WE REWARD INCIVILITY

Moyers asks, 'So we have created a political system the rewards in intransitives?'

'We created a system that says, 'We reward incivility. We reward refusing to compromise. We punish people who compromise and are civil and get along with the people on the other side of the isle. So why are we surprised that's all we get? In everything in life, you get what you reward.' Edwards ads, 'We need to do a better job of teaching civics. We need to do a better job of teaching critical thinking.'

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2015/12/3/1411482/-Former-GOP-lawmaker-says-Republicans-are-not-rational-and-have-a-12-year-old-s-kind-of-thinking

Dk-logo-med Log in Help Join the mailing list Leslie Salzillo Blog Stream Groups Following Profile Ex GOP lawmaker says Republicans are not rational, not conservative and have 12-year-old thinking By Leslie Salzillo Thursday Dec 03, 2015 12:41 PM EST Comments 94 / 94 Recommended 281 RSS TAGS

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In a segment of the Bill Moyers Show, Moyers interviews former Republican Congressman Mickey Edwards. The honesty is refreshing.

Moyers describes Edwards as a believer of compromise and bipartisanship, but Edwards has fears about the current Republicans and feels the Party has lost the conservative principles. He talks about how Republicans today follow party leaders, follow campaign contributors, and often sign pledges to block a bill even before even seeing it. He says when he was in Congress he would vote based on three things:

1. Listening seriously to constituents (maybe not always agreeing, but listening)

2. Thinking about and learning about issues, getting as much information as possible

3. Following the Constitution

Edwards says lawmakers making a pledge to do anything but that—is undercutting the whole purpose of being part of the government.

Republicans boast they have never raised taxes—in over 20 years. Moyers calls it “disquieting” and brings up the fact that during those years Republicans led us into two wars without asking us or telling us how we'd pay for it, they paid vast expenditures to fight terrorism, and gave big tax breaks to the top earning and richest Americans. Edwards says the above decisions are certainly not conservatism, and they are not “rational.” He points out it's childish to think we can spend without paying. But U.S. lawmakers are signing all or nothing pledges on issues like immigration and taxes rather than asking if they serve the people and the Constitution. He says money plays way too big of a part in our political system today, from both sides, and there's no control over it.

'I would get rid of political action committee money, political party money, labor union money, and corporate money … I would go down to small amounts that are instantly reported, and all transparent. I think we have to do that because it is the money pouring in — what comes out at the end is not representative of what the American people want. You know, the system gets skewed by these 'super influences…''

Edwards also talks about how money is intimidating candidates and thus:

'… We've created an incentive system that gets you knocked off in your primaries, unless you are willing to be intransigent and to say, 'I will never compromise.''

He later adds:

“Well, the fact is, the idea that, ‘No, I’m not ever going to do this, no matter the circumstances, no matter if we’re at war or whatever ...’— it’s a 12-year-old kind of thinking.”

Also in the interview, the former lawmaker says he feels a big part of today’s political problem is that Americans are not getting as involved before voting as they should, and they are exposed to extreme positions. The American people now tend to talk only to people who think the way they do and are not open to a civil conversation with people on a different side.

'And we have Mitch McConnell the Republcan leader in the Senate who says, 'What my goal is, is to make Barack Obama a one-term president.' They're supposed to be leaders not party hacks.'

Moyers asks, 'So we have created a political system the rewards in intransitives?'

'We created a system that says, 'We reward incivility. We reward refusing to compromise. We punish people who compromise and are civil and get along with the people on the other side of the isle. So why are we surprised that's all we get? In everything in life, you get what you reward.' Edwards ads, 'We need to do a better job of teaching civics. We need to do a better job of teaching critical thinking.'

Here is the video from the show:

Mickey Edwards on How Conservatives Have Lost Their Way from BillMoyers.com on Vimeo

?We're glad to see that the “best” of Bill Moyers is still being published on his site. The much-loved journalist retired in January 2015, after 44 years of writing and broadcasting.

Mickey Edwards was a Republican member of Congress from Oklahoma from 1977 to 1992, serving as a member of the House Republican Leadership and as a member of the Appropriations and Budget Committees. After leaving the Congress, he taught for 11 years at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, where he was the John Quincy Adams Lecturer in Legislative Practice, and for five years as a lecturer at Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. He has also been a visiting professor at the University of Maryland Law School and at Georgetown University’s Public Policy Institute and a visiting lecturer at Harvard Law School. Comments 94 / 94 Recommend 281

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