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Thu Jul 26, 2012, 05:10 PM

Thom Hartmann: Conservative Millennials, Boomers & Libertarians all being Conned



Multigenerational political influence by a very narrow special interest group is rare, but we're seeing it played out right now in front of us. A billionaire family - the Kochs - have gone from influencing my father's generation, to my generation, to my kids' generation - and very few Americans realize it. Daddy Koch - Fred - made his first millions palling around with Joe Stalin in the Soviet Union in the 1920s and 1930s. As the fascists rose to power in Europe in the 1930s, he was an enthusiastic supporter of Italian dictator Benito Mussolini, who invented the word "fascist," meaning essentially the takeover of democratic governments by big business interests. Mussolini went so far as to dissolve the Italian parliament, and replace elected politicians with representatives of each district's largest corporations. Fred Koch and Mussolini both particularly hated the trade unionists and their sometimes allies, the communists. So after Mussolini, along with his ally Hitler, lost World War II against America, Fred Koch brought the anti-communist pro-business-running-goverment - what some would call "facist" - torch to America big time, helping start the John Birch Society.

Two of their biggest efforts are pretty well known. After the Supreme Court ruled, in 1954, in the Brown versus Board of Education case, that segregation in schools was unconstitutional, the John Birch Society put up billboards all across America calling for the impeachment of the Chief Justice of the Court, Earl Warren. Daddy Fred Koch was very concerned about the integration of our schools - in fact, he wrote, "The colored man looms large in the Communist plan to take over America." With JFK's election, Fred Koch's John Birch Society went off again - this time against JFK. Using rhetoric not that different from the "secret Muslim" plots the Tea Party promotes about Obama, in a 1963 speech Fred said that " infiltrate the highest offices of government in the U.S. until the President is a Communist, unknown to the rest of us.

When JFK was scheduled to come to Dallas that year, the JBS distributed flyers saying, "Wanted, for Treason" all around the town two days before his arrival. On the day JFK was assassinated, large ads ran in the Dallas newspapers attacking Kennedy as being soft on Castro, among other things. That was my dad's generation. Daddy Koch died, and his sons Charles and David took over the family business of promoting the business and billionaire takeover of our American government.

They're doing it with a two-pronged attack. For people over forty, they're funding the Tea Party through a variety of groups, most notably Americans for Prosperity and Freedomworks. And for people under forty, they're funding Libertarian think tanks, like the Charles Koch Foundation (which was renamed as the Cato Institute), and the Reason Foundation, where David Koch is a trustee, which happily embraces a new generation of young people with the idea that "freedom" means the "freedom" to buy politicians and the "freedom" to pollute. For the young people, of course, the Libertarians throw in the "freedom" to smoke dope and hire a hooker, but those are just bones being cynically tossed to young potheads and young protoge's of Dick Morris.

But the Koch's have been inside the Libertarian movement from its beginning - 32 years ago this year, David Koch was the Libertarian Party's official candidate for Vice President of the United States. It's really pretty incredible, but it's all true. The main agenda of the Koch's John Birch Society was to enhance the power and control of our government by big business and billionaires, while fighting organized labor and people like me who were protesting the Vietnam War. The main agenda of the Koch's Tea Party is to get millionaires elected to Congress and have them cut taxes and regulations for Koch Industries and other polluting corporations, while fighting organized labor and people like me who were protesting the Iraq War.

And the main agenda of the Koch's Libertarians - again, funded and trained by the Koch Brothers - is to keep intact the power of big money over our government, cut taxes and regulations on billionaires and polluting industries, while fighting organized labor and people like me who are protesting the corporate takeover of the United States of America. Three generations of Americans, all duped by the same billionaire family. Three generations buying into the idea that "what's best for industry and billionaires is best for America" - and that government is our "enemy" rather than something that our nation's founders fought and died to create for all of "We The People" And, increasingly, it's not just the Koch family. The Walton family - whose combined wealth is greater than 40 percent of all Americans - funded a covert campaign to rename the estate tax as the "death tax" and lobbied so hard they got the estate tax eliminated entirely in 2010.

Senator Bernie Sanders pointed out yesterday that - so far - we know of 26 billionaires - worth over $146 billion - who have already "invested" or committed to invest over $561 million dollars in this election cycle - most of it to defeat Democrats who want to raise their taxes. The good news is that young people are waking up and realizing that the Libertarian hustle the billionaires are feeding them is just that - a hustle. Just like Tea Partiers are waking up to their having been had by billionaires who want to privatize their Social Security. Hopefully, soon, America will regain its sanity and we'll go back to viewing cranky billionaires the way my Dad's generation did - as Republican President Dwight D. Eisenhower did - when Eisenhower referred to their ilk as "small in number and stupid" They're not stupid any more, and if we really value American traditions, we really must push back on this kind of power and influence in American politics. Go to move to amend.org.

