BILL MOYERS: Welcome. In all the hullabaloo over the Supreme Court's decision on health care, another of its rulings quickly fell off the public radar. Before deciding the fate of the Affordable Care Act, the Court announced it would not reconsider Citizens United. That's the odious 5-4 decision two years ago that opened our elections to unlimited contributions. Within minutes of that announcement, right-wing partisans were crowing about the advantage they now own. An advantage not due to ideas or personalities, but to the sheer force of money. They were remarkably candid and specific.

Here’s what Fred Barnes wrote in "The Weekly Standard" about the Senate race in Missouri:

"For three weeks in May, Republican super-PACs took turns attacking Democratic senator Claire McCaskill in TV ads. Republicans hadn’t held their primary—it’s not until August 7—but McCaskill wound up trailing all three of the GOP candidates in polls. Now McCaskill, unnerved, is struggling to recover.

"That’s what super-PACs can do. When they emerged in 2010 and worked in tandem, they were a critical force in the Republican landslide in the congressional elections. This year they’re playing an even bigger role. The size and reach of their efforts dwarf what they did two years ago."

Attaboy, Fred, for telling it like it is. For exposing the hoax that the Court’s original decision was about “free” speech. Free speech, my foot: It’s about carpet bombing elections with all the tonnage your rich paymasters want to buy. Try not to laugh when you hear one of its perpetrators, the noted lawyer Floyd Abrams, say, as he did not too long ago, “I don’t think we should want as a matter of policy to make decisions which are essentially, people can’t do all the speaking that they can in a political campaign. I don’t think we can ration speech.”

Excuse me, Floyd: Speech is already rationed in America. On your playing field, those who have no money have no speech. And just who do you think is doing this “speaking”? Hello, poor people, are you there? It’s your election, too. All 50 million of you; Hello, we can’t hear you. Better get a Super Pac and speak up!

Poor people haven’t lost their voice. They can’t afford a voice. And every day working people: universal laryngitis, the chronic absence of money. As for children – children who have a big stake in our elections but no vote – for them to be heard they would need piggy banks the size of Wal-Mart heirs. Or the Koch brothers for uncles.

And if “free speech” is a right, why all the secrecy? Why hide from voters where the money is coming from? Why not openly say you’re downright proud to be exercising your First Amendment rights and that writing checks is your patriotic duty? Instead, conservatives across the country are fighting to keep their sugar daddies secret. According to their guardian angel in Congress – the highly leveraged Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell – the right wing opposes disclosure laws because the super-rich just might be bullied and harassed by the rest of us who want to know who’s buying our elections. So that the editorial page of "The Wall Street Journal," asks us to have pity on billionaires and those little ol’ corporations and their CEOs who just might have their tender feelings hurt; if they were exposed to boycotts and pickets – were it known which candidates they were buying.

Wait a minute. Weren’t we taught the First Amendment also guarantees the right of every citizen to assemble and petition, even to boycott and picket? That’s what a couple of hundred protesters were doing just the other day. They marched to the DC offices of American Crossroads and Crossroads GPS. Those are the right wing money mills run by the mastermind of much of this massive fundraising, Karl Rove. He’s making a bundle himself buying and selling “Free Speech,” while at the same time deploring the disclosure of big donors’ names as “shameful” intimidation!

Exercising their First Amendment rights, the demonstrators taped a kind of wanted poster on Rove’s office door, indicating they would like to see him wearing an orange prison jumpsuit. Instead, he could be seen last weekend in casual wear, buzzing around in a golf cart at Mitt Romney’s Utah mountain gathering of high rollers. No doubt plotting how to raise more millions to pay for more “free speech.”

Let’s see if we’ve got this right: On the one hand, conservatives declare that corporations and the superrich can spend all they want on exercising their First Amendment rights, but on the other, they demand to keep it secret so the rest of us can’t exercise our First Amendment rights to fight back? Have you ever heard of more cowardly lions?

It’s one big joke. Big enough to make you cry. Three things don’t go together: Money. Secrecy. Democracy. And that’s the nub of the matter. This is all a sham for invalidating democracy in the name of democracy. It’s the trick authoritarians always use to hide their real intention -- in this case absolute power over our public life and institutions: the privatization of everything. The Supreme Court is pointing the way. Instead of mitigating the worst excesses of both the state and the private sector, the Court has taken sides. Saying to the massed wealth of the one percent: America is yours for the taking, for the buying.

That’s what George III thought, too. Which brings us back to our celebration of the 4th of July, to the Declaration of Independence and Thomas Jefferson, who seems to have thought that a little uprising now and then would be good for what ails us. This time the overweening power is not the monarchy but plutocracy, the convergence of the political, religious and corporate right that would keep us in the dark about where all that money is coming from, and who it’s buying, until one day we wake up and our country is no longer our own. Fortunately, those orange jump suits come in one size fits all. So remember, moneyed lords and ladies, what King George learned the hard way – you can only push your subjects so far.

Bill Moyers Essay: The Cowardly Lions of ‘Free Speech’

Bill opens this week’s show by explaining how last week’s Supreme Court decision not to reconsider Citizens United exposes the hoax that Citizens United was ever about “free” speech. In reality, Bill says, it’s about carpet bombing elections “with all the tonnage your rich paymasters want to buy.”

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  • Strawman411

    The straight scoop as always, Mr. Moyers.  Thank you.

    I’ve been wondering since that last SCOTUS (non)decision if any major-party presidential candidate since the advent of big media ad campaigns — what, since Kennedy-Nixon in 1960? — has ever lost to an opponent who spent less.

    Not sure specifically how to word a Google search, so am asking if anyone knows.  Offhand, I sure can’t think of a larger spender losing.

    Something to mull over as a quadrennial November again approaches, with certainly one of the TWO biggest spenders winning.

  • Bub

    The Obama crew squawked so much in 2008 about their fundraising haul…so much so that Obama did not accept public financing, the first presidential candidate to do so since such financing was available.  Now, since Citizens United means they are on the wrong end of the fundraising stick, there are nothing but complaints.  Sometimes priciple means something; if we would have stuck by it 4 years ago at least we would have an argument.  But now, good luck…

  • Anonymous

    I’m not surprised Moyers opposes free speech.

  • Anonymous

    Only a few weeks before the 1964 election, a powerful presidential assistant, Walter Jenkins, was arrested in a men’s room in Washington. Evidently, the president was concerned that Barry Goldwater would use that against him in the election. Another assistant, Bill Moyers, was tasked to direct Hoover to do an investigation of Goldwater’s staff to find similar evidence of homosexual activity. Mr. Moyers’ memo to the FBI was in one of the files.” – 
    Deputy Attorney General Laurence Silberman.

  • Anonymous

    America. The master class and the slave class. A handful dictate the lives of hundreds of millions thru lies and treachery. Sooner or later even the most deaf dumb and blind of the deceived see the light, hear the truth and raise their voices in independence.

  • Mary Margaret in Chicago

    Bravo, Bill Moyers.

