The danger to democracy is far deeper than the current problems of Trump

6a3395d1e814e981a706b4eac458fb45 political memes political cartoonsRemember when Trump spoke endlessly of “beautiful clean coal?” You probably thought it was because he is so committed to saving jobs in the coal industry. If his concern about jobs was legitimate, then why is he far less concerned about the many more jobs found in the renewable energy industry?
These jobs, the wave of the future, are jeopardized with his policies which make renewable energy much more costly.
Well maybe, just maybe, his interest in the coal industry is tied to an individual by the name of Corbin Robertson? Who is Corbin Robertson you ask? He happens to be a major Republican Party campaign donor who also just happens to own 21 billion tons of coal reserves.
Climate change is a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese, is a frequently-recited refrain by Trump during both his campaign and his presidency. This, despite the overwhelming proof of the existence of the effects of climate change as attested to by almost the entire scientific community.
Any chance that Trump’s ignorant denials of climate change has more to do with the influence of the fossil fuel industry lead by major campaign donors Charles and David Koch, a.k.a. The Koch Brothers? I think so.

Turns out Donald Trump is not so much the enemy, but instead the tool of the enemy. The enemy is the top one-tenth of one percent in wealth and the influence that wealth has on our politicians. The enemy is the income inequality that those at the top of the wealth spectrum will attempt to hold onto and even expand regardless of the negative impact it has on the well-being of the rest of society.
Who wins with the rollback of the banking industry protections enacted with Dodd-Frank to prevent a recurrence of the great recession of 2008? Not the middle class and lower income citizens who were the primary victims of the greed that led to that recession. Rather, the winners include the “too big to fail” banks that led us into a broken economy and necessitated more regulations, not fewer.
When Trump recently displayed a mountain of regulations that he repealed alongside a small pile of regulations that he kept, does anyone really believe that he was capable of explaining any one of the regulations he was eliminating? He didn’t need to because his motivation was to eliminate as many regulations as possible regardless of the ramifications on the well-being of the larger segment of society on issues such as clean water and air, and so forth.
The winner? Big business and the business model of increasing corporate profits through fewer government restrictions to protect the environment, our health, our welfare.
The recent federal tax plan gave 83 percent of benefits to the top one-percent of income and 60 percent of benefits to the top one-tenth of one percent of income. Regardless of the extra few dollars many of us saw in our paychecks, is there really any rational individual who doesn’t recognize that the tax plan was designed to benefit the few and mot the many?
The Citizens United Supreme Court case of 2010 opened the flood gates for big money in our politics. Efforts by legislators such as Maryland Congressman John Sarbanes to close those floodgates by offering alternative funding sources to politicians are needed and welcome in that they serve to combine grass-roots contribution with formulas for matching public funds. It is a winning combination.
Nobel Prize winning economist Joseph Stiglets said “Wealth begets power, which begets more wealth.” A better description of the Trump White House will be hard to find.
Remember his campaign promise to “drain the swamp?” With whom did he drain that swamp? Goldman Sachs bankers such as Secretary of the Treasury Steve Mnuchin and former Senior Economic Adviser Gary Cohen. Even Steve Bannon was a former Goldman Sachs employee. Hillary Clinton may have been lambasted for taking a $300,000 speaking fee from Goldman Sachs but Trump did one better by bringing Goldman Sachs directly into the White House.
Trump, as the tool for the ultra-wealthy, has succeeded in bringing to light just how much influence the big money interests have over our political system. Likewise his administration has served to expose their rather blatant efforts to turn our democracy into a plutocracy.
Any citizen who values the ideals upon which this nation was founded must take seriously the threat of a plutocracy in which a tiny and extremely wealthy slice of the population is able to use its vastly superior economic position to promote political positions that serve first and foremost themselves.
Anyone who does not see this at the core of the Trump administration is not looking very hard.



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