Robert Redford for President
By Brenda Loew
FDR said: "The truth is found when men are free to pursue it."
The First Amendment was created to protect political speech, not commercial speech.
At the time of the American Revolution (1776), Americans embraced liberal individualism. They believed in economic self-sufficiency. They considered government authority a threat to individual freedom and justice. They viewed governmental and market elites with suspicion.
After the Civil War, a newly evolving system of corporate life stood in marked contrast to the individualism of America's self-reliant, revolutionary, pioneering founders.
Today, corporations are core (Establishment) and liberal individualism is marginal. Our corporate-consumer culture simply encourages consumption, conformity, censorship and the accumulation of personal debt. In Clinton's America, making the world "safe for democracy" simply means the unprecedented triumph of Wall Street over "We, the People."
America's corporate-consumer culture does not advocate moral, ethical, human or constitutional values nor does it facilitate the cultivation of public debate. First and foremost, it encourages individuals to purchase products and services, including the information we receive. As we approach the 21st century, the views and opinions held by many Americans are almost totally shaped by the mainstream media, Big Government, Big Business and private pressure groups. The lack of easy access to viable alternatives sources of information (i.e. the alternative/independent press) is one reason why the General Public still has not made this connection.
One remarkable mainstream exception is the historically accurate classic feature film All The Presidents Men (Warner Brothers/Wildwood, 1976), about the early days of the Watergate investigation. From the following excerpt we can extrapolate that, more than two decades after Watergate, Monica is not the real problem. The real problem is that, cognitively speaking, Americans short-circuit. In other words, Americans miss "the overall":
Deep Throat (Hal Holbrook): "...Don't you understand what you're onto?...Do you think something this size just happens?"
Bob Woodward (Robert Redford): "Segretti said ..."
Deep Throat: "Don't concentrate on Segretti. You're missing the overall..."
Woodward: "What overall?"
Deep Throat: "... They bugged. They followed people. False press leaks. Fake letters. They cancelled Democratic campaign rallies. They investigated Democratic private lives. They planted spies. Stole documents and on and on. Now don't tell me you think this is all the work of little Donald Segretti."
Woodward: "Segretti said..."
Deep Throat: "Don't concentrate on Segretti. You'll miss the overall..."
Woodward: "The letter that destroyed the Muskie candidacy..."
Deep Throat: "You're missing the overall."
Woodward: "What overall?"
Subversive activities! Political crimes and offenses! Spying! Insurgent individuals and groups that attack the established order! This is not the American Way. It's the Nazi Way!
If only the General Public could be made aware of published reports which conclude that George Bush and the Republican Party placed Nazis with connections to multinational banks and corporations in GOP leadership positions! If only the General Public could be made aware that these Nazis are still busy constructing a hidden fascist infrastructure within the USA; that the German Christian Movement tried to synthesize Christianity and National Socialism in the Third Reich.
Clearly, Deep Throat's concept of "the overall" has important implications for the presidential election in the year 2000. Consider two politically conservative Far Right Republicans: potential presidential hopeful John Ashcroft and wealthy businessman, Steve Forbes.
Described by former Christian Coalition Executive Director Ralph Reed as a "committed man of faith", Senator John Ashcroft (R-MO) is the Christian Coalition's current presidential favorite. This passionate, "pastoral", conservative opposes most abortions, favors parental notification and consent, favors a ban on the use of federal funds to pay for abortions, is an original co-sponsor of the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act of 1997, is anti-porn, anti-same-sex marriage, and pro-TV content ratings. Ashcroft is potentially a more formidable candidate than either Alan Keyes or Gary Bauer.
In a straw poll conducted by Conservative activists, conservative businessman Steve Forbes was the first choice for the 2000 Republican nomination, followed by George W. Bush. (Dan Quayle tied with Elizabeth Dole, Pat Buchanan and Newt Gingrich). Forbes wants a ban on partial birth abortion. He parrots the Christian Right's unconstitutional religious propaganda that "partial birth abortion is a euphemism for infanticide". Forbes is pro-school choice, anti-drug legalization for marijuana and, to help the rich get richer, supports a 17% flat tax.
The Democrats are equally pathetic at this time. We are deeply disturbed by V.P. Al Gore's wife's longtime connection to the conservative pro-censorship Parents Resource Music Center. Tipper was one of the group's original founders in the 80's, along with the wives of many high-ranking Reagan Republicans.
We believe there's still another choice, a potential presidential candidate waiting to be approached.
According to published reports, in 1984, at a farewell news conference after the Presidential election, Martin Kaplan, Walter Mondale's chief speechwriter, was asked who, if anyone, could have beaten Ronald Reagan. Kaplan never hesitated: "Robert Redford".
Time Magazine cited actor, producer, director, activist Robert Redford as one of the "most influential people" of 1996. Redford has been a conduit between the world of grassroots environmental activism, the independent media, and both mainstream non-profit and for-profit interests. The question is: Would he run?
Redford's love of the Great Outdoors is present in Jeremiah Johnson, A River Runs Through It and Downhill Racer. In September, 1996, President Clinton invited Redford to his signing of a declaration creating a national monument out of 1.7 million acres of Utah wilderness.
In 1981, Redford established the Sundance Institute whose mission supports independent films made without big studio money. In 1995, he started the 24 hour Sundance Channel devoted to broadcasting independent films on cable and satellite. In 1997, he entered into a deal with General Cinema Corporation of Chestnut Hill, MA to exhibit independent films in movie theatres. The alternative/independent press could certainly use a friend like Robert Redford.
Redford's also produced and starred in "statement films" we entirely support, politically, at EIDOS: All The President's Men, The Candidate, Brubaker, Three Days of the Condor Sneakers, Out of Africa.
Best of all, Bob Redford spoke out in defense of freedom of speech this past January at the Sundance Film Festival. He publicly admonished Courtney Love for her threat of legal action against the Festival if it showed filmmaker Nick Broomfield's unauthorized documentary Kurt and Courtney. "What I find ironic," Redford said, " is that someone that's benefited so much from (being) such an on-the-edge person and certainly has benefited from the principle of free speech would be conducting a campaign to prevent another artist from expressing himself."
For the record, film director Sydney Pollack has remarked that "Bob is better equipped than just about anyone. If Bob wanted to have a political future, nobody would have an easier entry. He's concerned with the most pressing issues of our time...He would be a valuable and viable candidate..."
Between now and the election, Bob Redford is scheduled to be making a George Washington biopic that takes a look at the dynamics among such figures as Washington, Hamilton, Jefferson, Adams, and Burr.
At EIDOS, we say, "Run, Bob, Run!"