  • jan

     There ain’t nuthin’ free about Citizens United.  Nuthin’. 

  • Anonymous

    i retract my suspicions associated with human cloning. i want 50 bill moyerses — one for each state — and we get to keep the original in texas ’cause we really need him here! please god, help us get people out to vote out these misogynistic money-grubbing plutocrats who make a mockery of the democratic process.

  • Carolynpascoe

    Money means more speech than I can afford as $ 37,000/yr. wage earner my speech is worthless. How’s that for America home of the brave and land of the free??

  • Gary S.F.

    Obviously the ability to be funded by the majority of the population is the problem for the right. They lie cheat and steal. Thank you Bill for always helping to educate the cause. The flood gates are going to stay open, we need to march on Washington. We the people can still save our democracy.

  • dmcrane

    They can’t buy our vote if we don’t sell it to them.  Your vote matters.

  • JonThomas

     I hope more of us rabble get roused. Well done Bill.

  • Nwesley

    Gotta love Bill, too bad so many won’t hear his succint and poiniant rebuke of the hideous C.U. decission. I/we can only hope that the energy, the truly organic energy of the ’08 election is still there with enough momentum and understanding of the gravity of this situation for us “commoners” to show at the polls in November.

  • Cathy S. from Boulder

    With Bill’s clarity of thought and passionate articulation of the Constitution and democratic ideals and historian Howard Zinn’s belief that change cannot come from leaders but from a movement of ordinary people, we need to mobilize with our neighbors and online groups to strike down this travesty of justice called the Citizens United decision. Shame on Roberts’ Supreme Court!!

  • Edie

    Bill what a great essay: The Cowardly Lions of Free Speech you gave tonight. Bravo. I hope it gets wide distribution online so more people can appreciate what you have said.

  • Douglas Lee

    I guess ‘speech’ in the Supremes’ New America is only free if you have enough money to buy it.

  • 1itt1e

     H. G. Wells was prescient wasn’t he?
    What brilliance to see that far into the future!

  • J_mclane

    Unfortunately, the GOP is about truth and integrity only on rare occasions.  The GOP has never been about what is best for America and Americans; only about how to use etch-a-sketch stump speeches to win elections and gain more personal power, i.e. Karl Rove.  

  • Mere

    Thank God for Mr. Moyers.  It is sad, though, that so few truly understand the control and power of corporations over our political system.  But information–true information and analysis as Moyers & Company provides–is indeed power in the long run.

  • Strawman411

     “… priciple …”  Interesting typo, unless it is a purposeful neologism demonstrating the plutocrats’ disregard for what we once knew as “principles.”

    Mr. Moyers and, I suspect, most commenters here don’t see this as a Democrat/Republican issue.  He is decrying the fact that an oligarchy is using its power (money) to overwhelm small “d” democracy.

  • Ron

    Now that the Supreme Court has been jammed  with right wing politicians in black robes the result are  decisions like C U. Does it make one wonder what side of the door it says insane asylum?

  • Don

    What is the next step for the corporate politicians. Once they have gained all the power and secure in it they will come after every civil liberty of the common American. I feel their goal is to have a corporate America where it’s citizens are nothing but slave workers. It’s close to that now.

  • JMD

    Money speaks?
    Can money love?  Can corporations?
    Can they sing? Can they dance?
    Can they be sued for libel?

    We know they can organize.
    Can they be arrested for conspiracy?
    Can they go to jail for racketeering? 

    We know industries can kill.
    We know the tobacco industry killed scores.
    They still do everyday.  
    And they have known for decades that they kill.
    Can industries be put in death row for mass murder?

    One thing I think/hope/pray we learned from the Cold War is that just because you have developed a bomb, it is not a good idea to use it.  Can citizens, in good conscious, vote for a politician that “carpet-bombs” and as an excuse replies they had to because they had the means?

  • Ken Herrick

    To those who read this and who might be in a position to forward the message:  There are existing House and Senate
    resolutions today for eliminating the “corporations as persons” notion that are too wordy by half–and possibly deliberately so!  I believe a proposed
    Constitutional Amendment to that effect ought to be as simple as possible.  So
    that “everyman” can read it within 10 seconds and can form the
    opinion that yes, that’s a very good thing.  In that way many more
    citizens will be enabled to form such an opinion and of those,
    more will act to put pressure on their congresspersons.  I suggest
    something like the following, in its entirety:

    “Article __

    In this Constitution of the United States of America, the words ‘person’ and ‘persons’, wherever either should appear, shall refer
    only and exclusively to natural human beings.”

    Let all else be as enacted or amended by Congress or adjudged moot
    by the Judiciary.  Any references to corporations per se in this
    Amendment will only serve as red flags to the bull.

  • JonThomas

     Corporations are “enterprises” not persons, or people, or any other reflection of citizen.

    I suppose it was common to say that a business acted as a
    “good citizen,” but this thinking has followed it’s natural course, and now we find ourselves under the yoke of irrational judicial codification.

    The word “Enterprise” is the best one I found to define and label the existence label which a corporation embodies.

    It does not have a life of it’s own. It is put forth, established, and maintained by the efforts of “natural human beings”(to borrow the term from Ken Herrick’s comment.)

    Such an entity can be properly called an “enterprise,” but in no natural, practical, or rational stretch of the imagination is a corporation a “person.”

  • JonThomas

     Not bad.

  • Guest

    Education is no longer valued by many. TODAY, there are 5 Democrats to 1 Republican with advanced degrees. That’s 5 to 1 and, then, count how many have a basic Bachelor’s in Congress and the stats go down again.

    We are getting the results that less education brings!
    Look at the World Stage: the stats point the way. 

  • James III

    Hi Bill! Thanks again for telling the simple truth.  Are people still blindsided by media?  It gives us, and I am part of the 50 million, an insatiable desire to walk away simply because the money speaks louder.  It seems to me the whole plan is the public construction of a king’s ship.  I can only imagine the scant million-airs with their cash divining rods aiming at the places where they can no longer pick a smarter guys pocket.  Who’s left but he average American.   Simple salacious scandals (it’s a free lunch), hyped-up public trials (it’s a free lunch) where very little needs to be said afterward, and anywhere where Karl Rove is seeking (it’s a free lunch) donations for a convincing brain trust.  That was simple!  A brain trust where Candidate Frankenstein speaks with eloquence, charisma and is defensively sheltered arm-in-arm with bodies filled with cash and uptight wallets, just to give the appearance of unity.   It all seems to be done right in front of the American public for the benefit of comparing golf scores in the clubhouse.  Whine whine whine.   It gives meaning to the power of your vote.   

  • Claud

    College degrees don’t guarantee and education and the lack of a degree doesn’t guarantee ignorance. Knowledge is out there for anyone to absorb,much of it is free. 
    People are however,irresponsible about seeking truth and accuracy to base their opinions on yet they are very passionate about opinions that are often based on lies. Reasoning is rare and it’s a crisis of both the formally educated and the not formally educated .

