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Bill Moyers says he fears for America for 'first time'

Discussion in 'North American Politics' started by Stevicus, Nov 12, 2019.

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  1. Yes, and there's no hope for America

    2 vote(s)
    8.3%
  2. No, America has never been better

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  3. Things are bad, but we still have a chance to change our course and avoid demise

    11 vote(s)
    45.8%
  4. Things could be better, but we're nowhere near "doomed"

    4 vote(s)
    16.7%
  5. We were doomed, but Trump will save us all

    1 vote(s)
    4.2%
  6. We are doomed unless Congress can remove Trump from office

    1 vote(s)
    4.2%
  7. Other

    1 vote(s)
    4.2%
  8. Who cares about America? Let it fall.

    3 vote(s)
    12.5%
  9. Other Other

    1 vote(s)
    4.2%
  1. Stevicus

    Stevicus Well-Known Member
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    Bill Moyers says he fears for America for 'first time' - CNN Video

    It's a short excerpt from a video linked above. Moyers said this was the first time he has felt fear that democracy could die from too many lies - and he pointed out that he was born during the Depression, lived through WW2, the 60s, Watergate, and many crises this generation has seen.

    I was born in the 1960s myself, and throughout most of my life, I've heard many who say that America is in decline, that we're a dying nation, a fallen empire - along with many other euphemisms indicating the same. I've often felt the same way, although I'll concede that there was a great deal of public cynicism during my formative years that it may have left a lifelong impression on me.

    A lot of the problems America is facing today, we've faced before. A lot of the problems we're facing now, we could have (and should have) foreseen and anticipated.

    For as long as I've been alive, there have been a few who have warned of the consequences of our short-sighted policies. However, I've also seen how they've been cavalierly dismissed by multitudes of "incurable optimists" who kept insisting that America and the world are better off, that everything is great and that everyone should just go along with the idea of "don't worry, be happy."

    I must confess that there's very little in this world that frustrates me more than the "incurable optimists." They refuse to see that there are any problems. They refuse to address any problems. They stick their heads in the sand. I don't believe that Moyers would fall into that category, but all this "sky is falling" rhetoric I'm hearing these days makes me wonder how we got to this point and why no one really saw it coming.

    I don't really see this as an issue of Democrats vs. Republicans. The current political divide might be a manifestation and a symptom of a deeper problem, but I see it on both sides of the spectrum. As much as people try to emphasize the differences between factions, it's also worthwhile to look at the similarities and commonalities.

    To some extent, both sides reveal that they believe that America has had some serious problems.

    The Republicans and Trump supporters voted on a platform of "Make America Great Again," which implies that they also believe America to be in a profound state of decline. (And yet, a mere 30 years earlier, under Reagan, they were singing "don't worry, be happy." How quickly perceptions can turn.)

    Democrats have a more mixed message, ranging from "America was never great" to "America was great, up until Trump's election."

    Moyers' sentiment seems to reflect the views of a lot of people who see the current period as unprecedented. He says he's afraid for America for the first time - and he's seen quite a lot in his 85 years.
     
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  2. bobhikes

    bobhikes Nowoligist
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    We are at a point where change must happen in the US but I'm not fully clear on how it is going to go. The government has not been working right for years now. It did not start with Trump but Trump has escalated it. The population has been dividing on hard lines now for years, the upward graph in step with the number of people using the internet.

    I am really not sure of the outcome. I am hoping for a peaceful change but not sure if that has ever happened in history. I am hoping for a positive change but we are over due for a negative change. I have been looking for a major natural calamity to pull the world together but that's long shot. All I know is major change is coming not just for the US but for the world and I hope to see it in my life time.
     
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  3. Shad

    Shad Veteran Member

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    Yes lets listen to the Vietnam dinosaur. The Cuban missile crisis has nothing on American now right?
     
  4. Stevicus

    Stevicus Well-Known Member
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    I don't see anything wrong with listening. That may be part of the problem, since neither side really wants to listen to the other.
     
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  5. Stevicus

    Stevicus Well-Known Member
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    I hope there can be a peaceful change, too. I'm no stranger to political dissent and disagreement. I grew up with it, in my own family, among friends, in school and university - and it has continued all over the internet and society at large.

    But all in all, despite how loud and heated many arguments become, few people really take to violence over a political argument. That is, they've been the exception than the general rule, at least as far as I've seen in my lifetime.

    Moreover, despite whatever disagreements and arguments people have over various political and philosophical issues, both sides claim to support democracy and freedom - or at least their own particular versions of it. Moyers said that our democracy could die, and both sides seem to believe that the other side is some kind of "enemy" of democracy and freedom.

