READ THE TRANSCRIPT

BILL MOYERS: Welcome. There’s no way to say it nicely. The stench of corruption hangs over American politics like smog over Shanghai. Every day brings new headlines. If it’s not in Chris Christie’s New Jersey, it’s in Ray Nagin’s New Orleans, where the former mayor has been convicted for taking bribes and kickbacks.

And in our nation’s capital, the revolving door whirls like a runaway carousel, delivering one member of Congress or top staffer after another into the waiting arms of corporate mercenaries offering top dollar for services rendered; never mind the conflicts of interest. And all the while gushers of money pour into political campaigns non-stop, producing a marionette government of legalized theft.

You would think all this sleaze would be enough to turn everyone off. And it has indeed provoked dangerously widespread cynicism and apathy. But not among the two men on this broadcast. You will meet Lawrence Lessig later in the show, but first we’re back with David Simon, the former crime reporter turned television producer. He created two acclaimed series for HBO: “Treme,” about the struggle to rebuild post-Katrina New Orleans, and “The Wire,” the story of crime and punishment in the streets of Baltimore.

CLARENCE ROYCE in The Wire: Campaign runs on dollars, you know it.

BILL MOYERS: Each showed how corrupted capitalism and politics leave poor people at the mercy of a rigged system.

MAURICE LEVY in The Wire: You are amoral, are you not? You are feeding off the violence and the despair of the drug trade. You’re stealing from those who themselves are stealing the life blood of our city. You are a parasite who leeches off the culture of drugs.

OMAR LITTLE in The Wire: Just like you man.

MAURICE LEVY in The Wire: Excuse me?

OMAR LITTLE in The Wire: I got the shot gun. You got the briefcase. It’s all in the game though right?

BILL MOYERS: What I remember so vividly after watching that scene is that the law shrugged. That’s quite often the effect of money in politics: the system works only for those who pay to play, who have bought the rule-making machinery of government. As David Simon put it when he was here two weeks ago:

DAVID SIMON in Moyers & Company: Show 304: You can buy these guys on the cheap. And Capitol's been at it a long time and the rules have been relaxed. The Supreme Court has walked away from any sort of responsibility to maintain democracy at that level. That's the aspect of government that's broken.

BILL MOYERS: Simon talked about this last fall in a speech at the Festival of Dangerous Ideas in Australia. Here’s the conclusion of his message:

DAVID SIMON at The Festival of Dangerous Ideas: The last job of capitalism – having won all the battles against labor, having acquired the ultimate authority, almost the ultimate moral authority over what's a good idea or what's not, or what's valued and what's not – the last journey for capital in my country has been to buy the electoral process, the one venue for reform that remained […] And ultimately, right now, capital has effectively purchased the government.

BILL MOYERS: Your summation is grim, but true. Capital owns our politics. What do we do about it?

DAVID SIMON: I think if I could fix one thing, if I could concentrate and focus on one thing and hope that by breaking the cycle you might start to walk this nightmare back, it would be campaign finance reform. The logic of Citizens United and other decisions that are framed around that. Certainly our judicial branch has failed to value the idea of one man, one vote.

You don't count more because you run a corporation and you can heave money in favor of your political philosophy onto the process. You don't count more, you're one guy.

BILL MOYERS: Free speech, this court has said--

DAVID SIMON: Of course, of course.

BILL MOYERS: --free speech, under the first amendment corporations have the right of--

DAVID SIMON: And you know what-- right, and you know what? Everyone reacted the wrong way when they heard that decision. They all-- the chant from the left became, "Corporations are people? Corporations are not people." Well, no, actually under the law, that's the reason for corporations if you know, they are indeed given the rights of individuals, and that's why you form corporations and that's how the law treats them.

They're sociopaths as people, you know, they have to report their profit to the-- I mean, that's who they are. But you know, by definition, you know, if all you care about is your profits, to the shareholders, you know, and nothing else in human terms, you're probably a sociopath.

But okay, they get to exist as-- no, it was that speech is money, that was-- when you start equating speech with money and you see them as being comparable, money is in a fundamental regard the opposite of speech in many ways. Speech, you know, or it's a kind of speech so foul that it shouldn't be-- it shouldn't have the weight it has in our democracy.

