A new documentary, Patriocracy, does an effective job of demonstrating why our government is no longer able to function. The filmmaker demonstrates how talk shows frame the news ideologically vs. factually by contrasting the same news story on Fox News and MSNBC, labeling loaded comments as "opinion" onscreen.
"People on talk shows are entertainers. They couldn't govern their way out of a paper sack," says former Sen. Alan Simpson, (R-Wyo), cochair of the Deficit Reduction Commission and one of several elected officials interviewed.
The most encouraging part of the film describes several organizations that are trying to enfranchise moderates via the Internet.
The website Ruck.Us is a forum for like-minded people to come together over an interest in shared issues.
Americans Elect is working to eliminate partisan primaries where any candidate would have to win support from a broad swath of voters.
Vote411.org, sponsored by the League of Women Voters, gives nonpartisan information by state about registering to vote with links to information about issues and candidates.
My favorite was nolabels.org – an organization that is working to hold Congress more accountable by demanding these changes:
–Pay for Performance – Congress would not get paid if they don't pass bills
— Longer work week in Washington (more than the typical 3 days)
— Speaker of the House would need votes of 60% of members, not a simple majority, requiring candidates to attract votes from opposing party
— Repealing the technical filibuster in the Senate, where a Senator can block legislation by placing a hold; Senators would actually have to filibuster on the floor for hours to stymie legislation.
I attended the screening as a fund-raiser for the Denver League of Women Voters, which cosponsored a panel discussion. I urge readers to seek this movie out when it reaches general distribution.
"Let the people know the facts and we will be safe." Thomas Jefferson