Over the past six years Republicans have been on an absolute tear to restrict participation in democracy to voters who are hardline Christian Republicans, and by all appearance the purpose was more than just electing conservative extremists. No matter how one attempts to frame the GOP’s voter suppression crusade, it is beyond refute that Republicans just cannot countenance democracy. Based on the organizations driving and writing voter suppression legislation across the nation, it is obvious the Koch brothers hate democracy nearly as much as they hate government. Now, a university professor heavily funded by the Koch brothers has very publicly and openly called for less democracy to reduce the power of the majority.
The professor from George Mason University, the college where students protested the Koch Foundation’s largest-ever donation to the school, gave a speech this week straight from Koch’s vision for America. The gist of the speech was typical Koch-ALEC ideology; “we need less democracy.” The professor of Economics and the Study of Capitalism at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, Dr. Garrett Jones, gave a lecture targeting what is arguably the core value America is founded upon; democracy. Jones argued that the reason America needs less democracy is because “it leaves power to the majority,” and that there is a better form of governance based on ‘epistocracy.’ Epistocracy, according to the Kochs, leads to better governance “by the knowledgeable” whose only concern is long term economic growth borne of unrestricted free market capitalism. Jones did not call for the immediate elimination of the democratic process, but he did say that a good start is to reduce democracy by 10 percent for the sake of governing according to “the knowledgeable,” and not “we the people” with complete focus on economic growth.
The reason the Kochs, and obviously Republicans, hate democracy is that as the Founders intended, it leaves power in the hands of the people instead of a small cabal of the wealthy elite. Obviously, it is something the Kochs did not share with teabaggers when they funded their rise to power; but it is woefully too late even for the “don’t tread on me crowd” now that Kochs own two-thirds of the government. What the Kochs want, and paid handsomely for, is a government founded on epistocracy that grants unrestricted power to rule on free market capitalists the Kochs have deemed “the knowledgeable.”
In the Koch’s vision, “the knowledgeable” are those laser focused on long term economic growth for the filthy oligarchs; not the people and certainly not the sustained existence of the nation. The Koch professor’s perverted sense of democracy assumes that politicians are errantly inclined to work for their constituents and therefore they are disposed to neglect long-term policies that work for the rich simply because “they are elected through the democratic process” and not “installed to govern” by the rich; something the Kochs have spent a fortune to see reach fruition.
A prime example of the Koch’s installing “the knowledgeable” to govern according to epistocracy is the new director of the one-time non-partisan Congressional Budget Office. The Koch House’s Budget Chairman, Tom Price, said appointing a new trickle-down devotee as head of the CBO “is just part of the change the Koch-GOP wants to see established to govern; particularly to advance their failed trickle down economic policy featuring austerity and deregulation. The new Koch acolyte was George W. Bush’s chief economist and will dutifully do the bidding of the Kochs because as Price said, “the answers that we get from the Congressional Budget Office aren’t the answers we think are correct.” Translation: they were honest answers borne of the facts.
Republicans are intent on “modernizing the rules” that govern and outline government finances; including rewriting rules the CBO uses to evaluate tax cuts for the rich as always “good for long term economic growth” and spending on domestic programs as wrong because it is what “the people” want. Only a comatose American would not know what Koch Republicans think is good for long term economic growth; greater tax cuts for the rich, and slashing spending on domestic programs whether it is infrastructure repair and maintenance or providing healthcare for disabled Veterans.
Republicans were giddy about having “the knowledgeable” govern according to the Koch idea of ‘long term economic growth’ for their benefit. Republican Representative Price boasted that Bush’s former chief economist, Doug Hall, “Brings great experience. He was in President Bush’s council of economic advisers, and served also dealing with how to explain these sometimes difficult economic issues in ways that members of Congress are able to grasp, and sometimes that’s a challenge.” Americans already lived through a devastating Bush economic disaster, and so did members of Congress, and regardless how well “the knowledgeable” explain the difficult trickle down scam, it is still giving away everything to the rich and will not benefit anyone but the wealthy elite. The Kochs understand that most Americans are not going to be fooled again, so the only way to install “the knowledgeable” to govern according to Koch economic ideology is to reduce democracy.
Although it is astounding that the Kochs are allowing their acolytes to publicly call for less democracy, it is not a novel concept. Over a year ago the Koch’s primary legislative arm in the states, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), publicly refused to sign a pledge supporting democracy; particularly after being the driving force behind every voter suppression law in the nation. Merely nine months later, every Republican politician was openly criticizing as patently wrong any measure making it easier for Americans to participate in democracy including thwarting efforts to register Americans to vote. Only a fool is surprised that the Kochs and Republicans want democracy gone, but it is stunning that they are saying it within public earshot.
Now that the Kochs have fairly reduced democracy by more than 10% and have started installing “the knowledgeable” to govern over ‘we the people’ it appears that once again President Obama is Americans’ last great hope if for no other purpose than to veto Koch legislation. Americans have to come to grips with the disparaging revelation that their right to vote is not long for this world unless they are white Christian extremist conservatives. It is likely that few Americans would have thought they would live to see a time when they would hear a public call for less democracy, but that is the price they pay for not participating in democracy when they had the chance.
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.