And that's the, that to me was the nails in the coffin. If you can't fix the elections so that they actually resemble the popular will, if the combination of the monetization of the elections and gerrymandering create a bicameral legislature that doesn't in any way reflect the will of the American people, you've reached the end game for democracy. And I think we have.

BILL MOYERS: You were very clear in your Australian speech that capitalism is no blueprint for building a society, it's not the road to a just country, you say.

DAVID SIMON: Well, it's not. You know, it's a tool for building wealth. If wealth is the only measure of your society-- I'm not saying it isn't a measure, but if wealth is the only measure of society and there's no distinction on how that wealth is going to be distributed among the various classes or how that wealth is going to be put to the needs of the society or how the society's going to be protected from inevitable threat, if all of those things are not-- if how the society's infrastructure, shared infrastructure, is fashioned and whether or not it's sustainable, if all those things are not metrics and if it's just about generating mass wealth, then you know, what are we saying? What are we saying about the human condition? What are saying about our society's condition?

BILL MOYERS: And how do you tame the greed?

DAVID SIMON: You have to do it legislatively. And how do you do that when your legislative aspect has been completely purchased by the very capital that is being amassed? That's the problem, you know. There isn't a Teddy Roosevelt confronting these robber barons.

BILL MOYERS: Are you angry about this?

DAVID SIMON: Aren't you?

BILL MOYERS: Yes.

DAVID SIMON: I mean, listen, I have a good life. I go, you know, I--

BILL MOYERS: Same here.

DAVID SIMON: I go to the playground with my kid, I watch the game on Saturday. I'm not, like, an angry person. But I can't look at politics and be sanguine about where we're going.

BILL MOYERS: And you understand why so many people whose anger turns to resignation?

DAVID SIMON: Resignation or contempt for government as an idea. That's a luxury we don't have. It is basically either, on one side it's people who think, "I can do well on my own and screw my neighbor." And it's basically greed wrapping itself in the mantle of a legitimate ideology. Or it's just people who are not doing well, who are saying, you know, "The government's my enemy."

If democracy's going to work, the government in some sense is you and your neighbors. And if it's not, that's the fight to have. And that fight can't be had by walking away. You know, if 20 percent of the people in America end up voting in elections that they don't think matter and they're right, well, they'll be right, but you know, the democracy will die regardless.

It's like I say, it's a fight worth having even if we're going to lose. But right now I have to say, you know, they've purchased so much and so deeply, and the contempt for the idea of the popular will is so firm in the people who are rigging the game that the logical outcome, a generation from now, may be that just people pick up a brick. And I don't know what happens after people pick up-- nobody does. Nobody quite knows where it goes. Revolution's all good when it's in theory. But you know, the--

BILL MOYERS: The blood runs?

DAVID SIMON: Yeah, and first of all the right people don't always get hit by the right bricks. And second of all, you know, as they're finding in Tahrir Square now, you know, you fight for one thing and you get another.

And I'm not saying I'm looking forward to the brick, but you know, it is there at the bottom. It's, you know, if enough people opt out and enough people get angry and enough people start to find themselves deeply at the margins. And increasingly it starts to span across racial and social lines to include actual white folk-- it'll be an interesting dynamic.

BILL MOYERS: David, I don't know anyone who has made a more dire and dark conclusion.

DAVID SIMON: Oh come on, there are guys to the---

BILL MOYERS: No, no, you-- no, I don't. But at the same time you don't give up. You keep writing these stories, you keep trying to tell us through--

DAVID SIMON: Well, I like the stories are good, for me. They're stories I want to tell. You ever read Camus, the “The Myth of Sisyphus”?

BILL MOYERS: Sisyphus, yes.