  • Tonya Brooks

    My husband and I have been feeling despondent knowing that our fellow citizens tolerate or even support the destructiveness, divisiveness,  nastiness and dishonesty rained down on us by the right wing. I would like a nickel for every time we have asked each other, “What happened to our country. ”
    How is it that corporations have more power over the vote than people? When did it become a point of pride to obstruct important legislation needed for the economic health of our country and brag about it? John Boehner’s smirking face haunts my dreams.

    Mr. Moyers, keep talking. Maybe you can find the lost soul of our country.

  • sharee anne gorman

    In answer to Bill’s question, “Hello, poor people are you out there?”

    (I am not referring to Bill  Moyers, Amy Goodman or Juan Gonzalaz, etc. I love Bill. I am referring to those who will not ask the seminal questions as to why the foundation of our democracy is crumbling:)

    the People

    are teaming.We
    masses.We  inconvenient,yet,
    necessary evil. 

    daily bywell-intentioned
    talking heads,their
    rarely seen hands tiedby parent

    fodder for untold riches. 

    occasionally awakenedby
    the rising grumblingsof
    our lowly, restless brethren. 

    riled intodemocratically-synthesizedballot-punching. 

    ritually pointlessby
    emboldened corporate bag menand
    government “think tanks”spending
    tax-payer moneyto devise
    covert waysof keeping
    us from thinking. 

    the People, Who marvel
    Ponzi Scheme culture. 

    the magic trick ofturning
    public funding into private profit. 

    …ooohh …aaahhh… 

    mindless gristfor
    modern financial mills.

    to our muffled ears in debt,paupers
    at the polls and pump.

    We  inconvenient,
    necessary evil. 

    daily by
    talking heads,
    rarely seen hands tied
    by parent

    fodder for untold riches. 

    occasionally awakened
    the rising grumblings
    our lowly, restless brethren. 

    riled into

    ritually pointless
    emboldened corporate bag men
    government “think tanks”
    tax-payer money
    to devise
    covert ways
    of keeping
    us from thinking. 

    the People,
    Who marvel
    Ponzi Scheme culture. 

    the magic trick of
    public funding into private profit. 

    …ooohh …aaahhh… 

    mindless grist
    modern financial mills.

    to our muffled ears in debt,
    at the polls and pump.


  • Denny Nurski

    I always thought that it was a privilege for parties to form corporations and do commerce in our country, as allowed by our constitution and our U.S. laws and further if the corporation operated or behaved contrary to those laws that they would lose that privilege.  What happened?  Now the privileged corporations are dictating what the government can do.

  • Denny Nurski

    Why can’t the Supreme Court reverse the ruling that “corporations are persons”.  The issue started as a clerical error and should be acknowledged as such and then reversed.  Also, why can’ t the errant judges be impeached?

  • Cl

    For many years they’ve been taking little amounts of power. They kept us happy,we were al well fed,we had our toys,(remember the 80?whoever dies with the most toys wins) they kept us occupied with “consumerism”. It became our patriotic duty to spend. Sometimes I’d look at movies and tv shows and think “someone” was trying to divide us, using ethnic stereotypes to increase divides among whites and minorities and then again among different minorities.  There’s been an anti education push for years also,making it more dificult to afford college but even before college,the elementary education in this country has been sub par for decades.We don’t matter to businesses any more, they don’t need to respond to us because they can find both the work force and the consumers elsewhere. They’ve kept us content,distracted,fat and dumb(that’s how we’re seen outside the states by the way)”We the people” have slowly given up our power and NOW they no longer need to pull the wool over our eyes because it’s too late.

  • domprime

    Bill your right.  We have a plutocracy.  A country overrun by the one percent.  And we have political action that is to weak to do anything about it.  We also have a media that is  duty bound to make profits for its survival.  And you are a part of it.  We think that you are on the side of the 99 percent,  like we think Ms NBC is or Current TV.  And you all talk a great game. How does anyone know for sure. 

  • Ken

    Mister Moyers Be Bad!

  • Johnsmith

    Having a Three Branch System of Government to keep checks and balances and corruption out of government kind of falls to the wayside when corruption is rampant in all three branches…

  • Anonymous

    Of course, it is time to revolt against how politicians are enslaved by the $speech of the rich and powerful through their superpacs. It is disappointing that smart thinkers like Bill Moyers keep ignoring the way to do this revolution peacefully. Please try to understand that the powerful get most of their favors and power through our income tax system (over 72,000 pages of favoritism and loopholes). When will we rise up en masse to work for  the Fair Tax system that would bring power back to the individual while getting the big spenders to shoulder the bulk of the burden?

     FACTS:Prebate makes FairTax PROGRESSIVE & FAIR Under FairTax, everyone takes home their entire paycheck; NO LOOPHOLES, no exclusions except for education and USED purchases. All (visitors, pimps, and all the huge underground cash economy) are taxed on what they SPEND on new purchases, not on what they EARN. No one has to report their income to anyone! To make the FairTax truly fair, every LEGAL household receives a family consumption allowance, the “Prebate,” to offset taxes on life’s necessities. One-twelfth of the annual prebate is paid monthly to every legal household; the amount of your monthly prebate depends only on your FAMILY SIZE, NOT on your income level. Example: a family of two parents and two children would get about $600 monthly. Thus that family, if it spent only $30,000/yr. on NEW stuff would pay no taxes, none. The million dollar spenders are taxed at about 22 or 23% level. Get realistic; and help pass the FairTax (H.R. 25 and S. 13) into law.

    ONE presidential candidate shows the wise common sense to understand and endorse the FairTax, Gary Johnson. This time could be different!

  • Glenda

    The bottom line Republicans want to say to all Americans is “Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.”  Thanks Bill for this great essay!!!

  • josh

    Great essay Bill!  Note how Americans get so up in arms about the idea of  “taxation without representation” – but what about “representation without taxation”…that is corporate special interest being disproportionately represented in our political system WITHOUT paying their fair share of taxes.   We are in a crisis of “reasoning”.

  • hamilton

    Yuck. Particularly after seeing the Matt Taibbi/Yves Smith interview.

    Karl perhaps, and some of his ilk be here next week in Hamilton, MT at Mitten’s Charles Schwab sponsored fund raising event at – wait for it – copper baron Marcus Daly’s mansion. Prices to attend range from $2,500 – $50,000 depending on whether you choose just the reception, reception plus pic with Mittens, or full dinner.

    Notably, as of a day or so ago, the local Republican party faithful/elected officials are not invited. One of the faithful I spoke with would have at least appreciated a 5 min. stump speech appearance for the more $ deprived, and there are a lot of those around here.

    As more PAC money flows, those of either party that can’t buy their way in, will be showing more signs of disillusionment, like the one of the faithful I spoke to.

  • Kelly

    Thank you for speaking the truth – don’t stop!

  • Political Packrat

    There is something disgusting about all this money being spent on propaganda and campaigning when there are children going to bed hungry in America– what will become of us?  This way lies revolution.

