Replay: Live Chat with Bill Moyers

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On October 1, just two days before the first presidential debate, Bill joined viewers and readers at BillMoyers.com for a live chat. He answered questions on money and politics, the upcoming debates, income inequality, voter disenfranchisement and other issues important to our democracy.

Replay the chat by scrolling through the player below.

 Live Chat with Bill Moyers(10/01/2012) 
2:52
Moyers & Company: 
We'll be getting started in about 10 minutes. Please send us your questions by entering them in the box below.
Monday October 1, 2012 2:52 Moyers & Company
2:54
Moyers & Company: 
Bill is already here, so I think we'll get started early.
Monday October 1, 2012 2:54 Moyers & Company
2:54
Moyers & Company: 
Welcome Bill!
Monday October 1, 2012 2:54 Moyers & Company
2:54
Bill Moyers: 
Hi. Good to be with you. Who's first?
Monday October 1, 2012 2:54 Bill Moyers
2:55
[Comment From jonakron jonakron : ] 
what question would Bill Moyers ask the presidential candidates?
Monday October 1, 2012 2:55 jonakron
2:56
Bill Moyers: 
I would ask: GIve me one reason to vote for you.
Monday October 1, 2012 2:56 Bill Moyers
2:56
[Comment From George, via Facebook George, via Facebook : ] 
How can 3rd party candidates make a real difference rather than hurt the candidates closest to them (Nader vs Gore)?
Monday October 1, 2012 2:56 George, via Facebook
2:57
Bill Moyers: 
They shouldn't think about hurting any candidate. They should be thinking about how to help voters decide which of the candidates is closest to their positions on the important issues. That is, they should speak directly and frankly about their positions, as Jill Stein of the Green Pary,
Monday October 1, 2012 2:57 Bill Moyers
2:59
Bill Moyers: 
Party did recently on our show. By know the alternatives to what the major party candidates are saying, voters can sort out for themselves which compromises to make when they cast their ballot. Third parties should work for the long run, to stay in the game (which means getting a certain turnout in each election, so they can be a constant goad to the major parties. That requires organization over time.
Monday October 1, 2012 2:59 Bill Moyers
3:00
[Comment From Bill, via Facebook Bill, via Facebook : ] 
I am curious. Do you sense a similar atmosphere in this country to that which was in the early 1900's? I was watching American masters on PBS about carl sandburg and it seems as though history, again, is repeating itself.
Monday October 1, 2012 3:00 Bill, via Facebook
3:02
Bill Moyers: 
We are indeed living in a New Gilded Age. The first one was so oppressive that peope could no longer take it, and they fought back with passion and anger, and that led to larger and larger turnouts. The election of l9l2 was the culmination of a long struggle against monopolies, cartels, and trusts in which everyday people -- the Populists -- and the reformists -- the Progressives -- plus the socialists, communists, and radicals brought the public ire to a boiling point and the system had to change, which it did for a spell with Wilson (altho I would have voted for Teddy 'Roosevelt.
Monday October 1, 2012 3:02 Bill Moyers
3:04
Bill Moyers: 
We don't have that kind of passion left of center today, in part, I think, because as thin as it is, the social contract that has survived the New Deal still prevents the mass of people from falling through the cracks. Only on the right, the Tea Party, do we have the organized agitation that marked the late l800s and early l900s. If things continue to come apart, as they are, all bets are off.

