Friday, March 23, 2007

Bill Moyers for President

Even Ralph Nader thinks it's a good idea. He wrote about it last October in Common Dreams:
Moyers brings impressive credentials beyond his knowledge of the White House-Congressional complexes. He puts people first. Possessed of a deep sense of history relating to the great economic struggles in American history between workers and large companies and industries, Moyers today is a leading spokesman on the need to deconcentrate the manifold concentrations of political and economic power by global corporations. He is especially keen on doing something about media concentration about which he knows from recurrent personal experience as a television commentator, investigator, anchor and newspaper editor.

A Draft Bill Moyers for President campaign began in 2005, but it didn't get very far. His lawyers sent out a cease and desist notice to the gentleman who proposed it. Then last summer, political commentators Molly Ivins (the late and lamented) and John Nichols both wrote columns about "wouldn't it be a good idea if Bill Moyers were our president." A web site was set up and online petitions were circulated, but the internet campaign didn't get very far, despite Nader's late seconding of the earlier motion.

I thought about this after reading the most recent transcribed lecture from Moyers to circulate on the internet, "A Time for Anger, A Call to Action," which appeared on Common Dreams yesterday. In it, he writes: "Our political system is melting down, right here where you live," and he describes a concentrated, coordinated assault on the democratic notion of equality conducted by corporate and theocratic interests. "Beginning a quarter of a century ago a movement of corporate, political and religious fundamentalists gained ascendancy over politics and made inequality their goal. They launched a crusade to dismantle the political institutions, the legal and statutory canons, and the intellectual and cultural frameworks that have held private power. And they had the money to back of their ambition," Moyers explains in the talk give last month at Occidental College in Los Angeles.

Financial inequality -- an increasing division of society by economic class -- and voter apathy have handed over our democracy to conservative corporate thugs. This is "the direct consequence of corporate activism, intellectual propaganda, the rise of a religious literalism opposed to any civil and human right that threatens its paternalism, and a string of political decisions favoring the interests of wealthy elites who bought the political system right out from under us," Moyers writes.

Not only have THEY stolen our country and our government, but "they hijacked Jesus" as well. Moyers, who places a high value on religious faith, cites the Jesus who loved his enemies and turned the other cheek, and argues that "this Jesus was hijacked and turned from a friend of the dispossed into a guardian of privilege, the ally of oil barons, banking tycoons, media moguls and weapon builders."

But the Jesus Moyers knows, the man who overturned the tables of the moneychangers in the temple because they had turned a house of prayer into a den of thieves, this Jesus grows angry and he takes action. This Jesus speaks Spanish and walks with the undocumented immigrants when they take to the streets to protest their exclusion. This Jesus is disgusted by the reign of the Pharisees in Washington and their holy war against the poor in this country and overseas. This Jesus, the one known by Martin Luther King, sees a new day dawning in the United States, the periodic revolution that Thomas Jefferson said citizens need to renew their spirit.

Moyers calls on the students at Occidental to take part in the revolution of the 21st century which will bring about a democracy that leaves no one out. "The only answer to organized money," he says, "is organized people."

This man is a prophet, and wouldn't it be nice to have one as the president of the United States?

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