~ Jane Mayer, "Dark Money" Politics and Prose, Feb 16, 2016
In an interview on Politics and Prose, Feb 16, 2016, Jane Mayer describes "the growing political influence of extreme libertarians among the one percent, such as the Koch brothers, tracing their ideas about taxation and government regulation and their savvy use of lobbyists to further an agenda that advances their own interests at the expense of meaningful economic, environmental, and labor reform."
Her story tells of the ways a small group of wealthy men developed strategies, methods, and procedures to change the direction of U.S. political thought. They influenced the 2012 election outcome and continue to infect the electoral process. A hard right-turn shifted the values and meaning of the Constitution to support the policies and practices that resulted in the widening wealth gap as it favored owners of wealth over owners of small businesses and labor.
I puzzled over this sharp economic turn for years and could not understand how it could happen. Jane Mayer describes a debt-bondage worker who is under an employer explains why and how they accomplished the shift. The increase of personal debt, weakening of labor unions, ripping apart safety nets, distorting taxation policies, using money to buy elections, all played their part in attempting to destroy the political system that had opened opportunities for working people and small businesses.
Jane Mayer, writing in "Dark Money", explains why and how the gap began and grew, and now grows exponentially. Trump is a symptom of the underlying problem. The current pandemic came at a terrible time, creating a perfect storm of unemployment, layoffs, a breakdown of supply lines of goods and services to consumers. Dark Money, spent on an "agenda that advances their own interests at the expense of meaningful economic, environmental, and labor reform."
Really, it's no secret, Joan. Reagan opened the door, and all the moneyed and empowered and privileged jerks walked through it ... and left the rest of us out in the cold.
Fuck 'em. Fuck the lot of 'em.
"Fuck 'em!" OK! Define how you mean fuck 'em. We know what caused the outrageous takeover; now, what do we do to outsmart them? We know that Democrats betrayed the working men and women as well as the Republicans.
What are our options?
What is our plan?
From where does the money come to support resistance?
What news sources deserve our attention?
Who do we want for POTUS, governors, Congress, mayors, school board members?
If dark money with dark plans took careful thinking, how can we mobilize careful thinkers who can outsmart the dark politicians?