Image from the East Bay Times by Marian Kamensky of Austria
Dear Fellow Citizens,
We live in scary times. The ascendance of the man in the White House was no accident. Billionaires like the Koch brothers and their ilk have been systematically planning and working toward this moment for 40 years. Their assault on American democracy, with secrecy, deception, and dark money front groups was easy given their enormous wealth. And it is blatantly obvious to anyone paying attention that they’ve succeeded in controlling the Republican party and most of our government operations. What is the evidence?
- Restrictions on political spending by corporations and the rich have been killed.
- Voting rights of students, people of color, the elderly, and anyone who opposes Republican policies and candidates are being suppressed.
- Labor unions are being destroyed.
- The rights of consumers, workers, organizations working for “We, the people” to sue corporations and instead forcing them into arbitration is being eliminated.
- Social safety nets (food stamps, jobless benefits, Social Security, Medicare/Medicaid) are being shredded.
- Regulations that protect people and the environment from outrageous corporate abuse are being axed.
- The rights of local communities to pass laws are being preempted by corporations who oppose them.
- Our democracy is being subverted through gerrymandering.
- Our courts are being packed with pro-corporate judges.
Have I forgotten anything? I’m sure I have. The effect of these and hundreds of other attacks on national, state, and local communities is cumulative. And the wealthy few are taking more and more of our country’s wealth. As the song goes, “Them’s that got shall get, and them’s that’s not shall lose.” And the rest of us are losing.
Call it what you will. I call it a coup. Only the slow, but deliberate stealth of this plan has kept the public unaware. Now, with Trump in the White House they don’t even try to keep it a secret, and we need to see it and be outraged.
This is not the first coup attempt. Fortunately, the first one failed. It’s not found in history books, but an attempt at the first coup occurred during the Great Depression in 1933. Wall Street multibillionaires (bosses of DuPont, Colgate, General Foods, GM), enraged by FDR’s “socialism” attempted to replace FDR with a military-backed government of capitalists. They hired a retired Marine general, Smedley Darlington Butler, to lead this takeover, who, in an alliance with an investigative reporter, Paul French, brought evidence to the US House. (see The Plots Against the President by Sally Denton, 2011). It would seem that the current group of billionaires is familiar with this plot and came up with better tactics.
The scary times we live in are well documented in two books: The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism, by Naomi Klein; and Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right, by Jane Mayer. If you read Stephen King’s books (I have not) and find them scary, they pale by comparison to the “scary” in these two books. I recommend them. Knowledge of the tactics of those in charge of this coup is the beginning of a good defense – and offense.
We, the people, have work to do.
A concerned citizen