Here’s a conundrum: If you had so much money that you could afford to give millions to a political candidate or a group trying to get him elected, why would you choose someone whose only platform is to make it easier for you and people like you to make and keep even more millions? I mean if your candidate loses, you’ve spent all those millions for nothing or, at most, for making the point that the rich are entitled to make even more and keep even more of what they make. (I refuse to say earn.) Isn’t that really just another form of gambling? Maybe that’s why casino magnate and right-wing donor Sheldon Adelson came to my mind as an example right after the Koch Brothers.
It’s hard to imagine having as much money as those high-stakes gamblers do. But when I occasionally imagine what I’d do with the money I can win playing Powerball – assuming I were ever to play Powerball – it most certainly does not include betting millions on a risky proposition to try to end up with even more cash.
So what’s going on here? It’s obviously something that’s very difficult for those of us in the 99% to understand. Even a few of the point one percenters like Bill Gates or George Soros probably don’t understand. Is it a sickness like any other addicted behavior? I don’t think so. Sick yes, sickness no. My guess is that it’s about control. These sickos have gained control of the Republican Party and are using that leverage to gain control of our state and federal governments. Why? Because once you’re rich enough to be able to go anywhere you want and do anything you want with whomever you want, all that’s left is to be in charge of what everyone else does or, far more importantly, doesn’t get to do.
When people like you and me complain about this dynamic, we’re accused of class warfare for attacking the rich. This is preposterous. People with vast estates maneuvering to deprive the government of the money it needs to serve the rest of us are the ones engaging in class warfare. Calling them on it is just a matter of trying to defend ourselves against the attack.
Sad to say, too, that our enemies are winning this class war. Their percentage of America’s total assets keep rising. Here’s the worst part, though. While it’s possible for many of us in the middle class, maybe even most of us, to live through this without suffering, the effect on the poor and near poor is devastating. As it will be for so many more who cannot weather a job loss or a serious uninsured illness.
We must find a way – through politics, through protest, by creating a progressive movement stronger than the Tea Party – to end the class warfare. I invite you to take a first step right now by voicing your opposition to big money in politics. If you haven’t yet signed the petition at movetoamend.org., please join the opposition to the Citizen’s United decision that declared that corporations are people. We must never lose sight of the harm to our democratic way of life that is intended by the rich who are financing right wing politics. And we must especially remember the misery they so cavalierly inflict on the poor among us.