    What is the actual problem here? Is it because so many Americans have become divided and contemptuous of each other that we're treading past the point of no return? If it's purely a systemic issue, then maybe that can be fixed with cooperative effort, but if people's attitudes and mindsets have become so darkened, jaded, and intransigent, then we may be facing a much deeper problem.
     
  6. Shad

    Shad Veteran Member

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    I did listen. He is strawmanning
     
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  7. Brickjectivity

    Brickjectivity Veteran Member
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    For real political, long term health, I think that change has to begin in the churches. This is a church issue as much as it is a political issue. The preachers, clerics, ministers are being rewarded according to what they say instead of by how they live. This has a cascading effect. This has been the case now for a long time, and I think it has eaten away at the core of the country. You can't judge character based on how much you like what someone says. That is a core principle, an important principle. The core of the country is Christian, and it is up to the Christians whether they want to reform it by beginning to scrutinize leaders on the basis of behavior. B follows A. Today, just like the ministry, politicians are being judged on what they say rather than by what they do, and I think this is because of how churches are being managed.
     
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  8. Mister Emu

    Mister Emu Emu Extraordinaire
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    I voted other. There is a near zero chance that a major course change happens and the crisis resolves. But, that doesn't mean America is doomed; it, we, could come out stronger in the end.

    People forgot that western liberalism is an unnatural state. Everyone wants liberty for themselves and what they want to do, but other people's liberty? That is scary, liberty for others is cruel, hateful, and dangerous. Our instincts fight against it.
     
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  9. Father Heathen

    Father Heathen Veteran Member

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    But it wasn't liberals who've opposed the scary freedoms of gay marriage and cannabis legalization.
     
  10. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest Greased up & ready for action!
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    True...it wasn't liberals.
    It was Democrats & Republicans.
     
  11. bobhikes

    bobhikes Nowoligist
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    The problem is change. There has been a lot of change in this current age in a short period of time. People are resistant to change afraid of it. A lot of it can be attributed to the rapid spread of technology.

    Our politics divided because computers help manipulate the vote by drawing specific electoral districts, by evaluating real time voters ideas, and by polling for change. These things were done in the past but computers have manipulated to meniscal errors.

    The internet spreads false stories as fast sometimes faster then true stories unchecked.

    Technology keeps us in contact with the people and information we want to keep contact with and block those we don't want contact with.

    Technology allows us to physically distance us from other people. You can work, shop, have all types of entertainment, have all types of food, pay taxes without ever leaving your house. About the only time you have to leave your house is if you need medical treatment.
     
  12. Mister Emu

    Mister Emu Emu Extraordinaire
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    I didn't mention political parties or proclivities.
     
  13. halbhh

    halbhh The wonder and awe of "all things".

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    We have an instinct to identify with a group and see (even if illusion) other competing groups and are attentive to hear they have ill designs against our group (even if not true).

    This seems part of our genetic code, perhaps because the paranoia is a survival advantage, or vigilance.

    That's why we sometimes see a movement based on lies can gain so ground so fast, and transform a society in ways that seemed impossible, because it is using built-in genetic programming, which tends to trump culture.

    To use an analogy, Trump seems to be an unusually clever tyrant that knows just where the weaknesses are in armor (such as the culture) of the American civilization, so that he can get past that impressive cultural armor, even our respect for our Constitution, and do real damage a lot more than you'd think such a person could.

    We'd like to think America well fortified against such base instincts and manipulation. But it may be America really is in a fight for survival at least as it was, as the 'America' we have loved.

    To use another metaphor, this infection isn't so rapidly and easily shut down by our immune system as we'd hope, because it's not a familiar virus to the current generation.
     
    #13 halbhh, Nov 12, 2019
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2019
  14. Laika

    Laika Well-Known Member
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    Voted "Yes, and there's no hope for America". It's still not as certain as "no hope", but I think Trump will win the impeachment proceedings (given Senate GOP majority) and will win the Republican Nomination. If Trump loses the 2020 elections, he will refuse to co-operate in a peaceful transition of power and will challenge the result rather than go to jail. That's a scenario America has never seen before and I don't know what will come of it. Even if Trump did co-operate the Republicans will remain a serious problem even if the Democrats control the White House and Congress.

    I am mentally preparing myself for the possibility that he will win and be re-elected in 2020 as there is a 30-40% who will vote for him no matter what. I don't know what that means for America, but for the west at large that's the defeat of democracy for at least a generation. We will start to fight back and push against this, but it will take time, effort and people to stand up and do what's right.

    Put another way, if Trump had been an actual fascist, the Democrats poor performance in turning a what they themselves inferred was a constitutional crisis and a foreign-sponsored coup in to an election platform for the mid-terms and the 2020 elections, it would be over already by now. Fascists don't need three years to destroy a Democracy. They only need one at most. This was a failure of both major parties, not just the Republicans.

