I admit it. I used to really, really admire Bill Moyers. Back when I was young and liberal and a Democrat, I thought the perfect presidential ticket would have Barbara Jordan on top, and Moyers on bottom.
Jordan is – of course – long gone. And my regard for Moyers has changed over time, as he has grown rather shrill and unreasonable and fixed in a deplorable and shameful prejudice against conservatives and all but the most “liberal” Christians.
I’ve wanted to think that Moyers has just been – like too many others on the left – living too insulated a life, and breathing too much rarified air. I want to give him the benefit of a doubt.
That’s why when Powerline wrote an extensive and masterful exposition of Moyers being completely unreasonable and untruthful about James Watt, I didn’t want to blog about it. I may no longer be a liberal, I may have completely repudiated much I formerly believed…but it’s hard, sometimes, to witness the devolution and dissolution of those one once admired. Just so with Moyers. I was pained, deeply, to read his latest mean-spirited screed, and didn’t know what to think.
That’s why I am so glad to read this update from Hindrocket. Apparently Moyers, horrified by his own work, is making amends and promising to correct himself regarding Mr. Watt in as public a manner as he had smeared him. This is a good thing. I hope Moyers keeps his word.
This makes me very hopeful, for Mr. Moyers, and for the whole arena of public discourse between left and right, which has become so polluted with ugly, mean and unfounded accusations and name calling from one side, and (sometimes) holier-than-thou yakking on the other.
In this season of Lent, I am going to pray that the writers and speakers and politicians of our nation can pull away from the sharp precipice of cynicism and contempt (for each other and for the rest of us) upon which they have been dancing these 12 years – ever since Clintonian “scorched earth, politics of personal destruction” became the order of the day. If they don’t back away from that edge and find some commonality on which to be rational and sane, the drop will be a fatal one.