DAVID SIMON: Right, well, you know, in sum, what I took from Camus was the idea that to commit to an unlikely cause or a cause that is, seems, almost certain of defeat, seems absurd. But to not commit is also absurd given the situation. And only one choice of those two offers even the remote chance at dignity. But more than that, the idea that democracy works without there being a constant fight, without us-- you know, listen, people who walk away and say I'm not going to play this game by which I might lose or which the odds are stacked against me, and want the lofty position of walking away and saying, "No more." They're going to achieve nothing except a more rapid decline in their society.

There's nowhere to go except to fight.

BILL MOYERS: David Simon, thank you very much for being with me.

DAVID SIMON: Thanks for having me.

David Simon on Our Rigged Political System

February 14, 2014

David Simon, journalist and creator of the TV series The Wire and Treme, returns to talk with Bill Moyers about the triumph of capital over democracy.

“If I could concentrate and focus on one thing … and start to walk the nightmare back, it would be campaign finance reform,” Simon says.

Simon warns that if we don’t fix our broken election system — by getting big money out of elections and ending gerrymandering — we will have reached “the end game for democracy.”

Watch part one of Bill’s interview with David Simon »

Producer: Gina Kim. Segment Producer: Lena Shemel. Editor: Sikay Tang.

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  • Odysseus Ward

    To imagine where this country and the world are going because of the choices an empowered minority are making frightens and angers me to the core.

    But this interview, combined Matt Taibbi’s recent piece:
    http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/the-vampire-squid-strikes-again-the-mega-banks-most-devious-scam-yet-20140212 , makes brick throwing seem an inevitable and catastrophic certainty.

    Who will toss the first brick?
    Where will it land?
    How will it change us?
    What will we gain?

    And what will we definitely lose?

  • JJ042804

    I’m afraid it wont be bricks, it will be guns.

  • FrankenPC .

    Like all edifices, I wonder if democracy has reached the end.

  • Charles Shaver

    Thanks, again, Bill Moyers, for continuing to present a variety of perspectives and symptomatic treatments on the increasingly unfair and untenable economic divide in the U.S., and helping me to redefine my own perspectives down to today’s level. I now have it boiled down to only three major components; 1.) laws are being broken, 2.) the perpetrators are not being properly identified as the criminals they are and 3.) those criminals are not being prosecuted or punished. All in all, minimally, no new laws need be legislated, everybody needs to know what’s going on and no one needs to go to prison (but, still an option). Unfortunately, not even PBS (e.g., so-called ‘balanced reporting’ of one-sided issues on the Newshour; with some exception) is telling it like it is.

    First, a majority of voters needs to understand that it is not a matter of good v. evil or even a matter of Republican v. Democrat. Very specifically, with the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act in 1999, majorities of both parties showed their true colors; ‘coward yellow’ and ‘money-monger green.’ There is no Republican agenda; there is no Democratic agenda; there is only a constitutional agenda: ‘to form a more perfect Union,’ minimally. The voters need to quit believing in family traditions like Santa Clause, the tooth fairy, the Easter bunny and one side or the other of a now defunct two-party political system.

    Based on recent federal election statistics, with a congressional election every two years, regardless of how many tens of millions of dollars are spent by superpacs on campaign advertising it would only take about half as many people voting wisely as how many watched the recent Superbowl game, of some 220 million eligible voters, six years to purge Congress and the Presidency of all proved-bad old-time and new-age Republicans and Democrats. And, there are other candidates and voting options (e.g., blank ballot; third, fourth or fifth party; write-in).

    Unlike in a court of law, in the court of public opinion I don’t have to prove my claims; voters only have to learn to think for themselves. Therein lies the one real problem; therein lies the one real solution.

  • http://wp.elleseemarz.net/ Ellemarz

    Isn’t it ironic that some of our best journalism today comes from a rock-n-roll magazine. It’s also quite sad that we cannot rely on “the news” to provide accurate, factual information sans fluff and “human interest”. Isn’t good journalism IN the human interest? Thanks for the link!

  • NotARedneck

    In the US, the wealthy certainly have found the way to game the system, to their benefit. Basically, the two most important things are:

    - destroy good public education, especially to those that they want to be their loyal base and

    - make it apparent to all members of Congress and all other legislative bodies that they can either go along and get rich or be looking for another job after the next election.