Monday October 1, 2012 3:04 Bill Moyers
3:04
[Comment From Karen Karen : ] 
What can be done to get the US government to do its job and reclassify ALEC as a lobbying group instead of a 501(c)(3)? They need to come out of the shadows and into the light of legislative transparency. Right now corporations have all the benefits: access to and influencing state legislators, writing legislation in their own best interests and getting a charitable tax deduction to boot! So who actually is interested in legislating in the best interests of THE PEOPLE??
Monday October 1, 2012 3:04 Karen
3:05
Bill Moyers: 
That's exactly what Common Cause is doing with its complaint to the IRS, challenging the status of ALEC as "educational." Common
Monday October 1, 2012 3:05 Bill Moyers
3:06
Bill Moyers: 
Cause is a member-based organization who needs the support of people like you. Check out commoncause.org and get involved. The same is true of the Center for Media and Democracy and Public Citizen--get involved with one of them.
Monday October 1, 2012 3:06 Bill Moyers
3:06
[Comment From Robert Robert : ] 
What do you think the long term impact of the "Tea Party" will have on American politics?
Monday October 1, 2012 3:06 Robert
3:07
Bill Moyers: 
It's here to stay for the duration, and if Romney loses, its fervor will grow -- until those folks realize they are largely being duped by the billionaires who bankroll them and want to end the very web of support -- Medicare, for example, and Social Security -- that the Tea Party
Monday October 1, 2012 3:07 Bill Moyers
3:09
Bill Moyers: 
or most of the Tea Party cherish and need. It's interesting how the senior vote in Florida, which formed part of the Tea Party's backbone in 2008, is swinging to Obama. Paul Ryan's nomination showed them just how duped they had been to think the libertarian right (i.e., the Koch brothers) was on their side.
Monday October 1, 2012 3:09 Bill Moyers
3:09
Moyers & Company: 
URLs for Center for Media and Democracy - http://www.prwatch.org - and Public Citizen - http://www.citizen.org.
Monday October 1, 2012 3:09 Moyers & Company
3:10
[Comment From Margot Fass Margot Fass : ] 
Can you give us specific ways that we can avoid the take-over by corporations on a federal national state and local level, especially foiling what Republicans are doing before the election to disenfranchise people. I have joined Common Cause and hope to work at the most dicey polls this year. Also, what about egregious lies ... isn't there room for libel there, or how can democrats do anything besides ignore them? Or is that the best policy anyway?
Monday October 1, 2012 3:10 Margot Fass
3:13
Moyers & Company: 
Thanks for joining us! Please enter your questions in the box below and we will try and get to them.
Monday October 1, 2012 3:13 Moyers & Company
3:13
Bill Moyers: 
There's no magic formula, and no magic carpet for any of us to ride alone. The only answer to organized money is organized people. So you have to search out who else in your community, or your county, or your region, or in the country takes this challenge seriously and get engaged. That, again, is Common Cause, Public Citizen, Center for Media and Democracy, and local folks I haven't even heard of. Here's something to do at hand: Your state legislative campaign means the candidates are nearby. Go up to them and ask, "Are you a member of "Alec? Will you sign a pledge not to join if I vote for you?" As
Monday October 1, 2012 3:13 Bill Moyers
3:14
Bill Moyers: 
I say, press the lever nearest you.
Monday October 1, 2012 3:14 Bill Moyers
3:14
Moyers & Company: 
FInd out if your local state legislators are members of ALEC on our interactive map.
Monday October 1, 2012 3:14 Moyers & Company
3:14
Moyers & Company: 
http://billmoyers.com/?p=13589
Monday October 1, 2012 3:14 Moyers & Company
3:15
[Comment From Fran Longmire Fran Longmire : ] 
Do you think there should be an amendment to the U.S. Constitution giving universal voting rights, which doesn't exist today, since that is only contained in some, not all, state constitutions?
Monday October 1, 2012 3:15 Fran Longmire
3:17
Bill Moyers: 
I'd rather enforce the existing Voting Rights Act which the Republicans are trying to circumscribe than try a Constitutional Amendment. The Constitution can be amended, as we've done seriously l5 or l6 times, but it's a long and laborious project (I'm for undertaking just such a campaign to reverse the Citizens United decsion (check out freespeechforpeople.org) but one's enough right now. The Voting Rights Act is sufficient if we stop the efforts to curtail it and enforce what it says.
Monday October 1, 2012 3:17 Bill Moyers
3:18
[Comment From ron ron : ] 
I enjoy watching your program. Are there series of books that you can recommend or read that I can slowly digest in my free time.
Monday October 1, 2012 3:18 ron
3:18
[Comment From Robin Robin : ] 
What would you suggest to a registered voter who finds themselves purged from the voter rolls this year, or is turned away at their polling place?
Monday October 1, 2012 3:18 Robin
3:18
Moyers & Company: 
Sorry about that. He's going to answer Robin, then Ron.
Monday October 1, 2012 3:18 Moyers & Company
3:19
Moyers & Company: 
Misfire on the part of the moderator! I apologize...
Monday October 1, 2012 3:19 Moyers & Company
3:20
Bill Moyers: 
Robin: Call the ACLU. Get in touch with the Brennan Center for Justice (check out their website).. Locate the nearest office of the political party that isn't trying to purge the rolls. Get your neighbors, make your signs, and march on the election office near you. Find a pro-bono lawyer. Get mad as hell and fight back however you can whereve you can.in whatever way you can.
Monday October 1, 2012 3:20 Bill Moyers
3:20
Moyers & Company: 
URLS for organizations Bill mentioned.

