Americans Have Given Up Without a Fight

I continue to be amazed at how Americans have become so apathetic with our political process and democracy in general. America was founded on a constitution that guarantees basic civil/human rights, religious liberty, political rights, independent courts of law, and fair and free elections. A true Government of the people, by the people, for the people. A democracy in which the ultimate power rests with the people and administered by people that are elected to represent them in the day-to-day business of the people’s government.

Our two political parties have always been opponents, but ultimately they would do what was best for the country and the people they represent. Now they are enemies, full of hatred for each other, with their own interests put ahead of the people’s needs. Their loyalty and focus has transitioned from the needs of the people to the demands of their overlords – their financiers.

In the past, those politicians that were “bought and paid for” by those with money, who obviously expected favors in return, were limited to just a few politicians. When exposed, these “bought and paid for” politicians would eventually get voted out of office.

Today, “bought and paid for” is the norm in politics. Not only politicians, but entire political parties, at all levels of government, are “bought and paid for” by ultra-rich billionaires. Even to the point of having their special interest “think tanks” writing the bills for the politicians to submit and pass.

As in the old Medieval Feudal System, these overlords are at the top of the pyramid and demand allegiance from their minions below. Of course, at the bottom of the pyramid rests the peasants and laborers.

A prime example of this was in the news recently. When running for Governor in Louisiana, Bobby Jindal had the backing of Grover Norquist of Americans for Tax Reform (ATR). However, to get Norquist’s backing, Jindal had to vow allegiance to Norquist and his “no tax increase” policy. Governor Jindal has continually insisted that the Louisiana budget be balanced without tax increases, despite the prospect of devastating cuts to higher education and health care. Because of his “no tax increase” allegiance, Louisiana is now suffering. Gone are $800 million from the Medicaid Trust Fund for the Elderly and $450 million for providing development incentives, and the rainy day fund has dropped from $730 million to $460 million on his watch. As Louisiana’s legislature urgently tries to find a solution, the governor has threatened to veto any budget plan or tax bills that does not have his overlord’s, Grover Norquist, blessing.

So the economy and welfare of the State of Louisiana and it’s people are at the mercy of an anti-tax lobbying group, founded by Grover Norquist, a guy that was caught laundering money for Jack Abramofff and whom the New York Times has called “one of the Republican Party’s most influential policy strategists”. Of course, Norquist has his own overlords, the Koch brothers and other big industry giants.

We have sat on our hands while our democracy has slowly transitioned to an oligarchy. We have sat idly by while our basic civil/human rights are under attack and being relinquished, all in the name of security; our religious liberty has been taken over by in-your-face extremists that don’t accept other religions and demand politicians follow religious beliefs when passing laws; our political rights are being taken away from us by our politicians as they pass laws aimed at voter suppression; our fair and free elections are a thing of the past as our elections and representatives are bought and paid for by super rich billionaires; and our independent courts of law, including the Supreme Court, are totally politicized.

One of the primary goals of these ultra-rich overlords is the privatization of government services. In other words, they want to transition services that are currently provided by the government, funded by the people’s taxes, to services provided by for-profit corporations, which are owned by the overlords. The Center for Media and Democracy has called this privatization goal “a hostile takeover of our schools, roads, prisons, drinking water, and even government itself”.

An oligarchy is a form of government in which most of the political power effectively rests with a small segment of society, typically the people who have the most wealth, military strength, ruthlessness or political influence.

I would say this just about fits our current state of affairs, and we got here by giving up without a fight.

koch family and stalin

 

To understand how the Koch brothers have mastered this process, watch the following video on how the Koch brothers are attacking Social Security.

 

Who Are the Koch Brothers and What Do They Want?

As a result of the disastrous Citizens United Supreme Court decision, billionaires and large corporations can now spend an unlimited amount of money to influence the political process. The results of that decision are clear. In the coming months and years the Koch brothers and other extraordinarily wealthy families will spend billions of dollars to elect right-wing candidates to the Senate, the House, governors’ mansions and the presidency of the United States. These billionaires already own much of our economy. That, apparently, is not enough. Now, they want to own the United States government as well.

Four years ago, the Supreme Court handed down the 5-4 ruling in Citizens United vs the Federal Election Commission. A few weeks ago, they announced another horrendous campaign finance decision in McCutcheon vs. FEC giving even more political power to the rich. Now, many Republicans want to push this Supreme Court to go even further. In the name of “free speech,” they want the Court to eliminate all restrictions on campaign spending — a position that Justice Thomas supported in McCutcheon — and a view supported by the Chairman of the Republican National Committee. Importantly, as a means of being able to exercise unprecedented power over the political process, this has been the position of the Koch brothers for at least the last 34 years.

The Koch brothers are the second wealthiest family in America, making most of their money in the fossil fuel industry. According to Forbes Magazine, they saw their wealth increase last year from $68 billion to $80 billion. In other words, under the “anti-business”, “socialist” and “oppressive” Obama administration, their wealth went up by $12 billion in one year.

In their 2012 campaigns, Barack Obama and Mitt Romney each spent a little more than $1 billion. For the Koch brothers, spending more than Obama and Romney combined would be a drop in their bucket. They would hardly miss the few billion dollars.