    This is not the same everywhere and those countries that are able to avoid this trap will see their position in the world rise, while that of the US falls, just like the Arab world did over the past 8 centuries.

    Perhaps in decades or centuries to come, these countries will be counselling the US (as the US currently does to places like Syria, Egypt, Iraq and Iran) to clean up their act by eliminating the control of fundamentalist imbeciles and an entrenched wealthy, corrupt over class.

    Or perhaps Americans can rise up and turf this scum out of their current positions of power, before they become firmly entrenched.

  • FrankenPC .

    I’ve got a theory. It’s horrifying. I believe that ultimately the system of democracy itself will be “productized”. Then. like a fashion parade, our system of government will be rearranged and modified at the whims of marketing execs. Nielson ratings will quite literally drive an ongoing wave of consumer/democratic behaviors and belief systems based solely on pop-culture notions and illogical sensibilities.

    Wait…

  • http://www.traumarecoverybc.com/ Darren Gregory

    America, is not isolated, when it comes to corporate infiltration of Government. Our oil-sands issues, are causing strife. It’s only a matter of time before, as Mr. Simon states, someone picks up a brick. The divide, of course, is between those who benefit, directly, from growth in the oil and gas sector here; those who see no personal benefit; the environmental movement; and First Nations peoples. We live with a right-wing, Conservative leadership, nationally. We live with an attitude, permeating Canadian society, that projects meritorious philosophy: “If you work hard, you can have/be anything you want.” This isn’t so. If you buy into the eggs-in-one basket economic prosperity agenda, coming from the oil and gas industry, as we export our resources to a starved for energy Asian market-if you buy into this as your path to prosperity-yes, you may win the prize. The industry is extended much grace, by way of face-to-face Government consultation and lobbying. The average citizen, remains apathetic in the face of feeling absolutely powerless in our democracy. The party system, pits ideals in Parliament, dividing the country into “us” and “them”. The “Occupy Movement”, mainstream and later the “Idol No More Movement” from our First Nations peoples, spoke very specifically to the issues at hand. America, the beautiful: your country has presented, in my view, an unrealistic ideal in the form of capitalism. We’ve all turned the dollar into an idol. North-American Revolution? What choice will there actually be, when the financial system we worship, ultimately collapses? Revolt is always spawned in societies, when the peasants of said society have had enough. In my gut, I feel: for both countries: it’s just a matter of time.

  • Just Wondering

    You can have 50 parties…. And the result will be even worse than it is now… As long as Lobbyists are allowed to BRIBE OUR ELECTED OFFICIALS….
    NOTHING WILL CHANGE….
    MONEY IS CORRUPTION. and our system is full of crooks that change the rule’s that allow them to do as they please….

  • Just Wondering

    As long as Lobbyists are allowed to BRIBE OUR ELECTED OFFICIALS….
    NOTHING WILL CHANGE…. MONEY IS CORRUPTION.

  • Anonymous

    All good comments and yes we again face the Factory Goons, and the Corrupt back door political deals, today on the Farm Bill they spent 51 MILLION dollars lobbying to get BILLS passed, Laws that should be made are swept aside for One Giant Conglomerate, who then gets a “Protection Act” to shield itself from Lawsuit and Liability, Coal and Wter companies pollute entire regions water supplys and no one gets arrested, The Shell Corporation so thick no one knows who owns them. Citizens United, LOL….funded by one of the largest Multinationals in the planet with one course, BUY ELECTIONS, BUY ELECTED OFFICIALS to put laws and end regulations and allow them to run ruff shod over Democracy, and people….Million dollar PACs, Hordes of Law firms used to wrangle and cajole and pressure anyone who attempts to stand tall…..America is groaning under the oppression of the Donations to Elected Officials …..or is it BRIBERY….Outright purchase of a vote…..We have to end Citizens United or very soon the tipping point is going to be breached….very soon.

  • patti cello

    when there are nations around the globe where people find the will to fight back, you have to also ask “What will it take before people in a supposed democracy like the United States take a stand in large numbers?” I don’t think what Simon is intimating at is outrageous. It’s a necessity.

