Last updated on September 8th, 2017
The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right
CITIZENS UNITED v. FEDERAL ELECTION COMMISSION opened the doors for an unlimited flood of outside spending by any United States citizen or corporation on everything political. But that’s in theory only because the large majority of Americans are solely focused on paying their household bills and putting food on the table. So, in practice, the Supreme Court’s decision created the un-democratic foundation for a good old-fashioned oligarchy, allowing the ultra-rich to “weaponize philanthropy.”
In her well-researched and factually bullet-proof exposé about the recent history of big money in U.S. politics—think Charles and David Koch—Jane Mayer’s Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right uncovers a decades-long effort by the wealthiest Americans to use their unlimited supply of money to build a 5th column of influence and control over the political landscape of the United States. The .1 percent of the richest 1 percent in the United States have spent the last several decades scheming, preparing, and designing a multi-pronged approach to infiltrate and control American politics with the astonishing selfish end goal, of course, to enrich themselves even more. Citizens United actually came at an opportune time for these oligarchs, allowing them to kick into hyperdrive a complicated and highly sophisticated network of lobbyists, think tanks, and academics they have spent many years perfecting. Think the 2010 mid-year elections record-breaking power shift was the result of a spontaneous bottom-up Tea Party collective? Think again. The Tea Party was their pièce de résistance. Donald Trump is their Frankenstein.
Dark Money is fearless and spectacular, Pulitzer level journalism, explicitly disturbing at its core and a must read.