Opinion

Billionaire duplicity and the cajoled voter

Why do billionaires and corporations want to destroy democracy, the middle class and make the poor poorer, one may ask?

On Feb 15, the FBI handed down 13 indictments on Russian computer analysts operating in a nondescript building in Petersburg, Russia. The crime: foreign meddling in the 2016 elections.

According to the Associated Press, the indictment charged the Russians with running a huge but hidden social media trolling campaign combined with on-the-ground politicking aimed in part at helping Trump defeat his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton.

They first created accounts on Facebook, Twitter and other social media (bots or trolls). Then they literally targeted users holding and supporting specific social and ideological beliefs, for example: anti-abortion, pro-gun, anti-immigrant, white racists, anti-government, anti-LGBT, anti-climate change, in fact all the alt-right and their socially held beliefs. They then targeted users with a high number of followers.

They then sent specifically tailored negative messages to these users who then passed, tweeted and shared them with their followers and those followers on to theirs, etc. Like human viruses, but only electronic and a lot faster, in less than an hour these specially generated social messages can be distributed planet wide. This was done non-stop 24/7 for months on end. (This required very sophisticated knowledge of American cultural and sociological beliefs: who provided the Russians with this specific information? It wasn’t the Democrats.)

I believe this was also done by American right wing conservative think tanks financed by millions of dollars from billionaires and corporations who had interest in having Trump elected. They also had one better entity: American media outlets, which pretty much did the same thing non-stop. And it appears that it worked.

The Republicans running for office in 2016 were financed by billionaires and corporate entities that funded them into the hundreds of millions of dollars. Those politicians are now beholden only to those specific donors – corporations and billionaires.

What Republican voters (and some Democrats) fail to realize is the politician they voted for is not beholden to them but only to those who financed them (these politicians, by the way, are literally making themselves millionaires.) Voters may get a few crumbs here and there, but the majority of these politicians will vote for what their billionaire and corporate owners want them to vote for: in other words, cajoled Americans voted for politicians who will then vote to end and eliminate some of their most cherished beliefs, programs and assistance. And possibly even Democracy. (Part 2 next week).

James P. Chasse
St Agatha

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