  • apc

    You nailed on the head.

  • APC

    You  didn’t pay very good attention to the article. If you don’t know for sure then part of the problem.IDIOT

  • apc

    So true and the worst part is people under 35 don’t know or don’t care. Can’t miss what you never had..

  • Hal

    What you say about the Koch Bros., etc. can be applied to the other side also.  How muchmoney has come from Uniosn?  How much from Geore Soros etc. etc.  Too bad you can’t come up with another little girl walking through a daisy field.  I also don’t blame unions for the the situaiont in the public working place.  I also blame the managers who did not have the intestinal fortitude to stand up for the public interests.  mostl I blame people who take tax money to  espouse a singular point of view.

  • Pearline

    I have an idea about Citizens United.  If I have to listen or watch lying commercials about our politicians I am going to contact the television or radio station and tell them I will not listen or watch their stations any longer!!   Now we only need to get everyone to do it.

    Also, the rules about advertising need to change.  They no longer can be paid for.  Stations should offer a free forum where politicians are asked intelligent questions and answers.

    The money spent on the elections are disgraceful and wasteful!  It is time for the people to stand up and change what is happening to our democracy.

  • devrie

    Not only do poor people not have a voice, but the war on drugs has rendered many of  them unable to vote.

  • JimD

    If only there were more voices of sanity and reason like your own to counter the 1% con artists which are stealing this country

  • Shepherd2121

    Thank you Mr and Mrs Moyers.  I am afraid it is too late.  Without publicly financed elections, voting doesn’t do any good.  The roaches in Congress continue to sell their souls for money and sell the rest of us out.  It is so disgusting how ugly America has become because of so few.

  • Shahnazbaz

    Thank you so much Bill for this great essay. If only all the other networks will run it.

  • Anonymous

    I’ve already stopped watching FOX network shows so that I was not inadvertently contributing to their cable news revenue stream. And, I stopped watching my beloved Blue Bloods, The Good Wife and The Big Bang Theory because I don’t share CBS’s political views.  I’m poised and ready to boycott network programming that push political ads that do not serve the Public interest in this political cycle. The Supreme Court can protect corporation’s freedom of speech; but, it doesn’t mean I have to protect their right to be heard.

    If we want to get money out of politics we have to get between the monied interests pushing propaganda and the corporate sponsored media that is making money from it. This kind of media behavior does not serve the public. It only serves special interest.

    I like your idea of free public forums.

  • JohnG

    Most folks listening to your commentary regarding the Citizens United case would think the case stands for the proposition that only conservatives are permitted to use so-called super PACS.  Liberals are free to use them, too.  Your liberal bias was beyond the pale.

  • Anonymous

    The Supreme Court ruling always baffled me. A corporation is simply a legal construct; certainly not a person. Individuals who united together to form corporations already had free speech as individual citizens–why give them extra speech. Even megaphones were banned in Zucatti Park because they amplified the voices and presented an intrusion of the rights of the Public. The Supreme Court ruling just gives mega corporations megphones that drown out the sound of everything else. It not only serves to effectively silence individual citizens but small business owners as well.

  • Wloell

    Will not matter for long as the 1F+ rise in average global temperature will increase by 9-10F within this century and take us along too based on the current path we are on.

  • Jnormile

    let us all come together and change this in November

  • BG

    I fear for this country.  Too many people have no idea how dangerously close we are to losing our sovereignty as a country.  Specifically, I refer to the Trans-Pacific Partnership which has been going on in secret for four years.  Please do a show on this “so-called” trade agreement which is really a corporate coup d’état

    .  It is too important to be ignored. 

  • Michael Hill

     There was, at one time, a free forum. It was called The Fairness Doctrine which obligated radio and television stations to offer free time to those with opposing views.  It was abolished by Reagan to keep people from telling the truth about him and his policies.

  • Michael Hill

     Because five of the Supreme Court justices are corrupt and owned by the “corporate people” that they gave power to.

  • Robert F.

    When I listen to Bill Moyer’s essay, I just wonder why doesn’t everybody see the pure logic of his words.
    Are you, our only prophet, Bill?Are the American people just going to sit idly by, while the last semblance of democracy is taken from them?Capitalism, without the restraining and protective power of a Government elcted by the people, is nothing but another totalitarian, Orwellian system.  Are we all going to become serfs again, and bow down to the lords in the Corporate castles?Thank you Bill. 

  • Ken

    We Like to Watch Baseball.

  • Ksbunten

    we have been ever since we bought into the illusion that oil is in our national interest, and is equated with success and power.

  • Yaz

    Again, thanks Bill and your producers.  Love the “cowardly lion” label … As a viewer from your friendly northern neighbour, our current governing regime in importing the worse of your and Australian tactics … with the help of Koch Bro. money.  We need to not only stop allowing their influencing all of us, but make sure we raise questions where ever we do … we are running out of time for our respective democracies as well as the planet’s capacity to support us and other species. 

  • Anonymous

    I want the money out of politics as well.  Sometimes I think that we would do well to tar and feather a few Bankers/Lawyers/Wall St. Doyens. 

  • David Selwyn

    With your approach, we will all, no longer be watching any commercial, corporate TV, nor listening to any radio at all. Good. Then maybe people will search for real (hint: not corporate sponsored, or right wing) independent journalism, corroborate that journalism, think carefully and critically about the issues, and begin to beat back the corporate coup against OUR government and OUR democratic republic.

  • Muckraker

    None of Citizen United’s supporters can answer this question:  If it’s fairly obvious that money does buy influence (Joe the  hardware store owner who contributes $2,000 to a candidate  has far less influence than the Lowe’s CEO who gives $1 million to a candidate), how do you prevent Joe’s voice from being overwhelmed by that of the CEO?

  • edj

    It used to be One man (or woman) = one vote.  Now it is $1 = 1 vote.  The less money you have the less of a citizen you are.

  • Areata

    The only quibble I have here is that conservatives are not the only politicians who wish to keep their “secret sugar daddies.” Money and power corrupt the liberal and conservative in equal measure. 

  • Dee W.

    Some of us see Bill’s point crystal clear, just hope it’s at least 51% of us come November.

