Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Bill Moyers tells it like it is on Democracy Now!

Two of the most authentic voices in US media, the inimitable Amy Goodman and indefatigable Bill Moyers, met face to face for today's episode of Democracy Now. Topics of discussion include the significance of the outcome of last night's Indiana and North Carolina Democratic Primaries, and, more pressingly, the critical issues that none of the presidential candidates are addressing directly in this campaign season.

Click the graphic to view the entire May 7 show at the Democracy Now! website. The Bill Moyers segment begins about 16 minutes in. Or click here for the transcript and audio & video links to just the Bill Moyers segment.


Bill Moyers: [W]e are facing—you know, democracy is always a story of narrow escapes, and we may be running out of luck, because we’ve always thought the present was better than the—generally thought the present was better than the past and the future will be better than the present. All bets are off now, because we are not—our politics can create problems our policies can then not solve. Start a war, can’t finish it. Spend $2 trillion on healthcare, but can’t fix it. Infrastructure crumbling, highways full of potholes, can’t do anything about it.

These fundamental structural issues of American democracy are not being addressed by this campaign, even in the best of times, when it’s not just a horse race, when they’re on the Sunday morning talk shows, when they’re making speeches. They are so appealing to the particular interest of people, of groups, that they cannot take on—they’re not taking on the large issue. Obama talks about change. Hillary Clinton talks about, you know, a populist message. But neither one of them seem to me—and nor does John McCain—none of these three seem to me to be grasping what’s fundamentally at stake in this country, which is a system that is now dysfunctional. And so many powerful interests have a stake in maintaining the dysfunction that it’s almost impossible to change it.

That is the moment—this is the moment in which if we don’t solve that structural issue of our politics, we are in real trouble. And I don’t like to say that, because I have five grandchildren, and the future is theirs, not mine. But this is what we’re not hearing. This is what the system is not going to deal with in November. And it’s a very troubling reality.