Dylan Ratigan Show | June 05, 2012
>> you. i am dylan ratigan and today's biggest story. auction 2012 , the quest for power in america. another primary day. voters are at the polls today in california, new mexico, new jersey and california. these states have congressional primaries on their ballots, and in wisconsin, just the third recall election in u.s. history is under way. governor scott walker facing off with milwaukee mayor tom barrett . walker has outspent his opponent 7 to 1. the polls close in seven hours, and despite $63.5 million in ads spending, this will all come down to voter turnout . we know typically primary turnout only 10%, which of course people don't like the candidates because nobody participated in the selection of those candidates. recall turnout expected to be 635%. 10% is typical primary turnout. it's odd when you see folks agree to things when you talk to them in a room. the gap has statistically doubled since '87. former campaign adviser, author of a new book entitled "of, by, for -- the new politics of money, debt and democracy." you start your book with a quote, saying, we do not need a revolution in america, we need a reformation. will you explain that comment?
>> sure. this is a 200-year-old what the founders of this country call an experiment in self-government, and it's kind of gone off the tracks at this point. so what we don't need is a revolution where they started this country 200 years ago by overthrowing monarchys.
>> and through outbursts and all this.
>> right, and it was successful all over the world. there's not very many monarchys, and what we need is reform. literally by reform is reforming, like taking things and redoing it. so we have this architecture, this system of self-government, but it's not working, and it's not working for a whole lot of reasons. we've had -- and one of the biggest reasons is that people have kind of become disenfranchised from it.
>> i would say that's the biggest reason, is people -- obviously, my narrative at this point and my point is fairly well understood and folks come up and they say, what do we do, what do we do, and the number one thing is to feel that there isn't something for them to do, and as a result they disengage. you disagree with that. you believe there is something for everybody to do, and you talk about us as the heroes of our own stories, effectively. what would you have us do? what would you have the disenfranchised do who i think correctly observe the problems and are looking for answers.
>> right. so as you pointed out numerous times, you know, we have an electoral process which is really important because that's the vote, and that's in the end where it comes down where people make decisions, and that is completely kruptd and dysfunctional. so if you keep going through a system that is broke without first stepping aside and creating something different that people can be involved in and where their voice actually matters, and really, the first two steps of this, and what we have to do is organize. in the first two steps to organizing are one, education, which you do a very great job on the show --
>> just more awareness. understanding what's going on around you.
>> well, for example, banking. nobody knows how the banking system works in this country.
>> more than they knew four years ago.
>> that's true.
>> thanks to a lot of other folks.
>> still, people won't know, so we won't have a reform of the banking system until people know how it works.
>> so your point is the first phase is to get awareness of any problem to a critical mass , which is a necessary pre prerequisite to anything else happening.
>> right. and the second step in that is talking to each other. we don't talk to each other politically anymore. we don't have the dialogue to do that. ten years ago, i tell people, you know, i can stop a political conversation instantly in about three sentences whether i know you're liberal or conservative or whatever, because there's only a couple things i have to say and you're going to shut me out.
>> which is what? give me an example.
>> you say --
>> i'm your uncle bob . you're going to shut me down in three words. what do you got?
>> a quote, unquote, conservative. you know, there are problems with our economic system .
>> and the brain shuts down. or i'm a liberal cousin.
>> for your liberal cousin, you say, you know, i think d.c. is a problem.
>> and they're done with you.
>> i think a lot of people agree with what you're saying and the premise of your book which is, we're the heroes, we have to do this, and at the beginning of do this has expanded awareness, one, and talking to each other, two.
>> the talking to each other has been where we seem to have -- awareness is a lot of problems. talking to each other as well, so how do you recommend folks get beyond this sort of bifurcated shutdown.
>> by going to these problems that we have, for example, banking. i tend to go on the road and do this book with people who say they're conservative or liberal, and i just say let's not talk about conservative or liberal, let's not talk about democratic or republican, let's talk about the banking system . or let's talk about oil. and let's talk about how you've been paying, every time the economy gets going again, the price of oil is going to go up again.
>> once you get to that awareness, then what happens?
>> then start saying, how are we going to change this? how are we going to start changing the way the banking system and the money system works in this country? now, 120 years ago, 130 years ago, the populist had that very conversation. they were -- and at that point 50% of the americans were involved in agriculture right back in the 1880s , 1890s . they had just average dirt farmers, and they had a conversation about money. they said, how does this money system work? what is money? not just like, who controls it, but what is money, and how should it work? and they came up with some very ingenius ways to do money differently than what eventually went out, which was the banks and the feds.
>> you're saying absent awareness and absent talking to each other, reform is impossible.
>> yeah. and a lot of people, as soon as you say, well, we have to start talking to each other, they kind of go, that's kind of trite, and it's not trite, it's essential. if we don't do that -- what's trite is going and saying, if we elect obama or we elect romney, that's going to make a difference. it's pretty obvious it's not going to make a difference, right? but then it's easy to understand how they identify with politics in this country, right? they don't know what to do, and it's got to get created. there has to be an understanding with people that this is how this country is always changed. it's been about people getting together, from the revolution to, you know, andrew jackson getting rid of the first bank, the second bank, actually, to the populist, to the labor movement to the civil rights movement .
>> the suffrage?
>> yes, and really large forces who thought they were powerless until they got together and started saying, we believe the same thing, and we need to do something about it, right?
>> pick your metaphors. the duelism, the tea party , the liberals. we're not as divided as we appear to be but we won't find out unless we talk to each other.
>> right, and the fact of the matter is they set up two separatists at this point.
>> the system is designed to retain power by splitting us. we take our power back by unifying around issues by recognizing that we're the hero of our own story and that this is the history of our country.
>> and the book is "of, by, for, the new politics of money, debt and democracy." the author, joe costello , three decades working on these very issues, and as you can tell, i'll go out with joe any time and help him sell his book because i agree with him. congratulations on putting this together.
>> thank you very much.
>> joe costello . straight ahead, a