  • jsegal

    Mr. Simon has ample funds and opportunity to help fund a movement for public financing of elections, to create a movie or tv series telling the story of what’s possible with public financing of elections instead of only telling the story of what’s broken. I hope he does. He’s one of our nation’s greatest story tellers!

    We don’t need all of us to become activists. History shows that no government can stand in the way of just 3 to 5 percent of a population that demands change and is willing to take to the streets to get it.

    We don’t need 100 great Senators, we need 100 great community organizers!

  • jsegal

    Good thoughts Dave. Remember it was the Kochs that funded and fueled the so-called Tea Party. Where is our money on the left to fuel a Earth First Party or Green Party or Workers Party?

  • Güest

    Why should anyone be surprised by money in campaigns -or “money in politics”- when the federal government has so much money to spend (and the power to write laws influencing how all that money & more is to be spent.)

    You will NEVER remove money from campaigns (politics) until or unless you remove money from the hands of Congress and the presidency. End of story. Get real.

  • dildenusa

    The financialization of our democracy by its corporate masters has returned us to a time when sovereigns chartered monopolistic corporations for the benefit of the sovereigns and the aristocracy. Just google “British East India Company” or “Dutch East India Company” to find out how aristocrats and oligarchs ran the European economy 400 to 500 years ago. What the people got was perpetual war and misery. It wasn’t until the end of the Napoleonic Wars that Europe, with a few small skirmishes, had a sustained peace until 1914. The corporate masters figured it out that if you could end the misery of the masses they could have their perpetual wars to protect their investments without any consequences. That is where we are today. The corporate masters have taken the ideas of Adam Smith and the other enlightenment thinkers and turned them on their heads. How were they able to do this? Financialization and equity markets. The monopolization and manipulation of our economy by banks and the manipulation of equity markets has taken us back to a time of perpetual war and misery while the sovereigns, in this case career politicians, and aristocrats, in this case corporatists and the corporate connected wealthy, get all the benefits.

  • dildenusa

    The philosophy of the tea parties will only make things worse. Giving the corporations carte blanch without any restrictions will lead to perpetual war and misery on a scale never before seen. The corpoations will always find a way to influence the political system. The best way to mitigate the corporate influence in our political system is meaningful regulation and public financing of political campaigns at the federal, state, and local level.

  • Güest

    You sure take a lot of words -here and below- to show what little you know or have learned about reality. Embracing wild-eyed theories won’t get you anywhere.

  • dildenusa

    Typical tea party troll. So capitalism as Adam Smith envisioned it is a wild eyed theory? Wild eyed tea party trolls know nothing of history other than what they cherry pick from what they hear Glenn Beck spew in his show. Why do you think Fox News fired him. There wasn’t an ounce of reality to be had from him.

  • dave kay

    Just – I know what you mean . . . Is it possible our country is too diversified to act as one? Should we divide to North and South? Or, fifty countries? How many countries are there in Europe? If things went a little different at many points in European history, they too could be one country. Would that arrangement work? Would the diversity in cultures have fractured them as it has us? And similarly if thing went a little different in U.S. history, we could be multiple countries.

    When I see the thinking and behavior of the southern states, I think it’s hopeless. I’m not saying their thinking is wrong; it’s just different. Never shall the twain meet.

    Interestingly the citizens of the south have been persuaded by big money to vote against their own self interest.

  • Menagerie

    It took many years for this spy ops to work its way into
    The human psyche http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychological_operations

    These plans are not put into place overnight it take decades or more for these plans to be successful.

    Perot was right most humans think in the short term.

  • JJ042804

    I couldn’t have put it any better! Thank you! All of us need to work together. Our political System needs to be fixed and we can’t count on our Politicians (except a few) to do it, so we have to step up and either push them to do the right thing, or replace them and do it ourselves.

