Bill Moyers on Discovering What Democracy Means

February 16, 2007 | By | 1 Reply More

Bill Moyers has recently written on the meaning of Democracy on TomPaine.com.  First, he presents an illustration of the problem.  As is the case with many overarching social issues today, this one starts with a media almost entirely controlled by a few large corporations:

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.

And now the solution: taking back our government:

We cannot build a political consensus or a nation across the vast social divides that mark our country today. Consensus arises from bridging that divide and making society whole again, the fruits of freedom and prosperity made available to the least among us. What we have to determine now, as [Woodrow] Wilson said in his day, “is whether we are big enough…whether we are free enough, to take possession again of the government which is our own. We haven’t had free access to it, our minds have not touched it by way of guidance, in half a generation, and now we are engaged in nothing less than the recovery of what was made with our own hands, and acts only by our delegated authority.”

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Category: Corruption, Media, Politics

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

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  1. grumpypilgrim says:

    During his 2000 election campaign, Bush said he wanted to be "a uniter, not a divider." But is there any evidence he ever tried to fulfill this promise? Except for quitclaiming the automatic national unity that arose after the 9/11 attack, Bush and Co., have produced nothing but division and bitterness, fueled by a river of lies and abetted by a complacent — nay, complicit — media. It is both a mess and a national disgrace. It is an insult to the unfortunate victims of 9/11. Indeed, what might they say if they could see the vile garbage that Bush and Co., have spewed forth in the name of their tragedy — using their deaths as a rallying cry to invade Iraq and kill hundreds of thousands of innocent, defenseless people? I'd wager they would be just as outraged as most of America is right now.

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