Bill Moyers is an intellectual giant. His seasoned career has taken him to a sort of legendary stage in American journalism. He is poignant, daring, and insightful. In 2004, a compilation of his essays throughout the years was put together into Moyers on America: A Journalist and His Times. His essays encompass his early days growing up in the south to his days standing on the side of President Lyndon Johnson.
The essays are fascinating at least from a sociological perspective. If you want to ask the question: How does a southerner growing up in the church slowly become entangled by the liberal web? This book provides a reasoned response. Much of Moyers’ anger is directed towards corporations and their profit. In most cases, I suspect he is correct in his criticism of corporate greed. However, he is also purposefully–I assume–silent about the benefits corporations have brought to poor working Americans in the last century. This is probably the flaw of American liberalism: their inability to at least affirm the good most corporations have brought to society.
Much of his staunch opposition towards conservatism stems from his vast experience in Washington politics. He offers keen insight into the manipulative nature of political discourse in America. Whether in the south or in the north, politicians have overall abandoned the national interest to pursue their political love affairs.
But Moyers is a liberal and his agenda is clear throughout the book. He revises certain portions of historical data to fit his preconceived notions of what a government should look like; and a government should look like every man’s mother. In Moyer’s world–a pure democracy–wealth is properly distributed to the poor and corporations are taxed until death. What is unique about Moyers is that he is not unique in his political framework. He echoes every conceivable liberal line in the play book, but he does it with intellectual fervor. He is the standard bearer of every liberal since the days of his mentor Lyndon Johnson.
Moyers, the progressive, as he calls himself, stands tall in his ability to reach deep into the philosophical foundation of those he interviews. His courage in speaking against Republicans, and at times Democrats reveal a certain integrity that is worthy of emulation. His many years of interaction with the great intellects of our time has made him both brilliant and dangerous. Perhaps even those of us on the other side of the spectrum can learn from Moyers.