Bill Moyers introduces us to the shameless plutocrats who are choking off democracy

February 15, 2012 | By | 5 Replies More

In this article at Alternet, Bill Moyers describes the problem and then names and describes those hyper-wealthy individuals who are funding some of America’s biggest PACs.  The U.S. Supreme Court calls it “freedom of speech” when people with enormous amounts of money brainwash and silence ordinary citizens with piles of money rather than with the quality of their ideas.

[T]he results are in and our elections have replaced horse racing as the sport of kings. Only these kings aren’t your everyday poobahs and potentates. These kings are multi-billionaire, corporate moguls who by the divine right, not of God, but the United States Supreme Court and its Citizens United decision, are now buying politicians like so much pricey horseflesh. All that money pouring into super PACs, much of it from secret sources: merely an investment, should their horse pay off in November, in the best government money can buy.

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Category: Corporatocracy, Corruption

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

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  1. Adam Herman says:

    If it was that easy, the Arch Deluxe and Crystal Pepsi would be the dominant products in their markets. 30-second ads do not brainwash, and $100 million ad campaigns can be destroyed by viral Youtube videos.And if the media doesn’t like your ad, they can fact check it until it backfires on you. Over in Michigan, Peter Hoekstra may have just killed his campaign with an ad many view as racist.

    Democracy works. Free speech works. Have a little faith. But if you won’t have faith, i refer you to this proof:

    http://www.opensecrets.org/bigpicture/index.php

    Since 1998, the party that raised and spent the most money only won half the time.

    And in 2010, Republicans were vastly outspent in a lot of key races, but won those races anyway. Plus we’re seeing a primary campaign in which money hasn’t mattered at all.

    The people are wise enough to make good choices. If you don’t believe this to be true, why support democracy in the first place?

    • Erich Vieth says:

      Soda is sugar water, designed to bring a bit of pleasure. The “product” sold by modern politicians and their corporate owners is safety from a purportedly huge menace that will allegedly be dropping nuclear bombs on their cities. People, being the risk-adverse animals that they are, panic at this thought and stop thinking. They will do almost anything that allegedly threatens their property and lives, even a potential threat of terrorism that is 2% of the risk they face from things like tornadoes, illness and auto accidents. Both modern political parties have found that they are more desirable when they market themselves as saviors from nightmares. Way different than soda pop. See this post on the power of nightmares, and see also here.

      As far as your study, the relevant comparison should be between big money party candidates (the Demrepublicans) versus all of the candidates from other parties (or those with no party affiliation) who don’t have much of any money, and are thus not deemed to be “serious” candidates by the corporate media. They have no chance at all, and that is because they are completely and utterly drowned out by the two big warmongering parties.

  2. Adam Herman says:

    Sure, if candidates have like no money, they are going to lose. But if one candidate has $5 million and the other has $2 million, it’s not going to make a difference. It’s like the US having 5000 warheads and the Soviets 8000 back in the 80s. Adding more doesn’t change anything. But both sides thought it would matter, so they kept right on.

    You make a good point about the media. Any discussion of how campaigns go always comes back to the media. The media is a bigger kingmaker than David Koch. If Koch had as much patience as Rupert Murdoch, he’d actually accomplish something. Owning a media corporation is how you influence campaigns. $50 million is nothing compared to the 24/7 advocacy of Fox News.

    • Erich Vieth says:

      I disagree with you in the case of “one candidate has $5 million and the other has $2 million.” Elections are often decided by tiny margins. Add to that the fact that ANYONE can be swift-boated with a barrage of false accusations in the last few weeks of a campaign; it doesn’t matter at all that you are a good decent honest person–you can be taken down by a coordinated blast of paid ads, and the news media will be happy to dignify false allegations. At that point, the candidate with $2M will be almost out of ad money, whereas the $5M candidate is drawing lots of unfair blood.

      Does the candidate with less money sometimes win? Sure, but why do you think candidates scramble so viciously for money during campaigns?

  3. Adam Herman says:

    Because that’s what the professionals who make lots of money and want to stay relevant tell them they have to do. It’s not sometimes that the lesser funded candidate wins. It’s nearly half the time, if we exclude candidates that raise almost nothing running against entrenched incumbents.

    And these days it’s awfully tough to outright lie about your opponent and get away with it. The media does fact check pretty well. I’ve been impressed with the primary campaign so far, it’s brutally negative, but it’s all true.

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