It is highly likely that most Americans would oppose politicians who promised to concentrate on promoting the interests of big business and the wealthy over the needs of the people, but since 2010 a large number of Americans have voted against their own self-interests and supported Republicans who openly promote policies that serve the rich over the rest of the population. With the American economy making an ever-so-slow recovery with tens-of-millions of Americans suffering from a lack of good jobs, healthcare, and even adequate food, one would think Republicans and Democrats would make helping the people their top priority at the state and national level, but Republicans have taken another path.
Over the past three years Republicans have shown an inordinate interest in restricting women’s reproductive rights as if withholding contraception, eliminating Planned Parenthood, and closing women’s health clinics will feed the hungry, create jobs, or provide Americans with adequate healthcare. However, next to advancing the interests of corporations and the rich at the expense of the poor and middle class, escalating the war against women has been at the forefront of Republicans’ agenda since they rose to power in the House and state legislatures after the 2010 midterm elections.
Yesterday in the Senate, Republicans made another assault on women’s reproductive rights when Lindsey Graham introduced a bill to ban abortions after 20 weeks, but it is likely not because he cares about the unborn as much as it is serving the interests of Republicans’ corporate masters. In 2010 when the conservative Supreme Court gave personhood rights to corporations at the behest of the Koch brothers and their millionaire cohort, most Americans knew the Kochs would spend hundreds-of-millions on Republican candidates to further their corporate agenda and to a point they certainly followed through. But part of the Koch’s corporate agenda includes heavily funding the Republican war against women in state legislatures that have passed more than 200 restrictions on abortion since 2011; the year those elected in 2010 took power according to the Guttmacher Institute.
Do the Koch brothers care one iota about zygotes, fetuses, or embryos? Of course not; no more than they care about hungry babies, seniors, starving children, the poor, middle class, disabled Americans, or Veterans. Their regard is solely about greed and power. After the Citizens United decision they realized they could increase their power when they found willing allies in the evangelical pro-life movement they have heavily funded to help elect Republicans who will advance their corporate agenda. Most Americans who even know who the Koch brothers are understand their primary motivation is eliminating labor, environmental, and consumer protections to increase their wealth, but to accumulate more electoral power they used their dark money network to take advantage of Christian and social conservatives’ agendas because they can count on them to vote for Republicans.
According to progressive editor Sue Sturgis, “If you want to promote a pro-corporate agenda, you’re only going to get so far. But when you start weaving in these social issues like abortion and other reproductive rights issues, then you’re gonna appeal to a broader range of people, and a very motivated voting bloc. They will turn out. So it serves your larger cause.” Of course, the larger Koch cause is unrestricted freedom to conduct business free of taxation and regulation, and after Citizens United they increased their electoral reach by tapping into the pro-life movement to consolidate their electoral power. The result is Republican legislatures passing Draconian legislation restricting women’s reproductive choices that are funded by the Koch brothers’ dark money organizations.
It is no coincidence that after the Citizens United ruling in 2010, evangelical teabaggers and Republicans swept into power in the House of Representatives and states, or that once there they began assaulting women’s right to choose. But there was never a blatant example of the Koch brothers funding the pro-life movement because their dirty money was funneled through their social welfare non-profit organizations under sections 501(c)(4) and 501(c)(6) of the tax code. The non-profits gave the Kochs and their corporate cohort several layers of anonymity to hide behind because the tax code protects groups in those categories from having to reveal their donors. However, an investigation revealed that through their secret bank Freedom Partners, the Koch brothers have given millions upon millions of dollars to anti-choice organizations using what is known as pass-through groups that allow wealthy corporate leaders controlled by the Kochs to pass money to other organizations to obscure the original source of the funding.
According to Adele M. Stan who conducted an in depth investigation into the Koch brothers’ funding of the Republican war against women, “the rash of anti-choice measures that flooded the legislative dockets in state capitols in 2013 was a coordinated effort by anti-choice groups and major right-wing donors lurking anonymously behind the facades of the non-profit “social welfare” organizations unleashed to tear up the political landscape, thanks to the high court’s decision in Citizens United.” The religious right has always used its power over Republicans to limit access to abortion and contraception, and they have unsuccessfully attempted to pass various personhood laws in the states, but the past year has seen some of the worst, most restrictive, anti-choice legislation that all are a result of the Koch brothers’ dirty money.
America has faced threats to its existence as a representative democracy in the past, but never at the level the people are seeing since the Koch brothers were set free to unleash unlimited amounts of money to buy candidates and influence legislation; particularly at the state level. It is also true that women’s right to choose their own reproductive health has been assailed by fanatical Christians in the so-called “pro-life” movement since the Roe v. Wade ruling, but over the past two years the attacks have escalated despite anti-choice activists are a minority voice in America. However, with unlimited funding provided by the Koch brothers, they have ramped up their attacks that have led to the most restrictive and intrusive assaults on their constitutional right to choose in four decades.
The people of this country have to recognize that there is no demographic that is not under attack from the Koch brothers, and dissatisfied that their anti-worker, anti-environment, and anti-domestic programs are not creating enough havoc for the people, they have formed an unholy alliance with anti-choice groups just to increase their electoral power to elect conservatives duty-bound and Hell-bent to enact the Koch’s oligarchy, and now an anti-choice theocracy. The Koch brothers and their corporate cabal openly expressed their disinterest in being involved in social issues in the past, but to increase and consolidate their already inordinate electoral power to install corporate-friendly Republicans, they gladly jumped into and funded the evangelicals escalating the war against women.
Audio engineer and instructor for SAE. Writes op/ed commentary supporting Secular Humanist causes, and exposing suppression of women, the poor, and minorities. An advocate for freedom of religion and particularly, freedom of NO religion.
Born in the South, raised in the Mid-West and California for a well-rounded view of America; it doesn’t look good.
Former minister, lifelong musician, Mahayana Zen-Buddhist.