  • Anonymous

    What we need is courage to stand up to the financial bullies that have co-opted our democracy with unlimited funds and false logic that the mentally lazy public is only too eager to believe. Citizens united will be the death of the country our founders created and our forefathers fought and died for. The only way to honor them is for US to stand up and say ENOUGH! A constitutional amendment to provide for taxpayer funded elections will be required to break the stranglehold that the new corporate aristocracy has over our government. This will take a grassroots movement to do so, those now benefitting from the current system will never do it for us. Government of the dollar, by the dollar, and for the dollar has replaced our government of the people, by the people, and for the people, and can only be reclaimed by the PEOPLE!! Beware of any calls for a second constitutional convention as that would open a pandoras box of evil for those that have already f@#&ed up the system. This single amendment would once again make our government responsible to the will of the voters, and make our founders proud of us, for returning to the spirit of the original document!

  • Charles Shaver

    A quick study of The Reset Button Movement website suggests good intentions with little else. Appealing to those who already sold out to Wall Street won’t get us very far, especially when almost half of eligible voters don’t vote and about 53% of them keep electing and re-electing them. It’s well past the right time for real change; throw the bums out and take our chances with fresh third, fourth and fifth party blood.

  • Charles Shaver

    Thanks for the link. As of today I have another name to label what I’ve been suffering with for some thirty-four years, that started in late 1980 with chronic fatigue, general aches and pains and severe mood swings. Unlike most sufferers, it seems, I learned of an allergy connection in late 1981 and some nineteen and a half years later (summer of 2000) of the added MSG (monosodium glutamate) connection. Since first writing the U.S. FDA of my experience in March of 2006, in vain, I have been trying to get the word out on my own. In 2012 I found documentation that added MSG causes extra histamine to be released. If you are also a sufferer, it’s never ending but at seventy I’m doing better with OTC bone mineral supplementation based on personal at-home experiments with diet and pH readings, with mildly alkaline published to be good. For more just search “MSG,” “dangers of MSG,” “MSG and histamine” or something along those lines. There are at least three good websites devoted to MSG, with the mild allergy connection still just my gig, as far as I know.

  • Ric Shorten

    Don’t give up so easily…there are three generations who give a damn!

  • Randy Hyle

    Ezekiel 16:49-50
    New International Version (NIV)
    49 “‘Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy. 50 They were haughty and did detestable things before me. Therefore I did away with them as you have seen.

    Ring a bell? No mention of homosexuality. Just greed.

  • Randy Hyle

    How are you going to get change when change means those that are profiting most from the current system will no longer profit from it? Short of picking up that brick, I see no other alternative. Voting? Right. Voting between two hand picked corporate stooges who are more beholden to those who sponsored their campaign than those who voted for them. As long as the choice is between the two parties who now monopolize our government, nothing will change.

  • Aziza Jansen

    I think you’re confusing ME with CFS. CFS is really not a disease. It’s like saying tuberculosis is Chronic Cough Syndrome. That’s not to say MSG is harmless. Or that’s the FDA saying it is safe has nothing to do with money. The FDA is in big industry’s pockets too.

  • Charles Shaver

    You could be right but I found ME and CFS linked together on a few websites, and my symptoms are pretty much inclusive. Based on my high levels of LDL cholesterol I speculate that acid from MSG intensified allergy reactions erodes the myelin sheath of nerves to cause all kinds of symptoms, especially where the blood flow is best. And, I credit the FDA for my still chronic mild illness. Younger persons may think it’s a new disease but even with added MSG in the picture it can take years to go from curious sensations to chronic illness and disability. Thanks for pointing that out.

  • Charles Shaver

    Good point Randy, voting. However, as one who has not voted Republican or Democrat for President since Ronald Reagan, and not for either for Congress in 2012, I can tell you of at least three alternatives: cast a blank ballot, vote for a lesser known third, fourth or fifth party candidate or write-in a candidate of your own choice. I’m pretty sure if enough voters would ignore the bulk of the campaign advertising and vote the way I do (e.g., third, fourth or fifth party) it wouldn’t take too long to get a fresh Congress that could impeach a few Supreme Court Justices, for Citizens United (at least).