  • Anonymous

    There is only one real conclusion and one real comment.  Citiazens United and its affirmation by the court means that we are not far from a night of broken glass. The Germans called it Kristallnacht, also referred to as the Night of Broken Glass,
    orReichskristallnacht,  Pogromnacht,
    and  Novemberpogrome, which occurred in Germany from
    November 9-10 1938–only this time in American it will be corporate/militia attack on immigrants, Liberals, Liberal media types (like Chris Matthews), Nuns who
    support social change, the New York Times, any Democrat in the House or Senate,
    and most importantly, a coup against the Presidency of the United Sates.  We forget that in 1932-33, the Dupont Corporation tried to hire General Smedley Butler to lead a veterans attack on the White.  Luckily for us, Butler reported it to the House Committee on Un-American Activities. The people directing this new and All- American Night of Broken Glass will be the
    living 10,000 Nazi Officers that Allen Dulles brought into the United States in the kate 40s,
    their children and their fellow followers. All ready millions of Blacks and Hispanics are swelling our prisons, removed completely from ANY free speech.  It is too late, Mr. Moyers.  The die has been cast and funded by the Koch brothers.   Don’t forget that 60 Trillion dollars were removed from our economy
    by Credit Default Swap Bonds.(See Time Magazine for March 2008 in article
    by Janet Morrissey).  I repeat, for those who doubt this, it is too late.  For
    those who have the money now, own the airwaves of any and all local elections.  Too few votres are on the net, and more are in their churches praying for this Night of Broken Glass to happen now, or sooner.  We sit back and pretend that civil discourse will change this situation.  It won’t.  There us nothing in America now or on the horizon to stop Citizens United from ending the citizens united as the United States of America

  • Rose Marie Fructuoso

    Mr. Moyers, you are a treasure!

  • Rosemund

     I agree with you.  Very few people are aware of the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

  • Denise Swartz

    They still only get one vote each.

  • JonThomas

     Hmmm…seems the moderator, or someone, removed a word from this comment. It would be good if there was the usual message signifying who removed the word.

    Because of his many years of presenting opinions out of favor with the regular media, many of us have come to trust Mr. Moyers.

    This website has his name, and so far it has presented itself as a trustworthy site.

    However, once words start being removed, which are not abusive in their nature, and as far as I can tell, not strictly against the comment policy, but rather simply politically sensitive, then that trust gets weakened.

    Please, if it was the site moderator who removed that word, then please say so, otherwise we will unfortunately have no choice but to, at the very least, have suspicions about the sanctity of our speech.

    I have not included the word in my comment out of respect for Mr. Moyers, the site moderators, and the long term trust built up between Mr. Moyers and those who have enjoyed his presentations over the years.

    However, this is an extremely serious subject. If we can’t speak of politically sensitive issues, within the boundaries of legal actions, then this forum becomes restrictive.

    Sorry, I realize that you may be protecting yourselves from actions from big brother type organizations, but at least, as I asked above, let us know you edited so we know we aren’t being censored.

    Thank you very much.

  • moderator

    Hi JonThomas,

    As far as I know that comment hasn’t been edited.

    sean @ moyers

  • JonThomas

     Sean, ty for your quick response.

    I have my preferences set to receive the comments by email.

    The text of that comment contained a sensitive word.

    It came right after the words… “most importantly…” and before the words… “the President…” about 1/3 way through the comment.

    I do know that some sites use automatic screening programs to remove or hide sensitive, usually abusive words such as curse words.

    Perhaps the author can tell us if he/she self-edited.

     I do not know if you have the original version, such as I still have in my inbox, but if you want, I can type a “sound alike” of the word here to bypass an auto censor.

    The commenter did not use the word in a bad way, nor did he advocate anything with insidious intentions.

    Again, ty.

  • JonThomas

     Oh, sorry, it was also not a curse word. It is just a politically sensitive word.

  • Karl Hoff

    Hi Pearline, You are definately not along in your contempt for all the liar liars pants on fire people that produce the ads that no one seem to be able to stop. The problem lies in getting to the people that are behind making them. The television and radio stations have nothing to gain by killing their cash cow. I have found that going to the source is far more effective. If a company or politician hears from only 10,000 they will listen. After hearing that the governer of Florida stated that he would not do anything to stop the flow of drugs from his state when a Kentucky Police Chief complained. I e-mailed him and basicly ask if he was a drug dealer. I got back a nice reply and he explained that I wasn’t alone in my complaint. Shortly after that he came on the air and said he would make changes. You are so right about the disgrace in ads. When you see a nearly 400 hp. motors in full size cars claiming to get up to 25 mpg……….I’m sorry, how stupid of me,'”UP TO” is just a loop hole.

  • Walsh Mj

    Free speech is a constitutional right as the Supreme Court said. HOWEVER, bribery is not! Corporations who give millions to politicians who deregulate so corporation can make billions at our expense. Free speech or bribery?

  • Dennis Myhand

    I withdraw my comment.

  • Chris E.

    They’re not giving the money to the candidates directly, there are laws that govern that. What they’re doing is buying up all the ad time and pushing their message directly.

  • Chris E.

    We need an informed electorate in order for this democracy thing to work. The vast majority don’t seem to read and investigate and believe everything they hear and use that to make their decisions. Citizens United didn’t limit what can be disclosed from the Super PACs, the congress just doesn’t want to do squat about it because its helping them until it turns on them.

  • Anonymous

    Bravo!!!  Probably the most important thing on Facebook or the “News” today—or this month or maybe this decade.

  • Anonymous

    By the way, that “argument” that third parties are doing the buying so it is okay?  It is like saying “people don’t kill people, guns do”.

  • Davidpmcroberts

    Is anyone else having trouble hearing these essays?
    The volume is so low I can barely hear them,

  • Anonymous

    No, there was no
    moderation in my post.  I did leave out
    the word “House” after White.  I used
    “All ready”, which I think should have been “Already”.  Either way, the sentence is awkward.  Lastly, I left out “that we” in the sentence
    suggesting that internet liberalism is just that, for the internet, and has no
    effect in the real world.  Here’s a
    bibliography of how we got here.  The
    first book tells about the 125 million died from the El Nino, colonialism, and
    greed.  Allen Dulles and Adolf Hitler
    were teenagers during these Victorian holocausts.  They read about these massive deaths.  The Japanese Army killed over 32 million
    people, and by 1930, it was obvious to both of them that mass murder would not
    be stopped by the world community.  So,
    here’s some books to read.  I have not
    read them all yet, but I am working on it. 


    My Blog:

    Late Victorian Holocausts: El
    Nino Famines and the Making of the Third World by
    Mike Davis (17 May 2002)

    The Secret War Against the Jews:
    How Western Espionage Betrayed the Jewish People by John Loftus
    and Mark Aarons (30 Jul 1997

    Unholy Trinity: How the
    Vatican’s Nazi Networks Betrayed Western Intelligence to the Soviets by Mark Aarons
    and John Loftus (Jul 1993)

    Sanctuary! – Nazi Fugitives in Australia by Mark
    Aarons (1989)

    The CIA and Congress: The Untold
    Story from Truman to Kennedy by David M. Barrett (31 Oct

    Hitler’s Willing Executioners:
    Ordinary Germans and the Holocaust by Daniel Jonah Goldhagen (3
    Mar 1997)

    The German Historians:
    “Hitler’s Willing Executioners” and Daniel Goldhagen Fred Kautz  

    Moral Reckoning: the Role of the Catholic Church in the Holocaust and its
    Unfulfilled Duty of Repair (2002) Daniel Jonah

    Worse Than War (2009) Daniel Jonah Goldhagen:


    Ordinary Men: Reserve Police
    Battalion 11 and the Final Solution in Poland: Reserve Police Battalion 101 and
    the Final Solution in Poland by Christopher R Browning (28 Jun 2001)

    A True Story of Courage James Bradley

    The Rape of Nanking: The Forgotten
    Holocaust of World War II  Iris Chang

    The Rape of Nanking
     by Shi Young, James Yin.  Edited by Ron Dorfman, Foreword by Desmond

  • 19obert63

    You are great Bill, and so right about the cowardly lions of free speech.  This Supreme Court’s legacy will be, “Nobody gets to see the wizard; not nobody, not no how!”

