What was the central theme to the 2008 Bill Moyers interview with Andrew Bacevich?

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belarafon | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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To promote his book The Limits of Power: The End of American Exceptionalism, author and speaker Andrew Bacevich appeared on The Journal with Bill Moyers, on PBS. He has two central points: the first is that to fix national problems, the government and public must look within and identify problem areas; the second is that the Iraq War of 2003 was a mistake, made in haste without concern for long-term effects.

BILL MOYERS: Here is what I take to be the core of your analysis of our political crisis. You write, "The United States has become a de facto one party state. With the legislative branch permanently controlled by an incumbent's party. And every President exploiting his role as Commander in Chief to expand on the imperial prerogatives of his office."

ANDREW BACEVICH: One of the great lies about American politics is that Democrats genuinely subscribe to a set of core convictions that make Democrats different from Republicans. And the same thing, of course, applies to the other party. It's not true.
(Interview: The Journal with Bill Moyers, pbs.org)

The entire interview is available as audio or transcript at pbs.org, and give greater insight into Bacevich's views on public policy and the 2008 presidential elections (then ongoing). For example, he notes that while identifying as conservative, he voted Democratic in 2006 because he felt that the incumbent party was doing nothing to fix problems; similarly, he identifies the public fascination with the President as rooted in Imperialism and the notion that one ruler should be personally responsible for everything, while in reality credit and blame is shared among hundreds of policy-makers who are largely ignored by the media.

Bacevich also expresses concern with the upcoming election and the national rift between Right and Left; since John McCain and Barack Obama acted as such highly polarizing figures, it took attention away from the interior problems and focused it on an ultimately small area of concern instead of helping to look inside and identify problems from within.

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