Given the reality that the Koch brothers are now the most important and powerful players in American politics, it is important to know what they want and what their agenda is.

It is not widely known that David Koch was the Libertarian Party vice-presidential candidate in 1980. He believed that Ronald Reagan was much too liberal. Despite Mr. Koch putting a substantial sum of money into the campaign, his ticket only received 1 percent of the vote. Most Americans thought the Libertarian Party platform of 1980 was extremist and way out of touch with what the American people wanted and needed.

Fast-forward 34 years and the most significant reality of modern politics is how successful David Koch and like-minded billionaires have been in moving the Republican Party to the extreme right. Amazingly, much of what was considered “extremist” and “kooky” in 1980 has become part of today’s mainstream Republican thinking.

Let me give you just a few examples:

In 1980, Libertarian vice-presidential candidate David Koch ran on a platform that called for abolishing the minimum wage. Thirty-four years ago, that was an extreme view of a fringe party that had the support of 1 percent of the American people. Today, not only does virtually every Republican in Congress oppose raising the $7.25 an hour minimum wage, many of them, including Republican leaders like Mitch McConnell and John McCain, are on record for abolishing the concept of the federal minimum wage.

In 1980, the platform of David Koch’s Libertarian Party favored “the abolition of Medicare and Medicaid programs.” Thirty-four years ago, that was an extreme view of a fringe party that had the support of one percent of the American people. Today, the mainstream view of the Republican Party, as seen in the recently passed Ryan budget, is to end Medicare as we know it, cut Medicaid by more than $1.5 trillion over the next decade, and repeal the Affordable Care Act. According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, “Under the Ryan plan, at least 40 million people — 1 in 8 Americans — would lose health insurance or fail to obtain insurance by 2024. Most of them would be people with low or moderate incomes.”

In 1980, the platform of David Koch’s Libertarian Party called for “the repeal of the fraudulent, virtually bankrupt, and increasingly oppressive Social Security system.” Thirty-four years ago, that was an extreme view of a fringe party that had the support of 1 percent of the American people. Today, the mainstream view of the Republican Party is that “entitlement reform” is absolutely necessary. For some, this means major cuts in Social Security. For others who believe Social Security is unconstitutional or a Ponzi scheme this means the privatization of Social Security or abolishing this program completely for those who are under 60 years of age.

In 1980, David Koch’s Libertarian Party platform stated “We oppose all personal and corporate income taxation, including capital gains taxes … We support the eventual repeal of all taxation … As an interim measure, all criminal and civil sanctions against tax evasion should be terminated immediately.” Thirty-four years ago, that was an extreme view of a fringe party that had the support of 1 percent of the American people. Today, 75 Republicans in the House have co-sponsored a bill that Paul Ryan has said “would eliminate taxes on wages, corporations, self-employment, capital gains, and gift and death taxes in favor of a personal-consumption tax.

Here is what every American should be deeply concerned about. The Koch brothers, through the expenditure of billions of dollars and the creation and support of dozens of extreme right organizations, have taken fringe extremist ideas and made them mainstream within the Republican Party. And now with Citizens United (which is allowing them to pour unlimited sums of money into the political process) their power is greater than ever.

And let’s be very clear. Their goal is not only to defund Obamacare, cut Social Security, oppose an increase in the minimum wage or cut federal funding for education. Their world view and eventual goal is much greater than all of that. They want to repeal every major piece of legislation that has been signed into law over the past 80 years that has protected the middle class, the elderly, the children, the sick and the most vulnerable in this country. Every piece of legislation!

The truth is that the agenda of the Koch brothers is to move this country from a democratic society with a strong middle class to an oligarchic form of society in which the economic and political life of the nation are controlled by a handful of billionaire families.

Our great nation must not be hijacked by right-wing billionaires like the Koch brothers.

For the sake of our children and our grandchildren, we must fight back.

Re-posted from Huffingtonpost.com | by Bernie Sanders

 

 

 

 

An Open Letter to the People in Charge

I agree wholeheartedly. These people can’t relate to “common people”, yet they think they know what is best for everyone else. All they want is to get more money, more power, and more influence. At what point do they finally “have enough”. I don’t begrudge anyone for being successful or becoming rich, but can you not utilize your influence and/or money to help better our world. I’m sure somewhere along the line you got a helping hand when you needed it.

You Monsters Are People.

Dear Oligarchy,

It’s been a long time coming but I think people are finally starting to catch on to all of your bullshit. The public trust in you is beginning to collapse like those cheap umbrellas you produce in China for pennies and then sell here for eight dollars when it rains and I’m forced to buy it because didn’t have the foresight to bring my own. One more strong gust of lucidity and I’m convinced the traditional belief that you know best is going to flip inside out.

We are learning that simply being in charge doesn’t necessarily qualify you to make the best decisions. In fact you’ve made a lot of really poor choices throughout history. Even though you tried to blame things like the Crusades and the Holocaust on a few bad apples, we know that it takes a lot of cooperation to accomplish nightmares of such…

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