After the Supreme Court decided that George W. Bush won the 2000 election in which thousands of Black voters were purged from Florida’s voter registry because of similar names to actual criminals, a reporter named Greg Palast wrote a book titled “The Best Democracy Money Can Buy” in which he asserted that the election had been stolen by such shenanigans perpetrated by the Rich and Powerful in order to install GW Bush, their lackey, as president. 10 years later, in Citizens United v. FEC, the Rich and Powerful were given a boondoggle in the form of campaign finance reform that equated corporations and their contributions to political campaigns to that of free speech guaranteed to citizens, also known as sentient beings.
Palast has written an updated version of the book, subtitled “A Tale of Billionaires & Ballot Bandits.” about the theft of the 2016 election, again by mega-billionaires who sought (and have received) huge tax breaks, approval of oil pipelines, access to offshore drilling sites, elimination of troublesome federal regulations on financial and banking reform, and a Supreme Court (and many Federal Courts) stacked with conservative justices who vote for the interests of the wealthy and powerful. The issue of gerrymandering is now before the Supreme Court, and only time will tell if these rich and powerful players can seal the deal by getting the rubber stamp from the Supremes to continue to create convoluted districts to assure continued Republican legislators are elected even in areas with more Democratic voters.
The common thread of his books — and of the history of recent events — is that the wealthy have perfected unconscionable and effective methods, such as psychological trickery, to manage to win elections and secure their interests, even when the interests of average American voters are in conflict with the goals of the rich and powerful. The main tactics are fear (thus, we need an aggressive, powerful leader) and hatred (against “out groups” who are taking advantage of us poor white European-Americans). Propaganda has always been the preferred form of political messaging for those with devious intentions. However, on the eighth anniversary of Citizens United, it’s time to ask, just how many more elections, presidential or local, are we willing to forfeit to special interests.
The history of the world has been a history of the rich and powerful exploiting the poor and powerless. However, we have been taught that in the USA, this is not what happens. Oh yes, it does. Unfortunately, the United States has been a MAJOR source of resource stealing and weakening of democracies to benefit US corporations, including but not limited to countries the president refers to pejoratively. And it’s been perfected by the Republicans to an art form. The American voters need to wake up, learn about the issues, and turn out to vote in their OWN interests, or this situation will only deteriorate.