  • Anonymous

    My Congressman spent $57.90 for every vote he got in 2012, his opponent spent 41 cents per vote. Guess who won? Even though the winner out spent per vote 141 to 1, the winner only won by 22% margin, 61% to 39%. I’d like to see a report on the cost of each vote for all Congressional elections, I bet the winner greatly outspent per vote his opponent. McClintock couldn’t get my vote no matter how much he spent. I was reading about the French system, it seems much fairer, especially with media or tv exposure for all candidates. We need a real progressive that is popular to make a national impact, like Bernie Sanders.

  • thinkerman

    I suggest the answer lies in retaking the media. Progressives need to gain control of key television stations and newspapers. Find a way to unite, through a national co-op founded by a progressive alliance perhaps, and buy back as much of the mainstream media as possible. They are still the agenda setters, the opinion leaders. Begin by creating a progressive network of small town newspapers. Through synergies and cooperation around shared content and technology, the corporate press can be undercut and shut out. It can even be profitable, for goodness sake (maybe not as profitable when its run ethically, but still…).

  • Charles Shaver

    Aziza, thanks for the new link. Interference is a very generous term to use to describe the federal government’s role in the healthcare crisis. Regardless, getting a substantial majority of eligible voters to vote wisely, non-partisan, this November could help enable real healthcare reform as well as implement David Simon’s proposed campaign finance reform. As for M.E. and CFS, a few more of my perspectives are awaiting moderation on the My ME Story page of the http://thoughtsaboutme.com/ you linked me to.

  • Charles Shaver

    Thinkerman, I think getting a mere 60 million eligible voters to abandon family tradition, ignore the media and vote for other than proved destructive Democrats and Republicans for Congress this November would be a lot cheaper, quicker and more effective, if we only could. There is no progressive agenda, there is no conservative agenda, those are media hype. The Preamble to the U.S. Constitution is a brief, clear, plain and simple description of the one real agenda. Politics (e.g., ‘governance’) should be about fine tuning it, not dividing it into greater and lesser evils.

  • thinkerman

    The progressive agenda is fairness, including to the unborn of future generations. The reactionary agenda is power, just power, to prevent progressives from achieving this.

  • Charles Shaver

    I recognize but one agenda; a rather strict, literal interpretation of the U.S. Constitution, which includes fairness, the unborn of future generations and prescribed limits to powers.

  • David Spector

    Everybody knows about corruption. Those few who benefit want it, just as they used to want slavery and ignored the ethics of it. Those more numerous “liberals” who want to change it feel that they cannot, because in actuality they cannot. The scandals in the news are the very few that have made it into the light, like the tip of an iceberg. The vast majority of the population believe a few Big Lies, because the media keep selling them. So the vast majority will never reform the corruption, either. That leaves no one who can make real transformation happen.

    There is a solution, but it doesn’t involve struggling with trying to change
    the system through logic, the heart, documentaries, reports, nonviolent sit-ins,
    or anything else smart people currently try. And it doesn’t require doing away with government or throwing bricks. We don’t have to go the painful Ukraine route.

    The solution, the only
    solution I see possible, is to raise the
    consciousness of all of society
    equally. By advocating and distributing the scientifically proven mental technique called transcending (through specialized expert organizations such as Transcendental Meditation and Natural Stress Relief) to everyone, human intelligence and
    independence are quickly raised, so that those with money start to realize
    their responsibilities to others in society, and so that those who believe
    in Big Lies begin to question them.

    The only solution to corruption is
    spiritual growth, delivered in an appealing way, and distributed on a massive scale.

    David Spector
    President,
    Natural Stress Relief/USA

  • jsegal

    Dave in giving this some thought I’m not sure a political party is the answer to the problem of political parties.

    What we need is an organization to educate and activate citizens. We need an organization that helps every citizen learn about how are government is supposed to work from municipal to federal levels, that tells people who their elected reps are where they live and what they are responsible for doing to help them improve their lives.

    We need an organization that creates an open free forum for citizens to express their concerns, ideas for solutions, and help grievances be addressed where possible.

    We need an organization that helps citizens improve their health and financial wellness because tired, frightened broke citizens do not vote and a non voting citizen is an exploited often oppressed citizen.

    So how can we think outside the box of the political party paradigm and create something new that helps us all empower ourselves from the roots up?