    However, this isn't over, but this is the beginning of "something else". Once the institutions have failed- and we are basically there- the rest of the story will be decided by the American people. The government will do "what it's going to do", but the people still have a choice. So, if you're an American reading this- this isn't "Game Over", but it's that you're going to be playing a very different kind of "game" in how your country is run and if you want to change it. Don't give up. that's what the *******s want you to do. You are and deserve better than that. ;)

    (Edit) I think the Gettysburg Address may be quite relevant to express the sentiments I'm trying to express here:

    ...But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate—we can not consecrate—we can not hallow—this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.
     
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  15. Nakosis

    Nakosis crystal soldier
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    Nations come and nations go. Be not afraid.
    Nothing last forever. What goes will be replaced. Maybe by something worse, maybe by something better.

    The US will remain the US as long as we are capable of securing our borders. What the US will be? Who knows.
     
  16. shmogie

    shmogie Well-Known Member
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    Moyers, an ardent liberal, was singing the same tune during the Nixon years, as were many. I myself was extremely worried about the total breakdown of the Executive branch.

    However, that tumultuous period proved that America is resilient and always ounces back.

    My parents and in laws lived through the depression, and that makes today's problems look like a walk in the park.

    As I used to listen to their stories,I learned the societal upheaval and deprivations were astounding.

    During the 60's cities burned down, set on fire by their own citizens, not one or two cities, but many. I learned that these weren't riots but wars between a cohesive society and anarchy. Having worked under two men who were police officers assigned to the Watts riot, I learned of a a battle like the siege of stalingrad, only on a smaller scale, right here in the USA.

    Riots haunted the land, and some so called protesters resorted o bombings that killed people.

    I myself in the early 70's was an officer on the line during extremely violent demonstrations. And the SDS, real Black Panthers, weathermen, and anti war protesters make today's ANTIFA look like petulant children.

    I could go on, but every generation from the beginning has had times that seemed like precursors of the end, but the Republic survived and became greater.

    Todays apparent crisis is a manufactured tempest in a teapot the most part of which was created for political reasons.

    The absolute lying politicians of today are not new. If you look at the time of Andrew Jacksons presidency, you will find lies and propaganda that is titanic compared to today.

    So, the economy is the strongest in the world, unemployment is at 3.5 % when 5.0% is considered full employment, Blacks and Hispanics have the lowest unemployment rate in history.

    Of course there are many problems as well, but there always have been.

    So, we have a circus in Washington that represents the cultural civil war we are living through. Depending upon who wins may determine if America survives. Or, it's impact may be minimal.

    The sky is not falling, at this point it we are not experiencing much that is new for the Republic.
     
  17. shmogie

    shmogie Well-Known Member
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    A tyrant ? If so, why aren't you in a gulag ?
     
  18. halbhh

    halbhh The wonder and awe of "all things".

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    'Gulag' -- 'a system of labor camps maintained in the Soviet Union from 1930 to 1955 in which many people died.'

    The closest we have gotten so far is kids in cages, right? But this is America, not Russia, so it's not really exactly the same starting conditions.

    Every situation is unique, different, right? Not a perfect parallel, but from the first attempts at power for extreme right in Germany in the early 1920s, it took until 1933 before they could overturn the democracy and replace it. So that was about a dozen years. This only illustrates how unpredictable a time frame is between the goal of a group and their possible achievement of their goal (or their removal). It could be faster, or slower.

    Perhaps better than me for a close-up view of Trump would be to read in one of the books that have come out in the last couple of years with inside views.
     
  19. tytlyf

    tytlyf The Mind's Eye

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    Eliminate RW fake news and the problem is solved. Those are the people in social media, TV, etc intentionally disinforming the Republic. All for some corporate freebies.
     
  20. Stevicus

    Stevicus Well-Known Member
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    Well, we've other precedents in America, at least as far as tyranny goes. Apart from various incarnations of racial tyranny, we've also had the Palmer raids and McCarthyism as two examples which go much further than anything we've seen in recent years. Hoover's COINTELPRO might also be an example, or the old practice of the military using people as guinea pigs in radiation experiments.

    During the labor movement, companies would use strikebreakers, which weren't government employees, but still a manifestation of tyranny. The government tolerating and turning the blind eye to organized crime could also be interpreted as a form of tyranny.

    It's hard to say. I guess when it became apparent that people who criticized Hitler or the Nazi regime started disappearing, along with all the media issuing nothing but propaganda and gushing praise for the regime, then tyranny would seem pretty apparent.
     
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