ROBERT B. REICH, Chancellor’s Professor of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley and Senior Fellow at the Blum Center for Developing Economies, was Secretary of Labor in the Clinton administration. Time Magazine named him one of the ten most effective cabinet secretaries of the twentieth century. He has written thirteen books, including the best sellers “Aftershock" and “The Work of Nations." His latest, "Beyond Outrage," is now out in paperback. He is also a founding editor of the American Prospect magazine and chairman of Common Cause. His new film, "Inequality for All," is now available on Netflix, iTunes, DVD, and On Demand.

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COLBERT REPORT, NOVEMBER, 2013

WITH BILL MOYERS, SEPT. 2013

DAILY SHOW, SEPTEMBER 2013, PART 1

DAILY SHOW, SEPTEMBER 2013, PART 2

DEMOCRACY NOW, SEPTEMBER 2013

INTELLIGENCE SQUARED DEBATES, SEPTEMBER 2012

DAILY SHOW, APRIL 2012, PART 1

DAILY SHOW, APRIL 2012, PART 2

COLBERT REPORT, OCTOBER, 2010

WITH CONAN OBRIEN, JANUARY, 2010

DEBATING RON PAUL, JANUARY, 2010

  • The Real Center of American Politics: A Reflection on Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert


    Saturday, October 30, 2010

    The true center of American politics isn’t found where most of us agree. We fiercely disagree. That’s not a problem. Democracy assumes disagreement.

    The true center is about how we resolve those disagreements. Most of us believe we should work them out respectfully.

    We don’t believe in winning political arguments through bullying, name-calling, lying, intimidating, or using violence.

    In other words, the political center isn’t about what we decide It’s about how we decide. A central tenet of American democracy is a commitment vigorous debate, done honestly and civilly.

    That’s why some of what we’ve been witnessing recently is troubling.

    Consider the foot-stomping incident in Kentucky by Rand Paul supporters, just outside a Senate debate. Or Alaska GOP Senate candidate Joe Miller’s security detail handcuffing a reporter from a liberal-leaning website.

    Consider last year’s congressional town hall meetings where members of Congress were shouted down, a Tampa town hall meeting turned violent, and gunshots were fired at Democratic campaign headquarters in Arizona.

    Consider the outright lies about “death panels,” “government takeovers,” and the President’s nationality.

    Consider Rep. Joe Wilson’s “you lie” outburst against the President on the House floor.

    And the vitriol emanating at all hours from rage radio, yell television, and Fox News – against immigrants, intellectuals, “coastal elites,” gays, and the President.

    We’re better than this.

    This is not respectful disagreement. It’s thuggery. It has no legitimate role in a democracy. And most Americans are fed up with it.

    Sadly, we needed two comedians to remind us.

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