MEMBERS ONLY: Republican Politics Have Been Reduced to Billionaires Squabbling Over Who Gets to Destroy America

By Justin Rosario

Lost in the flurry of activity over Robert Mueller’s sealed indictments was Steve Bannon, Trump’s personal neo-Nazi Whisperer, vowing to destroy billionaire Paul Singer:

In a Friday night phone call, President Trump’s former chief strategist and enforcer Steve Bannon told Trump he was going “off the chain” to destroy Paul Singer, a New York hedge fund billionaire who is one of the most influential donors to the Republican Party.

Trump agreed with Bannon that it needed to be done, according to two sources familiar with the conversation. (Though I’m also told that Trump has since told at least one other person that Singer is “on the team” — suggesting that maybe he’s telling everyone what they want to hear.)

Singer was the original money behind the Steele Dossier through a right wing website he funds. This recently revealed fact took the air out of the Republican celebration over discovering who it was in the Clinton campaign that took over the opposition research when Singer’s website dropped it. We had always known a Republican had started the project and the Democrats had picked it up but knowing the names has apparently sent Bannon into a frothing rage.

Normally, the idea of a right wing circular firing squad would be entertaining. The damage the Republican Party has been able to inflict on the country so far has been limited by the intense infighting and anything that keeps that going means less suffering and misery inflicted on the working poor and middle class. It also demonstrates the GOP’s inability to lead despite having control of both chambers of Congress, the Supreme Court and the White House. Nothing says “Vote us out of power” like being handed total power and making a hash of everything you touch.

But Bannon is not a random free agent or a lone political operative, he’s the white nationalist attack dog for the billionaire Mercer family. We’re not really seeing what the headline “Steve Bannon declares war on Paul Singer” suggests. Instead, we’re seeing billionaires squabbling over who gets to be the lead oligarch. We’re watching the puppet masters finally step out of the shadows and wage war in public because they’ve taken so much control, they don’t actually have to hide anymore.

A country run by the rich for their own benefit? This doesn’t feel at all like what the Founding Fathers had in mind and a good deal of them were literal slave owners that restricted voting rights. We don’t talk about it much but when the Constitution was ratified, only white men with property could vote. In other words, rich white men controlled the country and denied everyone else access to the halls of power in America.

This bears a superficial resemblance to what Republicans are trying to recreate today but there’s a fundamental difference: The rich white men of yesteryear had a sense of obligation to their fellow citizens. Yes, many of them owned slaves. Yes, they had a regressive view of women. Yes, they were shockingly patriarchal and backwards, etc. etc. But they didn’t create America to make themselves richer at the expense of the masses. They didn’t view the average American as disposable “human resources” to use up and throw away. Once upon a time, the rich white men of America entered politics because it was an honor to serve the public good.

Today, rich white men see politics as a way to gather unto themselves more power and wealth then even Alexander ever dreamed of. It’s not enough to control vast fortunes and empires for these masters of the universe because their greed goes beyond the material. Instead, the Kochs, the Mercers, the Devoses, and others are fighting among themselves to see who can shape the world in their own image like the gods they imagine themselves to be.

The Kochs envision a world where the poor are left to die in the streets while the rich are free from any moral, ethical or legal constraints.

The Mercers, going by Steve Bannon’s vision, want a world where inferior races are purged, perhaps by a final solution of some sort.

The Devos family sees The Handmaid’s Tale less as a cautionary work of fiction and more as an instructional manual.  

The other billionaires may or may not have such grand designs on the plebes and may just be the standard type of greedy monster willing to poison the food, air, and water of children so they can buy a second private island in the Caribbean. But whatever their motivations, the fact remains that the wealthy elite of 400 years ago, despite all of the flaws particular to their time and place in history, still had a firmer grasp on the civic responsibility that came with their wealth. They understood that they had an obligation to maintain the health of the society and economy that allowed them to flourish.

Today’s elite are little more than a cancer, rewriting our society’s genetic code, changing us into something ugly and nonviable. And just like a cancer, they don’t understand that when the body dies, they go with it. I’m sure they have their little survival bunkers and secret hideaways in the mountains but who’s going to clean their toilets and cook their meals for them? The peasants they left behind to die? Their faithful servants that will continue to treat them as gods as the world burns? 

Good luck with that.

Until then, we the people will be forced to stand to the side while soulless billionaires destroy the lives of millions in their quest to prove which of them deserves to be the God-King of America. I can’t seem to find that part in the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution but I’m sure it must be there, right next to the part about “We hold these alternative facts to be self-evident” and how America is of the rich, by the rich, for the rich….