Ride that Oligarchical Pony!

George Orwell once wrote, “[T]he more one is conscious of one’s political bias, the more chance one has of acting politically without sacrificing one’s aesthetic and intellectual integrity.” [1]  I keep thinking of Orwell’s wisdom when I see Republicans feigning disgust over Democrats taking money from billionaires, like Tom Steyer, or Michael Bloomberg.

Are they disgusted with billionaires interjecting money into local, state and federal elections as a whole?  Or are they just upset with the billionaires they disagree with politically?  Because let’s be clear: the Democrats are not the only ones who accept money from billionaires and who implement already drafted legislative bills from billionaires in other states.
For example, and has already been documented, the Republicans do this too.  In the past few years, Colorado Republicans have been pushing legislative bills that are near mirror image bills that originated from ALEC, a think-tank funded by right-wing billionaires and major U.S. corporations.

For those who don’t know about ALEC read here and here.
For example, in 2015 Republicans in Colorado introduced SB 15-039 – a bill that was copied, nearly word for word, from the ALEC’s long list of copy and paste bills.  In fact, this kind of copy and paste job would quickly get any student immediately kicked out of school for plagiarism.  Read for yourself and compare the bills: SB15-039 and ALEC’s Resolution on State and Political Subdivision Jurisdiction Act
I could go on and on about how both parties accept campaign money from billionaires and push their prewritten legislative agendas, but that would miss the point I would actually like to make here.

Both examples of Democrats taking money from Steyer, or Republicans taking money from the Koch Brothers, clearly show why the latest study from Princeton is exactly right: the U.S. more closely resembles an Oligarchy rather than the often proclaimed “greatest democracy in the world.”


What the in-depth study by Professor Gilens and Professor Page discovered is that the vast majority of policy being implemented in the U.S. are what billionaires and influential corporations want, and not what the average citizen wants.  Thus, today’s heated debates surrounding policy issues such as environmental issues, economic issues, worker’s rights issues, etc, are being driven by the interests of oligarchs.


This is it, folks.  This is current state of our country.  The US is neither a Republic, nor a Democracy.  It’s morphed into an oligarchy, thus proving Plato right once again.  Can it change?  Of course!  Whether this change possibly comes from the hard task of reforming our campaign finance system, or the America goes through the long cyclical nature of political systems, is yet to be determined.


But if you are angered by Republicans, who are implementing state legislation that is drafted by billionaires and corporations, or by Colorado Democrats who are implementing bills from billionaire Bloomberg, or taking money from Tom Steyer, make sure to appropriately direct your anger at the oligarchical political system that threw the average citizens overboard a long time ago.


Because in all honesty, you just look like a silly partisan if you disgustingly shout about “the other” party accepting money, while your party does it too.  And in light of the Orwell quote above, you simply have no intellectual integrity.  Partisan hackery has a way of doing that to a person…
So go ahead and pick your oligarchical pony and buy into their proposed solutions for a better future.  Here is the list of the today’s most influential billionaires.  Some of them have the entire ‘we know what’s best for all of society’ package, and others are just pushing a few agendas; like Tom Steyer’s climate change agenda, or Bloomberg’s gun control, or Nick Hanauer’s $15 dollar minimum wage agenda.


Hell, we now even have a billionaire running for President who has by-passed giving money to politicians and decided to directly run for office himself because “only [he] can solve” all of America’s problems.  Unfortunately, there is a large amount of people who are disillusioned and naive enough to believe an oligarch will somehow make America a great constitutional republic again.


So get up on that pony, and ride it into the sunset of the American Republic!  Maybe even see if they will give you some extra cash for shilling for them.  I’m sure your children will thank you for giving up on the idea of “We the People” and deciding to put your faith in the Oligarchs instead.


Sincerely yours,

Mark Olson
P.S. – I have no copy editor, nor do I swim in the donor pools who will give me money to shill for their interests.  Thus my perspective and any grammatical errors above are all mine.


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