Thursday, February 15, 2007

Bill Moyers Speaks on Ideas and Democracy

There's no getting around that I'm under the weather. I cheered myself up tonight by reading Bill Moyers. He has a decent way of simply laying out the reality of where our country is today. Here's a part of his speech from Truthout:
Jesus would not be crucified today. The prophets would not be stoned. Socrates would not drink the hemlock. They would instead be banned from the Sunday talk shows and op-ed pages by the sentries of establishment thinking who guard against dissent with the one weapon of mass destruction most cleverly designed to obliterate democracy - the rubber stamp.

A stock broker who makes bad picks doesn't last too long. A baseball player in an extended slump gets traded. A worker made redundant by cheaper labor abroad or by a new machine - well, she's done for, too. But four years after the invasion of Iraq - the greatest blunder in foreign policy since Vietnam - the public apologists and advocates of the war flourish in the media, while the costs of their delusions accrue in body counts and lost treasure. A public that detests the war is relegated to the bleachers, fated to watch from afar the playing out by political and media elites of a game that has been rigged.

Yet the salvation of democracy requires a public aroused by the knowledge of what is being done to them in their name. Here is the crisis of the times as I see it: We talk about problems, issues, policies, but we don't talk about what democracy means - what it bestows on us - the revolutionary idea that it isn't just about the means of governance but the means of dignifying people so they become fully free to claim their moral and political agency. "I believe in Democracy because it releases the energies of every human being." So spoke Woodrow Wilson...

If we can't elect Bill Moyers to be our president, then somebody ought to make him vice president, or the UN ambassador, or even philosopher laureate would do. Actually I have a better idea. Instead of that media illusion, Rudy Giuliani, I nominate Bill Moyers to be America's mayor: he would never bore us with his speeches, he wouldn't pretend to be something he isn't and he might actually be able to fight city hall better than any of the rest of us.

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Anonymous S.W. Anderson said...

I'm sure sorry to hear you're ill. I sincerely hope you beat whatever it is quickly and completely.

Moyers for president; wouldn't that be a godsend? What about Moyers for the Senate, maybe on the way to bigger things?

Ah, but he has to see himself doing that, has to actually run. He would have to have the fire in his belly and, alas, apparently does not. I wish it were otherwise.

7:39 PM  
Anonymous S.W. Anderson said...

By way of balance, I'll offer that the aroused and disgusted public relegated to the bleachers has proven all too susceptible to the bashing campaigns of Swiftboat character assasins on the payroll of multimillionaire Texas homebuilders.

The same public has also been all too willing to opt for the good 'ol boy image and to accept as factual the steady outpouring of GOP talking points served up by the right-wing noise machine.

How hard was it to brainwash the public — for over 30 years — that Democrats somehow care less about national security and the public's basic safety than superhawk Republicans — so many of whom have an obvious vested interest in some facet of the military industrial complex that is more with us than ever two decades after the Cold War?

How many Americans skim headlines, read photo captions, take in a radio news segment or two, watch the thin gruel of an evening news broadcast served up by one of the networks, maybe take in a squawk show segment or two, and consider themselves reasonably well informed?

America isn't small, simple and easy. It's big, extremely busy and exquisitely complex. Its democratic system requires a well-informed and steadily engaged public, not just in a crisis but all the time.

George W. Bush's failed and dangerous presidency is an immediate consequence of our system failing. And the failure began with too many people being too poorly educated, too disinterested, too distracted and too disengaged for their own good.

8:01 PM  

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