The Big Picture with Thom Hartmann on RT TV & FSTV "live" 9pm and 11pm check www.thomhartmann.com/tv for local listings

27 replies, 5021 views

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Arrow 27 replies Author Time Post
Reply Thom Hartmann: Conservative Millennials, Boomers & Libertarians all being Conned (Original post)
thomhartmann Jul 2012 OP
chknltl Jul 2012 #1
russspeakeasy Jul 2012 #2
Jamaal510 Jul 2012 #3
freshwest Jul 2012 #4
freshwest Jul 2012 #5
agent46 Jul 2013 #24
limpyhobbler Jul 2012 #6
ernie1241 Jul 2012 #7
Live and Learn Aug 2013 #26
Rosa Luxemburg Jul 2012 #8
JakeCollin Jul 2012 #9
Paulie Jul 2012 #10
freshwest Jun 2013 #23
cantbeserious Jul 2012 #11
fishwax Jul 2012 #12
HughBeaumont Jul 2012 #13
marmar Aug 2012 #15
dreamnightwind Aug 2012 #14
freshwest Jun 2013 #22
fasttense Aug 2012 #16
Overseas Aug 2012 #17
Whovian Oct 2012 #18
Dawson Leery Dec 2012 #19
SHRED Dec 2012 #20
Babel_17 Mar 2013 #21
pauliedangerously Aug 2013 #25
Enthusiast Aug 2013 #27

Response to thomhartmann (Original post)

Thu Jul 26, 2012, 05:20 PM

1. Highly reccomended and bookmarked for further use. Thank you.

Nuff said.

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Response to thomhartmann (Original post)

Thu Jul 26, 2012, 05:27 PM

2. Wow ! Interesting read...

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Response to thomhartmann (Original post)

Thu Jul 26, 2012, 05:31 PM

3. It's frightening how much influence

a single family can have over the politics of an entire nation. It's as if billionaires are royalty here.

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Response to thomhartmann (Original post)

Thu Jul 26, 2012, 05:35 PM

4. Scary stuff, will share! Thanks, Thom!

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Response to freshwest (Reply #4)

Thu Jul 26, 2012, 05:42 PM

5. Check the Dittohead on the youtube comments:

Fascist just simply means a shadow government.

That shadow government is obviously hidden because those behind it know its not popular and since they dont have complete control over a nation they choose to remain hidden.

The reason its not popular is because it infringes on freedom and liberty and therefore it falls into the category of "the left", i.e. socialism, communism, etc.

Since the Koch Bros. are capitalists, you cant hardly call them fascists (and be credible at least).

megamaniac76 2 hours ago

See? All that money did its job! He's an idiot!

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Response to freshwest (Reply #5)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 01:44 AM

24. Breathtaking

The reasoning is so layered, convoluted and based on false premise, it's almost impossible to penetrate.

The power of planned social engineering is an awesome thing to behold.

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Response to thomhartmann (Original post)

Thu Jul 26, 2012, 06:12 PM

6. wow. good report Thom Hartmann. nt

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Response to thomhartmann (Original post)

Thu Jul 26, 2012, 06:55 PM

7. Fred Koch and Birch Society

FYI: Fred Koch resigned from the Birch Society.

For details, see 1/8/85 article in Wichita KS Eagle newspaper, "Wichitans Found Welch Extreme" by Bill Hirschman

"Fred Koch's widow, Mary, recalled that Welch 'suspected everybody, and my husband thought he was too extreme and he withdrew his support.' Koch particularly took offense at Welch's characterization of former President Dwight Eisenhower as a Communist pawn, she said."

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Response to ernie1241 (Reply #7)

Fri Aug 23, 2013, 05:11 AM

26. What is really interesting

is that Fred Koch, after being drained by lawsuits (from US oil companies, no less) in the US had to turn to other countries including the Soviet Union to earn his fortune.

I would think that would make one bitter against the country (and big corporations) that had nearly bankrupted him but instead he turns against a country that helped him earn his fortune.

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Response to thomhartmann (Original post)

Thu Jul 26, 2012, 07:06 PM

8. thanks for the info

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Response to thomhartmann (Original post)

Thu Jul 26, 2012, 10:51 PM

9. Wow

 

1) Your definition of fascism is all wrong, and you did it on purpose. It isn't a "takeover" of democratic government by corporations. It is a marriage of corporations and government. By you phrasing it as you did, you are perpetrating the idea that the aim of capitalism is to overtake government. These corporations are no more capitalist than the government they have gone into business with.

2) You attack Cato and Reason without either taking the time to go through their archives, or completely ignoring everything that didn't fit your agenda of smearing free market ideology. Cato and Reason have thousands of articles warning of the dangers of crony capitalism, which is just a euphemism for fascism.

