History is already concluding that the 2010 Citizens United decision by the Supreme Court was profoundly partisan and uniquely damaging to our democracy. It allowed money from greedy billionaires to flood our election system, re-orienting the allegiances of many politicians. Rather than care about pleasing voters, it became more important for office seekers to please the money-providers and use their campaign cash to lie to voters on a broad scale, making it easier to get elected.
The Citizens decision also emboldened billionaires to flood other areas of our culture with their sleazy cash. The Koch brothers bought Time Magazine to spread propaganda, and Sinclair Media merged with Tribune Media to expand their radical conservative reach. The Mercer family (who fund our weak excuse for a congressman, John Faso) funded the Breitbart website and fringe nationalist Steve Bannon.
In an escalation of this trend, and encouraged by the takeover of the EPA by political hacks and extraction operatives, the billionaire Mercer family is now throwing more of its money into the insidious industry of climate denial, described is an excellent report in the Huffington Post by Alexander C. Kaufman
Hiding behind a warped interpretation of “libertarianism”, billionaires have long tried to protect and enhance their wealth by purchasing politicians and legislation. They want to be “free” to poison the air and water, squander resources, clear-cut forests, etc. in order to line their pockets. But after Citizens United, the consequences became higher by a magnitude of order. Money is not speech, it is coercion.
Buying elections may, at the moment, be legal but it goes directly against the democratic ideal our nation has long embraced. It is a deeply undemocratic and unpatriotic project. The powerful billionaires engaged in this effort need to be shamed and derided at every turn. They cannot be allowed to use their fortunes to warp our airwaves, buy our politicians, or seed any number of bogus “institutes” to pollute our discourse with garbage science and partisan BS. We need to call these billionaires what they are: unAmerican plutocrats.