Bill Moyers has been barnstorming California on an eight-day speaking tour focusing his considerable intellect and voice on the scandals in Washington and what we can do to clean up politics.
Public Campaign's (and Daily DeLay's!) very own Nancy Watzman and Micah Sifry helped in the drafting of the speech, and we are proud to post it on our affiliated site over at Public Campaign.
Please forward it to friends, family, colleagues, and associates right away.
Here are some snippets:
On the urgency of the fight to clean up politics:
The great progressive struggles in our history have been waged to make sure ordinary citizens, and not just the rich, share in the benefits of a free society. Yet today the public may support such broad social goals as affordable medical coverage for all, decent wages for working people, safe working conditions, a secure retirement, and clean air and water, but there is no government 'of, by, and for the people' to deliver on those aspirations. Instead, our elections are bought out from under us and our public officials do the bidding of mercenaries. Money is choking democracy to death. So powerfully has wealth shaped our political agenda that we cannot say America is working for all of America.
On Tom DeLay and Jack Abramoff:
DeLay was a man on the move and on the take. But he needed help to sustain the cash flow. He found it in a fellow right wing ideologue named Jack Abramoff. Abramoff personifies the Republican money machine of which DeLay with the blessing of the House leadership was the major domo. It was Abramoff who helped DeLay raise those millions of dollars from campaign donors that bought the support of other politicians and became the base for an empire of corruption. DeLay praised Abramoff as 'one of my closest friends.' Abramoff, in turn, told a convention of college Republicans, 'Thank God Tom DeLay is majority leader of the house. Tom DeLay is who all of us want to be when we grow up.'
On the cost of corruption and sacrifice:
There are, as I said, no victimless crimes in politics. The cost of corruption is passed on to you. When the government of the United States falls under the thumb of the powerful and privileged, regular folks get squashed.
This week I visited for the first time the Museum of the Presidio in San Francisco. From there American troops shipped out to combat in the Pacific. Many never came back. On the walls of one corridor are photographs of some of those troops, a long way from home. Looking at them, I wondered: Is this what those Marines died for on the Marianas – for sweatshops, the plunder of our public trust, the corruption of democracy? Government of the Abramoffs, by the DeLays, and for the people who bribe them?
I don't think so.
Read the entire speech – it will take you a little while, but it's worth it. And then get back to work to fight against the greed and for real reform.
Here's the URL
If this speech moves you, tell your member of Congress to support the Clean Elections-style public financing Moyers advocates for in his speech.
The power of these words can shape the debate. I'm certain of it.