2 hours ago
the only way to take back our country is to Vote OUT the Incumbent Every Single Time We Vote... Then The Politicians Will Know That They Are On A Short Leash And Bound To Do Our Bidding While They Have There ONE TERM CHANCE...