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Have you ever wondered why some critics review films? They don't even seem to like movies that much from what they write. I LOVE movies, and think about them long after the last credits roll across the screen. My reviews are meant to inform, entertain and never have a spoiler.
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Sunday, January 22, 2017

The Best Democracy Money Can Buy

“There are no victimless billionaires.”
The Best Democracy Money Can Buy

Greg Palast is an investigative journalist who has worked for the BBC and The Guardian. The Best Democracy Money Can Buy, is a documentary feature that chronicles his search for the truth about voter suppression in America.

The film begins at a frenetic pace, lots of flashy graphics and cartoons, but if you stick it out, it calms down. They likely put the film together in this way to appeal to the Facebook/Twitter/Instagram addicted people in society, short attention spans and a need for stimulation. Keith Tucker was in charge of animation. He also worked on the Roger Rabbit comic.

Greg Palast looks every bit the newspaperman going after a story, with his fedora and trench coat, crashing elegant parties for the rich, asking the tough questions until overweight white bouncers escort him out. I appreciate a journalist who is willing to put himself on the line for searching out the truth, and then presenting it to the public in a documentary such as this one. Today’s news outlets could use an army of such muckrakers.

I went to see it in the theater with my husband and two friends. It made us sad, and it made one of my friends cry. Palast reveals details about the program called Crosscheck, which was initiated by moneyed white men and carried out by elected white officials. It’s to benefit Republicans who fear they can’t get elected any other way. More depressing than anything I’ve seen lately, it shows how minorities in America were put on lists claiming they voted twice, with the result being their single vote was not even counted.

This is voter fraud in the worst way, and a large part of how Trump got elected. Rich white men who want unlimited wealth see to it that Democrats, those politicians who would actually work to secure the rights of underprivileged poor people, especially African Americans, Hispanics, and Asian Americans, are not voted in. If all the minority votes count, no Republican would ever get in office!

If someone showed me these lists, and said these people voted in two different states, I’d say your sampling techniques and data collection are flawed. People with even a high school education should be able to figure this one out. I’ll leave the details of the scam for you to see for yourself in the movie.

This was a chilling tale and left us feeling helpless and hopeless. But knowledge is power. Even if we don’t know how to combat voter suppression at this time, just knowing more about it is a start. It may also make you angry, but I urge you to find it on Amazon or Vimeo, and educate yourself. Have a viewing party with your friends and talk afterwards about what you can do to make a difference. Ask your representatives to have the Department of Justice open an investigation on the Crosscheck system for starters, and don’t let up.

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