Robert Reich has a film out, Inequality For All. It looks really good. But I’m afraid it will be a while before I get to see it. Unlike John Dies at the End, Inequality For All is not available to stream. It is, however, getting better distribution. If I could get to Berkeley or San Francisco, I could see it. Nothing like this ever comes to Santa Rosa. That’s interesting, because Santa Rosa is a reasonably liberal town. But the only documentaries like this that make it here are conservative claptrap like Dinesh D’Souza’s 2016: Obama’s America. Of course, that film disappeared almost immediately, indicating that no one here cared to see it. But the rich people who own our multiplex sure wanted to push it. But a liberal documentary about income inequality? Not so much.
In the trailer below, it is clear that the film combines the two things that I most love about Reich: humor and insight. It even includes a very short bit of video where Bill O’Reilly says that Reich is a communist. That’s a perfect example of the revolutionary use of language: make words meaningless. If Reich is a communist, what is Stalin? A double plus bad communist? But O’Reilly is right to fear Reich because he does stand for everything that O’Reilly has spent his career fighting against: equality, opportunity, justice. But it is more than just ideology; it is also style. O’Reilly is a bully who shouts and intimidates in order to get his way. Reich uses his considerable charm and enormous knowledge to make his points.
Unfortunately, raging on live television will draw 3 million viewers per night. Robert Reich has no such outlet. So it is great that this documentary is making its way around the country. Thus far, the reviews for it have been very good. Currently Rotten Tomatoes gives it a 93% fresh rating. So hopefully it will get some big awards and get a larger audience. I can’t speak for the film, but certainly Robert Reich deserves that. And so does the country.
I saw on the O’Reilly Sucks blog that last night he was pushing the most pernicious bit of false equivalence. He claims that both sides have their complaints, “So President Obama and the Republican leadership must sit down and hammer out a deal. Those who will not compromise will be hurting the country and the American people will know just who they are.” But that is the whole thing. If you say that it is acceptable to shutdown the government over an irrelevant policy, then you are siding with the Republicans. But of course, O’Reilly puts it in a way that sounds reasonable and even handed. Also note: Obama can’t negotiate with John Boehner. Boehner doesn’t have control of the Republicans. So even if it were the right thing to do, it would be useless.