Brennan Center for Justice: http://www.brennancenter.org
ACLU: http://www.aclu.org/voting-rights
Monday October 1, 2012 3:20 Moyers & Company
3:21
[Comment From Debi Jones Debi Jones : ] 
How can we get truth in advertising to apply to political ads? The most disturbing aspect of the carpet bombing of campaign and dark money ads is that they either distort the facts or out right lie.
Monday October 1, 2012 3:21 Debi Jones
3:23
Bill Moyers: 
Debi, the FCC has passed a regulation requiring your local television station to provide information online about who's sponsoring the ads where you live and who's paying for them. There's a movement to hold local stations accountable for the deception in the ads they run. We'll link you to some helpful sites.
Monday October 1, 2012 3:23 Bill Moyers
3:23
Moyers & Company: 
FactCheck.org is a good one that we visit here.
Monday October 1, 2012 3:23 Moyers & Company
3:24
[Comment From Stimpy Stimpy : ] 
Do you think the Democrats need their own version of a "tea party", a loud, angry extreme-left political sect, or will that just distance us even more from compromise and progress?
Monday October 1, 2012 3:24 Stimpy
3:24
Bill Moyers: 
Stimpy, I'm not in the business of advising Democrats. But I will say this:
Monday October 1, 2012 3:24 Bill Moyers
3:25
Moyers & Company: 
For more good resources, visit our Campaign Ad Watch page: http://billmoyers.com/spotlight/campaign-ad-watch/
Monday October 1, 2012 3:25 Moyers & Company
3:26
Bill Moyers: 
The Tea Party did a very smart thing. They set out to make the Republican Party their party, and they suceeded. Republicans are far more responsive to the Tea Party and the Right than the Democratic Party is to progressives and others on the Left. The latter don't own the Democratic Party the way the Christian Right and the corporate and political right own the Republican Party. If I were younger and still partisan, I would
Monday October 1, 2012 3:26 Bill Moyers
3:28
Bill Moyers: 
mount a campaign district-by-district whose mission would be to elect like-minded folks in the primaries. Grover Norquist is the most powerful man in the Republican Party because at age l2 he had an idea -- make every Republican sign a pledge never to cut taxes (of course, we're in a ruinous state today because his party is govenered by the mentality of a l2-year-old!)
Monday October 1, 2012 3:28 Bill Moyers
3:29
Bill Moyers: 
but there's a grownup way to hold the Democratic Party accountable to everyday people. How about requiring every Democratic candidate for office to sign a pledge: "I will support legislation or a Constitutional Amendment to reverse Citizens United."?
Monday October 1, 2012 3:29 Bill Moyers
3:30
Moyers & Company: 
Let's back to Ron's question: Are there series of books that you can recommend or read that I can slowly digest in my free time.
Monday October 1, 2012 3:30 Moyers & Company
3:30
Bill Moyers: 
OMG. You don't have that much time. But I will start listing at last 2 books every week that you could read. Check our site from now on every Friday.
Monday October 1, 2012 3:30 Bill Moyers
3:31
[Comment From Karen Karen : ] 
What issues of national importance do you feel have been overlooked in the political discourse?
Monday October 1, 2012 3:31 Karen
3:31
Moyers & Company: 
We'll post Bill's book recommendations on Fridays on our blog.
Monday October 1, 2012 3:31 Moyers & Company
3:32
Moyers & Company: 
Here's the link: http://billmoyers.com/category/what-matters-today/billboard/
Monday October 1, 2012 3:32 Moyers & Company
3:33
Bill Moyers: 
Obviously climate change and global warming. Once upon a time both Obama and Romney called for action on this, but both have been strangely silent the past four years -- in no small part because of ideology (on Romney's part) and Obama's support from the energy interests. But their silence is deafening and dangerous (be sure to watch Moyers & Company this weekend when I talk to the remarkable James Balog about what's happening to the glaciers in Switzerland, Greenland, Iceland, and Alaska.)
Monday October 1, 2012 3:33 Bill Moyers
3:35
Bill Moyers: 
Second: poverty and the working poor. They are falling faster and faster through the cracks, but from neither Romney nor Obama do we hear any ideas for coping with the challenge.

