Preserving our democracy (and saving many of the things we care about) requires defeating the Koch network and its allies.
The Environment, Health Care, Social Security, Public Education, and The Right to Vote are all at risk
Our message, informed by Nancy MacLean’s Democracy in Chains and exposing the extent and power of the Koch network, is unique and necessary. Without it, people do not understand what we are up against. On MSNBC, Elizabeth Warren can ask, with apparently sincere puzzlement, why do all the Republicans in Congress defend Trump? She is unable or unwilling to say, “Since the Koch network’s takeover of the Republican Party, the libertarian far right has been able to exercise ironclad discipline over it. Until the billionaire-backed radical right no longer thinks that Trump is its viable servant, it will back him. Any politician who opposes Trump will find themselves removed from the patronage payroll, at the wrong end of a well-funded primary challenge, and drummed out of office, if not out of the party.”
The implication is that candidates for office, even those backing progressive policies, are not going to save democracy unless they “get it” that the Koch network is the source of our biggest problems including threats to the Environment, Freedom, Peace, Equality, Health Care, Education, the Economy, and our Community. And we are not going to protect democracy until we build the grassroots organizations needed to take on the Kochs and their allies. Some, like Indivisible, Common Cause, Greenpeace, and Working Families Party, are already doing so.
What should we ask of people who attend our talks or have read Nancy MacLean’s, Jane Mayer’s, or Anne Nelson’s books? Our primary focus is to expose the Koch network because only when our audience knows about it can we motivate informed action. What else? We ask groups organizing to maintain and strengthen human rights and democracy to link with each other for mutual support and success; we ask people to help spread our message by finding venues for pro-democracy speakers to give talks, and learning to speak themselves. We want people to use and popularize UnChainDemocracy.org . We want them to research, write, including letters to the editor, contribute information and opinion to the website, and organize their families, friends, churches, neighborhoods, book clubs, and towns, cities, and states.
Among the field of progressive candidates, we recognize that right now Bernie is the only candidate who takes on the Koch network and other big corporate players by speaking explicitly about them and by building and supporting grassroots groups to oppose them. We would like people to work for Bernie. And while working for him, deliver an explicit anti-Koch message focused perhaps on the billionaire-backed far right’s effect on global warming, healthcare, racism, democracy, education, foreign policy and, through their allies, gun violence, anti-women’s rights, racism, anti-immigrant rights.
But it doesn’t have to be Bernie. For people working for other candidates, including Republican candidates, if they are willing to do so, they too can promote an understanding of the Koch network and what our democracy is up against. Then join us in the above ways, and any other ways people can think of.