Bill Moyer speaks: ‘Something is deeply wrong with politics today,’ I told anyone who would listen. And I wasn’t referring to the partisan mudslinging, or the negative TV ads, the excessive polling or the empty campaigns. I was talking about something deeper, something troubling at the core of politics. The soul of democracy-the essence of the word itself-is government of, by, and for the people. And the soul of democracy has been dying, drowning in a rising tide of big money contributed by a narrow, unrepresentative elite that has betrayed the faith of citizens in self-government.
This wasn’t something I came to casually, by the way. It’s the big political story of the last quarter century, and I started reporting it as a journalist in the late 70s with the first television documentary about political action committees. More recently, at the Florence and John Schumann Foundation, working with my colleague and son, John Moyers, we saw how environmental causes were being overwhelmed by the private funding of elections that gives big donors unequal and undeserved political influence.
That’s why over the past five years the Schumann brothers-Robert and Ford and our board have poured both income and principle into political reform through the Clean Money Initiative-the public funding of elections. I intended to talk about this-about the soul of democracy-and then connect it to my television efforts and your environmental work. That was my intention. That’s the speech I was working on six weeks ago. But I’m not the same man I was six weeks ago. And you’re not the same audience for whom I was preparing those remarks. Via Synergic Earth News