How did we get here?

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I sadly contemplate how this country has reached this present sad state of divisiveness that is threatening the entire fabric of what is supposed to be the “United States.”  According to polls, 90 percent of the Republican party still believes the big lie about the election being stolen, and 30 percent fell that violence for political purposes is justifiable.  

I feel that this present sad start originated during the Nixon Administration.  Nixon’s Press Secretary, Roger Ailes had this brilliant idea that people want to be entertained more than get actual news, and o their own thinking.  News should be in 10 to 30 second soundbites.  

Then The Reagan administration eliminated the fairness doctrine, which makes it legal to lie.  The recent Alex Jones lawsuit, and the in-process lawsuit by Dominion voting machines may finally enforce some responsibility to deliberate liars.

In 2002, Senators John McCain and Rush Feingold passed a bill which regulated campaign finance to get some big money out of politics was passed.  It was heralded as a significant step for cleaning up our elections by reducing the dark corrupting money to make elections more like auctions, and buy politicians.  

Senator Mitch McConnell then filed suit, Citizens United, which the Supreme Court upheld, essential declaring that Corporations are people.  Even more damaging was the McCutcheon case when Chief Justice John Roberts declared that “Money is speech”, a definition that I cannot find in any dictionary.  In truth, money buys speech and political power.  

Mitch McConnell assured himself a continued flow of donations of big money to buy elections and politicians, with the expectation of more billionaire friendly tax cuts, Part of the deal was the eventual buying of the Supreme Court.  Over $500 million has been invested, not donated, towards getting Judge Kavenaugh confirmed, and one billionaire wrote out a $17 million dollar check for one SCOTUS seat.  That again was in investment, not a donation.  

The elimination of the fairness doctrine has allowed inflammatory, fact deprived hate machines to flourish, with Rush Limbaugh leading the charge; the “diggo-heads” and “You don’t have to think, I will tell you what to think.”   

Now we have a multi-disgraced Ex-President blatantly attacking the very roots of democracy.  People are threatened to telling the truth, and codifying into law at the state level, new laws to rig future elections.  We are on the road to fascism.  History is replete with this happening in the past, to include Germany, leading the world into WW 2.  The similarities are frightening. 

The root of all this evil is avarice, lust for money and power.  

 

Frank J. Thomeczek

Columbia, Mo

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