  • JonThomas


    since the mod said he didn’t edit, I’ll go ahead and post the sentence as it reads in the disqus email….

    ” any Democrat in the House or Senate,
    and most importantly, a coup against the Presidency of the United Sates.”

    The word is coup.

    I wonder if it will be removed from this comment automatically by some program that disqus uses.

    I noticed it because I was going to comment along the lines of…

    There was at least one coup already…Bush v. Gore.

  • JonThomas

     I suppose my ip will be getting a check after that post. =-))

  • Michael Simpson

    I think you probably got this part right: 

    “…we are not far from a night of broken glass. The Germans called it Kristallnacht, also referred to as the Night of Broken Glass, or Reichskristallnacht,  Pogromnacht, and also Novemberpogrome, which occurred in Germany from November 9-10 1938….”

    Here’s where I believe you didn’t get it quite right:

    “–only this time in American it will be a corporate/militia attack on immigrants, Liberals, Liberal media types (like Chris Matthews), Nuns who support social change, the New York Times, any Democrat in the House or Senate,
    and most importantly, against the President in office and the Office of the Presidency itself.”

    In the first place, I think a lot of Democrats in Congress and the Democrat-in-Name-Only in the White House are in cahoots with the bad guys, one way or another.

    In the second place, there’s the US military. And when a perfect firestorm of all hell breaks loose, it’s hard to tell what the US military will do. These guys aren’t robots.

    In the third place, there are about 300 million handguns in this country, so I’ve read, and even if the liberals you mentioned, and their like, are gunned down without fighting back, there are millions and millions of Americans in “flyover country” who are armed and mad as hell and don’t want to take it anymore. 

    It is impossible to predict what will happen when the shooting starts, when the second American revolution begins. (Who would have thought that Robespierre himself would be guillotined, along with a lot of his confreres, as the perpetrators of the Reign of Terror in the French Revolution began to devour their own–themselves.

    Revolutions get out of hand and are far worse than those who start them can ever begin to contemplate. Lenin, I believe, preferred Trotsky as his successor, not Joseph  Vissarionovich Djugashvili, aka Joseph Stalin, who wound up succeeding Lenin when he died a premature death and killed many, many millions more people than Hitler ever thought of killing, and Hitler was no slouch when it came to killing people.

    It may be that millions of innocent, poor people will perish, but there is a very deep strain of vigilantism in this country. Not so much in the so-called “effete East,” and that really means the “effete Northeast.” Of course I’m guessing, and I naturally tend toward the apocalyptic, but my personal history, which informs my views, for better and for worse, is worth something: first 25 years in North Carolina, next 21 years in the Northeast, then 28 years in Dallas, Texas, the past four years in upstate New York. 
    The upper echelons up here in the Northeast are too passive and non-violent: it goes with their territory. But a lot of “good” people–people on “our” side, people who are anything but  “malefactors of great wealth”–will fight back with deadly force, and, as I said at the beginning, it’s hard to tell whose side the US military will be on. Where do you think most of our military comes from, anyway? 
    It will be violent, bloody, lethal, and millions of people will perish, probably most of then innocent, but a whole of them guilty. Revolutions get out of hand and cannot be planned out, no matter how many scenarios you run on computers. What will happen in the U.S. is not predictable, but it will be bloody hell.  

  • Jason Kelly

    You always say what I want to say with more eloquence. Sadly a lot of poor people also can’t afford to pay attention.

  • Marianastachnik

    We need to hear more from you Bill. Citizens United and others alike is just another way of destroying democracy under the pretence of free speech. Unstopped it will destroy America. Tnak you for spreading words of wisdom.

  • Warren Weis

    I was thumbing through some old Life magazines from the 1940s and 1950s we keep up at our summer cabin and having a good laugh at all the phony “doctors” dressed up in white medical coats recommending this or that brand of cigarette to sooth the throat.  Suddenly I realized that I was a witness to the suppression of “Free Speech”.  

    Cigarette ads were outlawed many years ago, but cigarette companies are people, my friend, and people should be allowed to shout out their message in the marketplace of ideas!

    Justice Scalia, Thomas, Alito and Roberts, where are you?  The cigarette corporation “people” are crying to you to be allowed to run their ads again in the name of Free Speech.  Millions of young customers await! 

  • Neff McIntosh

    Bill, with your bully pulpit you could (and should) ask for the resignations of all 535 federal legislators to be followed by a ConCon. You got the power dude. Do it. 

  • John Linscott Sr

    “Rich paymasters?”   I’m tired of people like Moyers talking about the terible rich.   Bill what is your salary a year.  It;s guy’s like you Diane Sawyer  and all the other left wing puppets doing the bidding of George Soros.  You have yours and you could care less about the average person in this country.

  • Anonymous

    John L…you can be “tired of people like Moyers…” but what he is saying is absolutely true.  Until it changes everyone one who has a soap box should be talking about it. Sticking your head in the sand and ignoring a problem doesn’t solve it. Again, people like you don’t actually “hear” what is being said…it isn’t about the terrible rich…it’s about buying our government. No matter how you cut it…corporations are not people.

  • Red Rose

    Thank you Bill, please keep being the voice of truth!!
    Nothing cowardly about you…your a respected Journalist and a true American…
    Thank You,
    Red Rose

  • mary ann steooke

    its enough to make you cry

  • Jicicero

    Judy Cicero

  • Red Rose

    I Never watch Reality T.V., I have started going to PBS World News instead of watching the talking heads on CBS, NBC and ABC.  It’s all hype, 2 minutes of “News” the rest is nonsense, Human Interest Stories, Entertainment, Sports,
    Weather and  loads of  commericals!!  I am sure there are others like me, but too many just sit back and B.S. and threaten they will stop watching!  Too bad there are so many sheep!!

  • Marcwkohler

    Hi Sean:  I received this post from Disqus but cannot find it anywhere when I click on Link to commen.  I replied to the post this way: This post is not on Bill Was it moderated. If so, believe that some
    form of it should be on the thread. If I copy it and paste it, will it be
    moderated again. This post proves my point, and should be read by Mr. Moyers
    and all of his staff, and every commentator at MS NBC. This poster is serious,
    and he has it right. I was a Conscientious Objector to war and served two years
    alternative service for two years. I am still a pacifist. I think this poster
    thought I was ADVOCATING the coming crisis, rather than trying to get people
    together to stop it.Please repsond. thanks
    marc kohler
    I am noy going to post the post here, afterall. It was from Michael Simpson

  • JonThomas

     Did you see where the word I mentioned was removed from your original comment?