Cato: http://www.cato.org/search_results.php?q=crony+capitalism&btnG.x=0&btnG.y=0&btnG=Search&site=cato_all&client=cato-org&filter=p&lr=lang_en&output=xml_no_dtd&proxystylesheet=cato-org&proxyreload=1&getfields=summary

Reason: http://reason.com/search?cx=000107342346889757597%3Ascm_knrboh8&cof=FORID%3A11&ie=UTF-8&q=crony+capitalism&sa=Search

3) A vast majority of the founders didn't fight and die to create a government. They fought and died to get out from under the oppressive thumb of George III, and explicitly created the Constitution, especially the Bill of Rights, to limit the power of the government. Alexander Hamilton, on the other hand, fought because he wanted to be George III. That's why the national birthright clause was added for the office of Presidency (Hamilton was born in Jamaica). Nobody wanted that aspiring tyrant to get into the Presidency.

So, you got facts wrong, spun definitions to fit your agenda, and flat out lied. Congratulations, Thom. You're officially a mainstream journalist.

It's pretty pathetic you're on the same network as Capital Account.

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Response to JakeCollin (Reply #9)

Thu Jul 26, 2012, 11:16 PM

10. Welcome to DU! How's the weather in Arkansas?

You won't see much of anyone giving Cato or Reason the time of day around here. This is Democratic Underground. As we say around these parts, FRP.

Enjoy your stay!

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Response to Paulie (Reply #10)

Sat Jun 15, 2013, 05:20 PM

23. Well, that didn't last long. Wonder what name (or names) he's posting under now?

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Response to JakeCollin (Reply #9)

Thu Jul 26, 2012, 11:29 PM

11. Glad To See That An Alternative View Of History Causes Ire

eom

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Response to JakeCollin (Reply #9)

Thu Jul 26, 2012, 11:55 PM

12. speaking of getting facts wrong

3) A vast majority of the founders didn't fight and die to create a government. They fought and died to get out from under the oppressive thumb of George III, and explicitly created the Constitution, especially the Bill of Rights, to limit the power of the government. Alexander Hamilton, on the other hand, fought because he wanted to be George III. That's why the national birthright clause was added for the office of Presidency (Hamilton was born in Jamaica). Nobody wanted that aspiring tyrant to get into the Presidency.


Hamilton was born in Nevis, not Jamaica, and the natural born clause wouldn't have prevented him from being president (since it makes eligible those who were citizens "at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution"--after all, none of the candidates in the first several elections were born citizens--James K. Polk in 1844 was the first, though there were a few VP candidates in the cycle or two before who were born after adoption).

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Response to JakeCollin (Reply #9)

Fri Jul 27, 2012, 08:11 AM

13. Really???

When you're so unbelievably wealthy that the only thing left to buy is a government, what would you call that? What would you call the lobbying cartel in Washington, Jake . . . a good will mission? This isn't some silly idea, it's REALITY . .. one which you refuse to accept because it doesn't fit in YOUR narrative.

Free Market ideology needs to be smeared because it's nothing but a scam. Tax monies having to bail out whiskey-throttle financial follies and bubbles when they eventually fail automatically disqualifies this mess as a "free market". It's a Plutonomy. We're already being governed by the wealthy for the wealthy and your hard-right Reaganite economic policies are fully on board with that. You people aren't about fairness or egalitarianism at all and your shite tax-free economics is killing this country beyond it's ability to repair itself.

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Response to JakeCollin (Reply #9)

Tue Aug 21, 2012, 07:25 AM

15. Dios mio. Libertarian Koolaid ought to be a controlled substance.

nt

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Response to thomhartmann (Original post)

Tue Aug 21, 2012, 06:52 AM

14. Bumping this thread

It seems pretty relevant, unfortunately.

Thanks to Thom, and to FreshWest for referencing this post from here:
http://www.democraticunderground.com/10021158924#post17

I missed it at the time, glad to finally see it though.

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Response to dreamnightwind (Reply #14)

Sat Jun 15, 2013, 04:23 PM

22. Thanks, dreamnightwind.

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Response to thomhartmann (Original post)

Tue Aug 21, 2012, 09:00 AM

16. Those Koch brothers are busy little fascists

They are despicable traitors. They hate democracy and want this creeping fascism to become complete fascism - and they may get it if Obama gets the TPP passed. Why don't they find another country to abuse?

I always thought the libertarians were too conservative and bigoted to be what they claim they are. No wonder, they are funded by the same fascists as the RepubliCONS.

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Response to thomhartmann (Original post)

Tue Aug 21, 2012, 09:27 AM

17. K&R. Well said.

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Response to thomhartmann (Original post)

Tue Oct 30, 2012, 05:12 PM

18. KnR

 

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Response to thomhartmann (Original post)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 11:02 PM

19. K/R

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Response to thomhartmann (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 02:03 PM

20. k&r

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Response to thomhartmann (Original post)

Sat Mar 30, 2013, 05:24 PM

21. Wow

Thanks for this video.

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Response to thomhartmann (Original post)

Fri Aug 23, 2013, 03:48 AM

25. You are a Genius! ntib

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Response to thomhartmann (Original post)

Fri Aug 23, 2013, 07:31 AM

27. Kicked and Recommended! nt

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