This episode aired on Aug. 3, 2012
The fight against voter fraud is a solution in search of a problem -- these days, documented instances of voter fraud are virtually non-existent. Nonetheless, since the 2010 mid-term elections, 10 states have passed laws requiring government-issued photo IDs to vote -- identification that for many is too expensive or otherwise difficult to obtain.
Bill talks to Keesha Gaskins and Michael Waldman of the Brennan Center for Justice about new voter ID and other election laws that keep the young, elderly, minorities and the poor from exercising one of the most fundamental American rights.
"When these votes come under attack by this level of partisan gamesmanship, it's completely inappropriate and antithetical to our history," Gaskins tells Bill. "This is a very real political issue, but beyond that, this is a real issue of real Americans being able to access and be self-determinative in how we're governed."
Also on the program, Bill talks with independent filmmaker Anthony Baxter, director of You've Been Trumped, a new documentary about the perils of rampant capitalism and gluttonous conspicuous consumption, epitomized by Donald Trump's aggressive efforts to build "the greatest golf course in the world" across ancient sand dunes in Scotland. A veteran journalist, Baxter says what Trump and the Scottish government are hailing as an economic boon is actually a disaster to the environment and a callous disruption of people's lives by a ruthless one-percenter run amok.
"It seems to me there's one rule for the super-rich and one rule for everybody else," Baxter says. "And the 99 percent of people in the world are tired and fed up of having money and power riding roughshod over their lives and our planet... Our planet, I don't think, can afford these kinds of decisions."
To end the broadcast, Bill shares his thoughts on the 47th anniversary of Medicare -- the apex of Lyndon Johnson's ambitious vision for America. Bill was a key Johnson aide as they developed Medicare and pressed Congress to pass it. How to save Medicare today? The answer, says Bill, is obvious: make it available to every American.
Bill Moyers (now retired) hosted a weekly hour of compelling conversation about the state of American democracy, featuring a range of scholars, activists, scientists, and newsmakers.