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Saturday, August 29, 2015

They have so much in common

Charles Koch Equates Himself With Martin Luther King, Jr.
By Ann Werner

Image result for MLK quote on corporate greedIn what has to be the height of hypocrisy—or perhaps the product of a grossly misinformed upbringing—multi-billionaire Charles Koch implored a group of 450 wealthy conservatives to go out there and convince people that the fight for unbridled capitalism can be likened to the civil rights movement.

Wow. Just wow.

I could say a lot of things, but it’s important to note that Charles and his brother David were fed this from birth. Their father, Fred Koch, was one of the founding members of the John Birch Society. If you are unfamiliar with what that is, just think of it as the unholy precursor to the Tea Party.

There’s an excellent book titled Wrapped in the Flag by Claire Connor on what it was like being raised by right wing fanatics. Ms. Connor managed to figure out that it was all a bunch of hooey, but the Koch boys swallowed it hook, line and sinker. Maybe because they were never taught to share and, at the heart of who they are, they are just plain greedy.

In his comments to the assembled conservatives, Charles Koch compared the Koch political network to the work of Frederick Douglas, Susan B. Anthony and Martin Luther King Jr.

He said, “History demonstrates that when the American people get motivated by an issue of justice that they believe is just, extraordinary things can be accomplished. Look at the American Revolution, the anti-slavery movement, the women’s suffrage movement, the civil rights movement. All of these struck a moral chord with the American people. They all sought to overcome an injustice. And we, too, are seeking to right the injustices that are holding our country back.”

Pretty words. Words that could well be said by Bernie Sanders or Hillary Clinton. But when uttered from the mouth of Charles Koch, those words have a different meaning.

While those he mentioned fought to overcome inequality that kept people powerless, Charles Koch is talking about things like regulations that keep polluters in check.

He’s talking about completely eliminating unions and, thus, the right of workers to have a say in how they will be compensated and treated on the job.

He’s talking about selling the American people on the idea that corporations are people, just like you and me.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t have a few million in my back pocket to buy me influence in Washington. Nor am I acquainted with anyone who does.

Koch, and those like him, like to conflate the power of what’s left of the American union movement as having the same clout as Koch Industries, or Citibank, or Exxon.

If you are among those who believe that nonsense to be true, just ask yourself: Do you really think that the 185,000 member National Nurses United Union that just endorsed Bernie Sanders has anywhere near the money and influence that the Koch brothers billions can exert on lawmakers in Washington?

Do you really believe that union could cough up $889 million on advocacy issues like the Kochs are planning to do in the upcoming election?

People like the Koch brothers like to position themselves as being concerned about the plight of the poor, as being a friend to the working class.

They, like the politicians who carry their water, would have you believe that the trickle down, right to work, “small government” (translate that to removing all the rules governing air and water quality, consumer protections and workplace safety) is what’s good for you because it’s good for them.

And what’s good for them will make your life better. They won’t tell you how, exactly, but ask you to trust that it will. Because FREEDOM!

Charles Koch implored the wealthy members of  his audience, who were more than likely quaffing expensive Champagne with their brunch at the posh resort, to be “much more effective in articulating” the mission of the organization.

“If we cannot unite the majority of Americans behind the vision, then we’re done for. So that, to me, has to be our number one objective. But to do so, we’ve got to do a much better job of understanding what matters most to people and then to demonstrate that a free society gives them the best opportunity of achieving that.”

Good luck with that. How can a man who was born with a platinum spoon in his mouth and raised on right wing BS have any understanding of what it’s like to worry about putting food on the table, paying the rent, clothing and educating your children when you’re working a minimum wage job – or two or three?

Here’s hoping they’re done for.

Ann Werner is a blogger and the author of CRAZY and Dreams and Nightmares. You can view her work at Visit her on Twitter @MsWerner and Facebook Ann Werner