American Democracy's Ideals Subverted By The Koch Brothers' Money

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Charles and David Koch: money trumps justice and democracy

[Speaking Truth To Power]

On Tuesday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid again attacked billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch, whom the Nevada senator says are guilty of trying to pervert American politics with their money.

In the aftermath of the “Citizen’s United” ruling—where the John Roberts Court Supreme Court decided money is to be considered  protected “speech”—how will average Americans ensure that the democratic will of the people will not be subjugated by big money?

The stern criticism by Senator Reid started last week, on the Senate floor, when he called the Koch Brothers “un-American” because of a new set of anti-Obamacare ads being used to negatively influence voters to lure them to Republicans in this year’s election. The ads purport that the Affordable Care Act was causing cancellation of insurance policies by insurance companies and jeopardizing the health of Americans. Mr. Reid characterized the “vast majority of them"  as “absolutely false”, referring to the ads.

Senator Reid also called out the wealthy sons of Fred Koch—the founder of Koch Industries the second largest privately-owned company in America. "It's time that the American people spoke out against this terrible dishonesty of these two brothers, who are about as un-American as anyone that I can imagine," Reid said. Mr. Reid also declared “What is un-American is when shadowy billionaires pour unlimited money into our democracy to rig the system to benefit themselves and the wealthiest 1 percent.”

On Tuesday, the Majority Leader also took aim at the Koch Brothers influence overseas—and their alleged business ties to countries like Iran. “These are the same brothers whose company, according to a Bloomberg investigation, paid bribes and kickbacks to win contracts in Africa, India and the Middle East,” Reid said. “These are the same brothers who, according to the same report, used foreign subsidiaries to sell millions of dollars of equipment to Iran, a state sponsor of terrorism.” Representatives of the Koch Brothers claimed Senator Reid’s allegations were without merit.

“Nothing has ever come of any of the allegations that Mr. Reid referred to,” said Mark Holden, the general counsel for Koch Industries. "Senator Reid's allegations are false," he claimed.

“We are disappointed that Senator Reid is attacking private citizens rather than the problems facing this nation,” said Phillip Ellender, President of government and public affairs at Koch Companies Public Sector LLC. “It is no wonder that Americans have lost faith in Congress.”

Americans may have indeed “lost faith in Congress.” But that faith is profoundly being undercut by those trying to “rig the system,” as Senator Reid said.  And the Koch Brothers are poster boys for those trying to “rig the system” and destroy any semblance of democratic self-determination.

It should now be clearly evident that the flooding of big bucks into American politics has made a bad situation far worse.

For far too long, American democracy has been warped by the wallets of the Wall Street tycoon types—who use their money to prostitute the political principles of those in Washington. Now that the conservative Supreme Court—dominated by right-wing, “activist” justices like John Roberts, Antonin Scalia, Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas—tells us that money is “speech,” what will become of the voices of the American electorate who don’t have deep pockets?

Let’s be clear here: the “Citizen’s United” ruling was deliberated to give ruling-class elites more power to dilute the democratic will of voters. For generations, money has always been a main factor in filtering out those seeking higher office. In theory, anyone can make a political run for Congress or the White House. But without bushels of bucks—in this political system underpinned by money—one will never be able to ascend upward into America’s political hierarchy.

Is this really the kind of “democracy” Americans want, where the super-rich can have more say than anyone else?

If Americans accept the supreme stupidity articulated by the Supreme Court telling us money is “speech,” doesn’t that in effect mean those with millions and billions will be able to drown out the voices of the public at large? Moreover, doesn’t this negate any façade of a democracy receptive to the will of the majority?

We’re moving into a period where rich individuals and corporations can, singlehandedly, superimpose their will on the political system and elect politicians who will kowtow to their agenda—while, ignoring the democratic dictates of the American people.  The Koch Brothers use their money to pollute the political process. By using phony political fronts, like Americans For Prosperity, they are attempting to monopolize their political power by bribing public officials and engaging in mass media propaganda.

The Nazi mass murderer Adolph Hitler, in his book “Mein Kampf” once said the masses of a nation, because of their “primitive simplicity” will “more readily fall victims to the big lie than the small lie, since they themselves often tell small lies in little matters but would be ashamed to resort to large-scale falsehoods. It would never come into their heads to fabricate colossal untruths, and they would not believe that others could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously.”

This psychological insight is used repeatedly by those in government and by wealthy scoundrels like the Koch Brothers to manipulate the American people into backing policies that are good for the wealthy but disastrous for the majority. To say that Washington is a cesspool of lies would be an understatement.

But Washington’s worst lies are now being told by right-wing Republicans—who are being financed by the likes of the Kochs.

The big lies now being told about the Affordable Care Act illustrates the duplicity of Republicans and their corporate sugar-daddies. Americans are being told this healthcare legislation is a socialistic “big government” overreach. But what these frauds never admit is that the Affordable Care Act is the same basic legislation Governor Mitt Romney instituted in Massachusetts and is based on a plan formulated by the conservative Heritage Foundation.

And now that money is “speech,” those with the most money can turn their big lies into truth because they have the money to recruit unscrupulous politicians and can mass produce many forms of propaganda to flood their message throughout every avenue in media.

Besides all the falsehoods they finance on television and radio, these charlatans are also using Internet sites to spread their poison. Not surprisingly, they’ve been able to swindle millions of Americans into backing interests that will hurt most of the very people supporting them; the Tea Party crackpots come to mind here.

Shockingly, many of the same people now crying about the decline of America are busy aiding and abetting those ruining the democratic checks and balances that were erected to prevent big money from deciding the destiny of the country. Anyone, except for rich capitalists, who assists the likes of the Koch Brothers—who are busy bankrolling pliable politicians to further the schemes of corporate criminality—is voting against the best interest of average Americans.

Senator Reid was correct in pointing an accusing finger at the Koch Brothers. They seek to control the masses with their wealth.

They are the face of a corporate America that puts profits over people. The majority of the social miseries America now face—including a shrinking economy, dwindling paychecks, joblessness, homelessness, crime—can be placed at the feet of these parasitic people who just never have enough money.

The Koch brothers' concept of democracy must be: By the moneyed people; for the moneyed people.

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