There is a sadness that should accompany the billionaire Koch brothers plan to dump close to $900 million into slanting the outcome of the 2016 elections to conservative candidates and causes.
It’s a bold, unapologetic move by Charles and David Koch along with about 300 other recruited donors to dictate the results in presidential and congressional races, The New York Times reports. It’s hard to imagine that Kansas — home of radical abolitionist John Brown and the Populist Movement more than a century ago — will be the epicenter for this oligarchic change.
It’s sad because it shows the maturing bullying influence of the 2010 Citizens United Supreme Court ruling, which unleashed big money to allow people with wealth and power to shamelessly influence elections.
The Koch brothers’ announced intention makes it clear that politics and elections have become playthings for the rich and elected officials their pawns. It diminishes the power of any individual’s voice and vote.
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That will make even more Americans shrug their shoulders on Election Day and say, “Why bother?” That’s after they turn off their television sets and other media gadgets to get away from the political rancor, leading up to the day at the polls.
It also shows that the growing wealth gap in the United States isn’t going to change for generations if the wealthy control the governments, who benefits most from taxing and spending policies and who wields political power in this country. Late-night comedians will have a good time making fun of how horribly things have turned out.
But to everyday folks scuffing and scratching to get by, this 21st century America will hardly seem like what they or our forefathers and mothers had envisioned.