Money in politics: Neither one will talk about the vast sums of money now enveloping our democracy.


And finally but not exhaustively: How specifically will they protect the important public services, including the social contract, in the upcoming negotiations over the "fiscal cliff."
Monday October 1, 2012 3:35 Bill Moyers
3:36
[Comment From Bob Huddleston Bob Huddleston : ] 
Most of us working class people bust our tails 50+ hours a week, deal with kids, bills, etc. Considering how much spin and propaganda is tossed at us 24/7, just how are we supposed to be able to effectively and efficiently filter through the rhetoric to glean the facts, the issues, the arguments, and the ramifications of policy positions. Or are we just the masses and appeals to emotion and our own bias are deemed enough to motivate us to vote for the one who best appeals to our own confirmation bias?
Monday October 1, 2012 3:36 Bob Huddleston
3:40
Bill Moyers: 
Such a good question. And the truth is -- you're right. Between the demands of everyday list so ably described by you, Bob, there's not a lot of time or energy for the demands of citizenship. That's why we are supposed to honor "representative government" in this country, so that our representatives address those concerns in our behalf. But our representatives are largely owned today by the donor class, which is why we have to get money out of politics. But just as some people of modest means tithe to their churches, so each of us, including the working poor, must find some time to "tithe" our time and contribute to fighting back against organized money. Check out the website for "PublicCampaign" and find a way to get involved in the best scheme yet to curtail the power of money -- public funding of elections. At the same time, there has to be a neighborhood environmental chapter, or a relief operation, that can use half an hour of your time. But it's an important question and I'll give it more thought.
Monday October 1, 2012 3:40 Bill Moyers
3:40
Moyers & Company: 
URL for Public Campaign: http://www.publicampaign.org
Monday October 1, 2012 3:40 Moyers & Company
3:41
[Comment From Brett Cammack Brett Cammack : ] 
Will the "working class" ever supplant the "middle class" in the dialog? The middle class is shrinking, but the "working class" is being eviscerated. "Working poor" is becoming the better description.
Monday October 1, 2012 3:41 Brett Cammack
3:43
Bill Moyers: 
Those with the means have the muscle, alas, and that's why we hear Romney and Obama always talking about "the middle class" without any reference to the working poor (except with an occasional unpublicized nod to 'the 47%').. Back in the l920s and 30s it took the agitation of the
CIO (Congress of Industrial Organizations), the socialists, progressive, and communists to keep the pressure on the political class, including at last FDR, who didn't respond at first and then had no choice. He turned "the working poor" and the empathetic rich against "the economic royalists" and the New Deal was born. I wish
Monday October 1, 2012 3:43 Bill Moyers
3:44
Bill Moyers: 
there were a softer or easier answer, but until masses of peope mobilize and sustain their desperation and anger, the poltiical class will, except rhetorically, ignore the pain.
Monday October 1, 2012 3:44 Bill Moyers
3:45
[Comment From Pam Pam : ] 
Bill, how would you format a presidential debate to get the best possibility of forcing real answers rather than simply pre-rehearsed statements?
Monday October 1, 2012 3:45 Pam
3:46
[Comment From Elaine Elaine : ] 
Last evening, a news commentator on a major network said that the emphasis in the Presidential debates will be on the candidates style, rather than substance. Would you agree? Please comment.
Monday October 1, 2012 3:46 Elaine
3:50
Bill Moyers: 
Pam: I would get rid of the Presidential Commission on Debates, which is a tool of the two parties; put the League of Women Voters back in charge (as they were for a long time); get rid of the middleman, i.e., the journalist moderator who always has his or own agenda and ultimate protects the candidates; and organize the event so that one candidate initiates the first segment, the second respond, and they continue in this vein....one-on-one, with rules of fair play, but nonetheless requires to address each other, not through a filter. Journalists are not your representatives; they have their own reputations to consider (I know, because I was a moderator once). They've taken over too much of our political process as it is. Put the two grown-ups up there alone and let them go at it.