    I’m not sure which poster you meant but, as I said, it seemed clear to me that your post was not advocating anything which deserved editing.

    Also, I too have that disqus email of Michael Simpson’s comment.

    I think it only respectful to take Sean’s word, but find it worrisome that words and comments go missing.

    Perhaps disqus, or even some arch agency is involved.

    As this essay of Mr. Moyers elucidates, there is enough worrisome damage already being done to free speech. This type of curious mystery makes one’s paranoia much too demonstrable.

  • moderator

    Once again, not sure what happened originally but often comments are removed or edited per our policy. We welcome comments and questions about our policy. Please email for these issues.

    Thanks and I will look into this for you

    sean @ moyers

  • feministlatinawithstandingKS

    Not to be cynical, bc I voted for Obama, but he too gets campaign contributions from big companies which is why he assures Wallstreet that he won’t demonize them…..I respect Obama but he absolutely does NOT represent the average person. Democrats come off as weak because they still claim to represent the working middle class and poor but their true constituency are about identical to the republicans……big corporations. Republicans are free to be unabashed about who their constituents are. Democrats are the real hypocrites. Perhaps Romney should win so that people will get so screwed that the primal sense of self preservation awakens and everyone fights back. Elections is not the platform to restore democracy….it must be grassroots, it must be through mass civil disobedience. History has proven that justice can never be politely requested… it must be demanded.
    I’m changing my registration to independent because, seriously, what have the democrats done for me and the masses lately except slap us down with a little less violence than the republicans. I’ll keep my vote, thank you very much, and take to the streets.

  • Anonymous

     I’ve noticed that unfortunate trend and just cringe over the effects of this monied interest buying their influence country to country…not good for any of us on this planet.

  • Anonymous

     While it may seem to be true then why do the Governors from the red states continue to suppress voting …when I see them doing this I assume our votes do count more than we realize.

  • Anonymous

     They refused to support him financially this time because he hurt their feelings by calling them ‘fat cats on Wall Street’!
    Accepting the donations is one thing, expecting favors for them is another and giving them favor in exchange is just plain wrong! It appears WS felt slighted by POTUS….poor babies!
    The laws, or the lack there of, that were in place governing WS when the financial debacle happened were weak & those hired to police WS had their budgets completely slashed to the bone and the manpower along with it conveniently by those in Congress who in turn were supported by the very same entities. A vicious cycle of massive advantage to the very few and the tab being paid by the people. The people, many of whom, are tragically unaware of the shenanigans taking place right under their noses. 
    Rep. D Mass. Barney Frank was explaining it on the Bill Press Show yesterday. He said he was surprised by many liberals who, disappointed by the lack of those charged with crimes after the ‘crash’, know you can’t retroactively charge the culprits. It told me there wasn’t much of anything with teeth to hold them accountable for their crimes. The Dodd/Frank bill has been fought tooth ‘n nail by WS. It’s just ugly business.

  • Terry Gips

     Thanks so much Bill,
    As always I’m so grateful for you speaking truth to power. And I’m especially grateful that you returned to television.

    never miss your show, though I have to tape it because
    it’s on Fridays at 8:30 pm on TPT-Ch13. You’re one of the clearest,
    most thoughtful and right on commentators anywhere. You always hit it out
    of the park but your opening essay last Friday about Citizens
    United and “free speech” was a grand slam. I particularly loved this part: “those who have no money have no speech. And just
    who do you think is doing this “speaking”? Hello, poor people, are you
    there? It’s your election, too. All 50 million of you; Hello, we can’t
    hear you. Better get a Super Pac and speak up! Poor people haven’t lost
    their voice. They can’t afford a voice. And every day working people:
    universal laryngitis, the chronic absence of money. As for children –
    children who have a big stake in our elections but no vote – for them to
    be heard they would need piggy banks the size of Wal-Mart heirs. Or the
    Koch brothers for uncles.” Money can’t buy you love but it
    can buy elections unless we get rid of Citizens United. Fortunately, my
    US Rep. Keith Ellison, is leading an effort to do just that.

    With Gratitude,

  • Ymeinla1

    Thanks Bill for exposing this blatant example of conservative judicial activism – money isn’t speech and corporations aren’t people!

  • Anonymous

    I guess the obvious is not obvious.  Mr. Moyers is right, voting in the United States means nothing.  In January 2013, the Republican Party will have a larger majoriy in the House, and they will win the majrity in the Senate–most likely by as many as 4 Senator advantage.  There is no way we can stop it.  What we have to do is learn to live in a country that has, due to the exercise of unlimited wealth in our political process and the using  of the Born Again Christian/Tea Party movement to provide the “spiritual” basis for Fascism.   It is a combination that has worked in Spain, italy, and Germany from 1920 to 1946.  It has been repeated over and over again every dictatorship that the USA has supported with billions of your tax dollars.  There was a book called It Can’t Happen Here by
    Sinclair Lewis.  It was considered satire, but it was a very accurate prediction.  Read Thomas Freidman’s Hot, Flat, and Crowded if you want to see how Reagan destroyed all of Carter’s conservation plans which would have made us free of foreign oil. Free speech is NOT a real issue, there is none.

  • Mark

    Wow… just wow. Hot the nail on the head.  Thank you Bill.

  • alienapproaching

    i am so pleased that you have become selective about the television you watch.  it’s not easy to turn away from the set.  i don’t watch it at home, but if it’s in a room that i am in, my attention is always drawn to it.  you are so right about the those that only threaten, if only they knew the power they wield over the stations they don’t like, but continue to watch.  the power of the boycott is the 99%’s best weapon, but alas they don’t see that they hand over their hard earned money to the 1 %, i.e.  cable tv (which is now forced upon all who would watch tv), overpriced gimmicky cell phones (which we will be forced to use to control our electric money with soon enough), cars, internet (the new tv), etc…it’s hard to give up these things, but a boycott for a year would bring about A LOT of change.

  • RichardDreyfuss

    I spoke to the 50 Chief Justices of the State Supreme Courts and offered them an argument: If you received from your local TV news outlet a  letter informing you that from then on, Traffic Congestion News would be on a $4.oo surcharge, you’d hit the roof, because it’s news. So is politics. It is not a commodity like soap or autos that one can profit from by advertising, its the obligation agreed to under regulations that allow companies to run TV networks or channels. The networks or channels should not be profiting from ‘news delivery’ or ‘political ads’, and firing the League of Women Voters who designed  debates on TV, now designed by party participants. The last Presidential debate was held 62 years ago; since then, they’ve been replaced by a ritual dance,  famous for their lack of information and debate, and the media advisors are quiet about the fact they take a % of the TV AD buy, which is a conflict of interest whether your candidate wins or loses.  There should be TV news coverage of politics AS NEWS;  there should be an amendment to the Constitution that separates Television, politics and money. 100%. If you wish to campaign buy ads in newspapers, take radio time, but technology is not neutral, TV is too powerful, its profits too big, and there is no accountability possible except the judgement of history. We are in the process of throwing aside the bravest governance structure ever devised, for no reason, no threat, just a tsunami of money that renders us all thoughtless and unable to clarify the difference between common sense and common senselessness. 
    At the speech, one of the Chief Justices rose and said “if you had a smart lawyer, you could win that in this court.” 
    Bill, is there anyone of Enormous Financial Means who might use Citizens United to secretly fund a compaign for Intelligence in Education, firewall the classes that teach practical power power, make Learning how to run the country the 1st priority of public schools,  endorse clarity  in how to explore political issues, or to create a mass of Billboards and Ads that  name some names of the most villainous office-holders or business execs;  
    There must be some of the Gigantic Wealthy, the 1% of the 1%, who love their country as you do. 

