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The New ‘Founder’ — Brought To You By The Koch Brothers

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The New ‘Founder’ — Brought To You By The Koch Brothers


When you think of America’s great Constitutional originators, names like Madison, Adams, Jefferson, Washington, Hamilton and Franklin come to mind. And, of course, Abbott.

This past January, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, the multimillionaire protege of the Koch brother’s Plutocratic Kingdom and American Legislative Exchange Council darling, revealed to a startled nation that he has penned not one but NINE new amendments to the Constitution of the USA. Forget the Bill of Rights, Abbott is proposing a Bill of Sale, effectively transferring the title of our national government from The People to The Plutocrats. The upshot of his “tweaks” would be outlawing government actions that restrain corporate abuse of workers and consumers, while also preventing future Congresses from meeting crucial public needs such as health care, voter rights, and restoration of our national infrastructure.

One could call Abbott and his Founding Father pretentious and ludicrous – which both are – but he’s not the force behind this diabolical, ideological tampering with our Constitution and our people’s ideals of fairness and justice. ALEC, at the direction of the Kochs and their corporate cohorts, wrote this Bill of Sale.

Convening an explosive convention, permitted under Article V of the Constitution, is a longtime dream of those elites seeking an American Kochistan, and ALEC is spearheading a hodgepodge of right-wing groups that — believe it or not — are alarmingly close to succeeding. An ALEC/Koch affiliate with the cumbersome acronym of BBATF (Balanced Budget Amendment Task Force) came out of the Tea Party maelstrom in 2010 and is now aggressively pushing governors and state legislatures to endorse such an Article V convention. At the convention, they would attempt to rewrite our nation’s fundamental governing document by adding a balanced budget amendment, along with Abbott’s other eight. Together these changes would enthrone the “moneyed corporations” that Jefferson and other founders abhorred as destroyers of America’s democratic possibilities.

Absurd? Of course. Even the late Phyllis Schlafly who was the head of the right-wing Eagle Forum, called this push “a prescription for political chaos,” adding, “Alas, I don’t see any George Washingtons, James Madisons, Ben Franklins, or Alexander Hamiltons around who could do as good a job as the Founding Fathers, and I’m worried about the men who think they can.”

Well, ALEC and the Kochs sure do think they can. But their diabolical schemes don’t stop with Gov. Abbott and changing our constitution, they want to take over our country’s entire political system. Having already spent hundreds of millions of dollars to get their policy pushing puppets like Abbott into office, the Koch’s want to bend the will of the people as well. They recently started a new program that they call Grassroots Leadership Academy that gives how-to lessons in everything from mounting successful protest actions to recruiting middle-of-the-road voters.

Using Saul Alinsky’s “Rules for Radicals,” they are training thousands of people to become organizers and political activists. This so-called “grassroots” outfit has been set up by the gabillionaire Koch boys to train cadres of right-wing corporatists to spread their ideological laissez-fairydust across the land. The academy is run through Americans for Prosperity, Charlie’s and Davie’s political wing, which put up $3 million to get it going. About 10,000 people have gone through some of the training sessions in three dozen states. The brothers’ grandiose scheme is to take over the Republican Party and use it as their tool to rebuild America itself into a Kochlandia, ruled by the superrich.

The academy’s curriculum is loaded with such corporate nonsense as a course titled “The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels.” Attendees are indoctrinated with two overarching lessons: (1) freewheeling corporate power — unrestrained by labor, environmental or other public protections — GOOD; (2) Social Security, unemployment benefits, and other social programs — BAAAAAAD!

Koch Kollege for right-wing social engineers is peddling a status quo agenda of corporate elitism and trickle-down ideology, which the vast majority of Americans have openly rebelled against. It’s like trying to sell chicken salad made out of chicken manure.

IMAGE: Texas Governor Greg Abbott/Gage Skidmore via Flickr.com

Jim Hightower is a national radio commentator, writer, public speaker and author of the book Swim Against the Current: Even a Dead Fish Can Go With the Flow (Wiley, March 2008). He publishes the monthly Hightower Lowdown, co-edited by Phillip Frazer.

Jim Hightower

Jim Hightower is a nationally syndicated columnist and one of America's most prominent progressive voices. His column carried by more than 75 publications across the country. Prior to becoming a writer, Hightower served as Texas Agricultural Commission from 1982 to 1991.

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  1. dbtheonly December 1, 2016

    Abbott isn’t quite as funny without Lou Costello.

    We can forget the balanced budget amendment, at least for the next four years. Deficits don’t matter if there’s a Republican in the White House.

    But, Mr. Hightower, snark as you will, the Koch Brothers are remarkably successful.

    1. Michael Allen December 1, 2016

      “Snark”? This piece does not strike me that way. This essay seems to be more of a cautionary tale, and one that the public should be mindful of, rather than to be snookered into believing the bullshit inherent in the propagandistic Koch tv commercials of this past year. Read Jane Mayer’s Dark Money.

    2. RED December 1, 2016

      You have a fascinating definition of successful. Apparently one is successful by coming out the correct birth canal. And apparently this success also means you can fool other morons in to believing that crap.

      1. dbtheonly December 1, 2016

        I thought my definition of successful was fairly majoritarian; accomplishing ones goals.

  2. Elliot J. Stamler December 1, 2016

    This article like many solicitations I get from some liberal organizations is an INSULT to my intelligence. And it is a reason I do not subscribe to Mr. Hightower’s own publication which regularly solicits me.
    It is simple. Except that Mr. Hightower…and whomever writes his direct mail solicitations don’t get it.
    If you write an article that Gov. Abbott is proposing nine constitutional amendments which are very bad and then denounce them, HAVE THE BRAINS TO FIRST SET FORTH SPECIFICALLY WHAT EACH PROPOSED AMENDMENT SAYS!!! Mr. Hightower and other such people are, frankly, airheads because they think that people who may be predisposed toward their viewpoint are dumb and will just go for the propaganda…they won’t and I won’t. I don’t want a denunciation of Gov. Abbott..I know how awful he is. If you write he is proposing nine specific things, tell me precisely what they are.
    If you don’t, you are insulting my intelligence and wasting my time.

  3. johninPCFL December 1, 2016

    It’s a good thing that Trump paid him off to avoid investigating Trump U so he can spend all his time sucking up that Koch cash.


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