Monday October 1, 2012 3:50 Bill Moyers
3:50
[Comment From VoterGuy VoterGuy : ] 
So many of your colleagues have given up on the extended interview journalism format. What's still important about it? Aren't we all supposed to be attention-span-challenged these days?
Monday October 1, 2012 3:50 VoterGuy
3:52
Bill Moyers: 
VoterGuy: The tweet is no substitute for the letter; the letter is no substitute for the essay; the essay is no substitute for the novel; and cable shoutouts are no substitute for intelligence. The extended interview enables the host and the guest to develop an argument, to build a case, to connect the dots, to ask the followup questions. There's not much of a market for these interviews today, but I am very fortunate that public television stations still respect the long form of conversation, from Charlie Rose to Moyers & Company.
Monday October 1, 2012 3:52 Bill Moyers
3:53
[Comment From Enrique Enrique : ] 
How do we balance the federal budget and pay the national debt in a progressive way?
Monday October 1, 2012 3:53 Enrique
3:55
Bill Moyers: 
There are tried and true ways and I'll post a longer response later on, Enrique. But a return to higher marginal rates on the incomes of people who can afford to pay; a complete overhaul of the tax code to deal with "expenditures" and other loopholes, and refinancing are a start.
Monday October 1, 2012 3:55 Bill Moyers
3:56
[Comment From David David : ] 
I read that Warren Buffet often watches "YouTube" in his free time. Do you? What are your favorite internet sites?
Monday October 1, 2012 3:56 David
4:00
Bill Moyers: 
Warren must have more time than I have (he certainly has more money). Occasionally someone tips me to a YouTube posting I enjoy viewing, but mostly I'm surfing the political sites (from talkingpointsmemo.com to nationalreview.com to reason.com -- across the spectrum, you'll notice -- as well as long-form sites like TheAtlantic.com and chronicle.com (Chronicle of Higher Education). I like commondreams.com for a roundup of progressive views and townhall.com for the conservative opinions. I will dip into Drudge if I'm interested in finding out what's happening in Dodge City, and HuffPost is useful if I stick to the left side of the page.

Monday October 1, 2012 4:00 Bill Moyers
4:01
Moyers & Company: 
I think we're going to have to end with that.
Monday October 1, 2012 4:01 Moyers & Company
4:01
Moyers & Company: 
Thanks to all of you for joining us.
Monday October 1, 2012 4:01 Moyers & Company
4:01
Moyers & Company: 
Thanks to Bill, too!
Monday October 1, 2012 4:01 Moyers & Company
4:02
Moyers & Company: 
This has easily been our most viewed chat to date.
Monday October 1, 2012 4:02 Moyers & Company
4:03
Bill Moyers: 
There are more of you than there are of me, but I relish your questions and try every morning and evening to check our Comments for what you have to say. I am nourished, challenged, and occasonally shamed by what you write, but I recognize most of you as kindred spirits if not ideologically at least patriotically. But now I must run to prepare for this week's broadcast, which I think you will find very interesting. Let me hear from you.
Monday October 1, 2012 4:03 Bill Moyers
4:04
Moyers & Company: 
It's true. He reads all the comments on BillMoyers.com and on Facebook. So please do keep your comments coming. They are a factor in the decisions we make here about what we cover each week.
Monday October 1, 2012 4:04 Moyers & Company
4:05
Moyers & Company: 
Our Facebook page is https://www.facebook.com/moyersandcompany
Monday October 1, 2012 4:05 Moyers & Company
4:05
Moyers & Company: 
And the Bill Moyers Book Club is a good idea! We'll be in touch about that in the near future.
Monday October 1, 2012 4:05 Moyers & Company
4:05
Moyers & Company: 
Thanks again for joining us!
Monday October 1, 2012 4:05 Moyers & Company
4:06
Moyers & Company: 
Good bye!
Monday October 1, 2012 4:06 Moyers & Company
 
 

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