  • UnlikelyHistorian

    “None Dare Call It Treason”
            ~ Congressman John Stormer (1963)

  • sturges99

    Thanks Bill. The pity is you don’t have the large audience that regressive right wing PAC money can buy.

  • Rob

    Rove. Cheney, Bush, Grassley, most of the Republican’s who have bought office ought to be in jail.   Romney is just more Bush corps.  The Authoritarians have been in charge since the murder of Kennedy.   Blame it on English jargon and only using half our brains.  Money isn’t real except by agreement.  Getting it out of politics is job one.

  • Anonymous

    This, too, is right on, Mr. Moyers; however, your position on the Colorado killings is wrong.

  • Frank Pray, Employment Lawyer

    The Citizens United case held that a prohibition of all independent expenditures by corporations and unions violated the First Amendment’s protection of free speech.  First, the decision is limited to the use of corporate and union money to advertise for a political candidate.  Direct donations to the candidate by Unions or corporations remain prohibited.  
    The essence of the decision is that the First Amendment protects the rights of citizens in an association, whether Union or Corporation, to combine resources to communicate a political message.  

    Now, it seems to me that money has always been an “unfair advantage” of the rich over the poor, but of all things money can buy, the marketplace of ideas and principles seems the least likely to be readily for sale.  Here in California we see this all the time:  rich candidates for governor spend exorbitant amounts of their own money, and still can’t buy an election. I rather resent the idea that because a person is poor, he cannot be adequately informed from one of the many sources of information available.  I also resent the idea that a poor person is somehow deprived the right to vote the one vote allowed to each citizen, without regard to wealth or status.   

    Further, buying time on T.V. ads or producing diatribe political films hardly packs the punch Mr. Moyers so seems to fear.  The internet is flush with blogs and social media that allow for a full and rich exchange of ideas and positions, virtually without cost.  The marketplace is much bigger than money can buy.  

    While I respect Mr. Moyer’s legitimate concerns about plutocracy, his criticisms seem focused on Republicans as those evil people buying up America.  PACs are associations of people with common viewpoints.  They can be formed to advocate the cause of the poor, or any other group supporting their cause, presumably with money from high-minded people like Bill Moyers.  Note too that the Citizens United case itself came from a background of battling political films, one of which was Michael Moore’s 9/11.  It seems big money really doesn’t really belong to a political party.  

    Finally, I find Mr. Moyer’s article borderline ranting, and his call for revolution over the top.  Chill a little.  Citizens United was a major free speech decision, but it’s not the end of democracy as we know it.  

  • Anonymous

    I think that your naive.  To think that there is equality in America in voting is perfectly  is a joke, rihgt?  You cannot be serious.  Citizens United will elect Republicans to the House and Senate in November to give them a majority in both houses.  This means an end to any concept that you may have had of America that you knew as a child.  It will be over.  The money that we are dealing goes far beyond elections.  The funds available to private militias and armies in America is also unlimited.  Here is an example.  There are 16,000 people employed at our embassy in Iraq.  11,000 of them are federal employees.  5,000 are private military contractors.  They are accountable to no laws, and can murder, maim, and torture with legal impunity.  Do you really think that these forces will ever be un-employed ever?  Citizens United is just the tip of of the iceberg.  It is the beginning of a time when Kystallnachjt will occur in America. If you do not know what Kystallnacht is, then scroll down to my first post.  The poverty level of the United States in now at 33%.  Do you see ANYTHING in the coming Republican majority that will stop that slide down hill?  Do you think it will matter who is President?  The Congress, with a Republican majority has become a certifiable laughing stock throughout the world.  They have stopped our future in is tracks, and are legistating us back to the 12th century.

  • Frank Pray, Employment Lawyer

    The fact is that the main power of the poor is their vote rather than their money.  They have this great equalizer at their command, and it is called democracy, yet, they do not use it in a coordinated or cohesive way, if they use it at all.  It may be that part of the problem is that liberals seek to “serve” the poor rather than empower them to serve themselves. 

     I think the focus should be on the poor organizing themselves to assure equal opportunity and equal access to a piece of the American pie.  Let’s start with education and safety on neighborhood streets.  Let’s add real efforts to help kids see how drugs will destroy their lives.  Let’s create economic pathways for the poor to work, create wealth, and obtain financial rewards based on merit. 

     Is that naive?  Well, when I think of the trillions of dollars used to bail out the big players in our so called “free-market” system, I am angered and appalled.  Our investments are so completely skewed.  When we invest in people having the freedom and opportunity to make a better life, the nation will prosper.  Obama hand-outs are not the answer, but the problem.  

    Your 30% poverty rate reference is apparently one based on “relative poverty” rather than the official numbers used by the Dept. of Labor, which indicate about 15%.  That is, 30% probably refers to folks struggling “to make ends meet.”  Many people are struggling because they are awash in old debt, and long term unemployed.  Yes, that number could be 30%, but I don’t know.   

    This would be true leadership:  stand up for the poor with ideas that bring education, safety and economic opportunity to poor neighborhoods.  Put people to work, and open doors of education and entrepreneurship.  Stop trying to give people the American dream, and help them to create it for themselves.  

    Here’s something for Democrats to think about:  The trillions of dollars of debt incurred in the last 5 years have taken “big government” out of the game.  Government just doesn’t have the money to throw at problems anymore.  It may be that social entrepreneurs with innovative ideas for improving education and creating enterprise opportunities in the inner city and rural areas may be the answer.  

  • marcwkohler

    The 33% came from MSNBC, and what they say is that 33% of Americans are living at or below the poverty level. The US Census just released figures saying that the poverty level is now at 15.7 % and reported that that is the highest that it has been since 1959 when records were started. The MSNBC 33% is “at or below the poverty level” . I will contact MSNBC to find out the difference. Maybe, someone in Mr. Moyers office could find out–if it really is 33% or 15.7%,

  • SalinasPhil

    Bill Moyers is my hero!

    Keep up the great work, Bill. Our country needs you. More now than ever before.

  • stargeezer

    The problem is that Corporations are legal People under the US Constitution. It was never meant to be that way. Check it out – google corporate personhood.

  • David Sherburne

    we need to hear more from the left… this has become unattainable.

  • peacethinker

    Thanks Bill, I’m a big fan, love listening to your essays