What you say, you did not know America was for sale? A few weeks ago I wrote a post about how the oligarchy is more empowered to buy political influence given the amount of money in politics. This investment is further facilitated by the Citizens United and McCutcheon US Supreme Court decisions which give greater reign to folks with money to fund political candidates.
On cue, the Koch Brothers, two of the wealthiest men in America whose money is traceable to the fossil fuel industry, have publicly stated a desire to invest $889 million in the 2016 Presidential race. Note the use of the term “investment” rather than “spend.” The Koch Brothers, like other members of our oligarchy, are investing in a politician to win to insure their interests are representated. The Koch Brothers are citizens, just as we are, and are entitled to invest their money, but the remaining citizens need to be asking more questions.
– Why would you spend $889 million to sway an election?
– What do you expect in return for such an investment?
– Is the fact that your money is linked to the fossil fuel industry have anything to do with your investment in the potential next President?
I mention this last question in that the industry has been in full public relations campaign mode ever since “An Inconvenient Truth” was produced to reveal the impact of climate change. The PR campaign has been hugely successful in first convincing some that climate change was a hoax. Now that it is apparent climate change is not a hoax, the line in the sand has been redrawn to say climate change is real, but the evidence that it is man-influenced is based in imperfect science.
These are public relations strategies meant to confuse the issue and allow the continued expansion or perpetuation of fossil fuel retrieval and use. It should be noted the same public relations firm that was so successful with the hoax campaign is the same one who has been telling us how safe fracking is. The lack of safety of the fracking process is increasingly becoming apparent as the evidence of water and air pollution, earthquakes and environmental degradation mount.
While I am disappointed in some of the measures taken by President Obama on fossil fuel expansion, he is at least doing something about climate change and accelerating expansion in renewable energy which is producing jobs, as well. Yet, the deference to the fossil fuel industry made by the President is not good enough for some of our wealthy citizens who benefit from the fossil fuel industry. With a faster migration away from fossil fuel needed, the Koch Brothers need a President that will do their beckoning to push off climate change actions that the rest of the world is doing. We are already ten years behind where we should be, but they want to push it further out, until it is too late and they have made their money.
These are the questions we should be asking. Since we do not pay attention and some who do will only pay attention to pseudo news sources that are speaking from the Koch playbook, we are not in a good a position in our country to fend off the wolves from our democracy. I recognize there are wolves on both sides of the political equation, but we need to be mindful of who money is being spent by and on and ask questions. Please look into the Move to Amend the constitution to not equate money with free speech and to note that corporations are not people. A link to the petition is below. http://movetoamend.nationbuilder.com/petition.
To be honest, there is very little chance that “we the people” can hold back this tide. Money is power and does buy influence, but we must at least do our best to maintain our democracy and keep our politicians honest. We can start by paying attention to real news and asking more questions.
I dare say the Koch brothers are not concentrating just on the presidency. They would like to buy the entire Congress, I dare say. And unless the people finally wake up and smell the coffee, it will happen. He and his ilk have so damned much money and no conscience. Good blog, BTG. Keep ranting!! We hear you!
Thanks Hugh. I dare say “you are correct” unfortunately. The dilemma is we have people who are not awake enough to put the coffee on. They do not realize someone is stealing their lunch money.
They will only realize that when they start to feel the pangs of hunger. With most folks these days it will take a real crisis to wake them up. If they are fed and entertained they will be content.
Of course, our lead stories seem to be debate over the sniper movie and deflategate.
Hugh is right, they are after the entire Congress as well as the presidency. They are against the minimum wage, the EPA and clean air and water, labor laws, and taxes. Just imagine what could happen if they get in power. They claim to be libertarians, but only where it concerns them and their empire.
Thanks Barney. Agreed on all counts. Of course, you noted in an earlier post, the Koch Brothers are buying up water rights to hedge their bets, as water becomes the new oil.
If they had any sense they would start to invest in renewable energies as well!
You might find of interest, George Mitchell, the father of modern day fracking invested in renewables before he died a couple of years ago per his son.
It probably does not bother voters that the money comes from industry and lobbyists, as long as they are on the same side. Sigh.
You are likely correct. I would prefer these rich folks to follow the leads of Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett and use their money to help people.