On August 24, 2016 I wrote an article entitled “Republicans Team With Koch, Donors Trust And Other Rich Conservative Supporters In Their Quest To Amend The Constitution” and posted it to this site. The article talked about how the Koch brothers and a number of organizations and people that they are associated with were quietly working to convene a convention of the 50 states in an effort to change the U.S. Constitution. It also encouraged Americans to become and remain aware of this effort and to resist it. Further, it stated that because they were extremely stealthy in their effort to achieve this goal that many Americans are not aware of it and those who are aware of it continue to ignore it because they believe that it is an all but impossible task. As a result of this complacency, I reminded readers of the success of the Republicans Red Map program and the part that it likely played in the ultimate election of Mr. Trump.
I want to continue to remind all Americans who are concerned about the things that Mr. Trump and congressional Republicans are doing, how they are governing and the direction in which they are leading our country that they must remain vigilant and relentlessly fight back against this kind of leadership and governance. The Koch brothers might not be Trump supporters but they are supporters of the current congressional Republicans and their agenda. And they are still quietly pushing their own agenda. I have already mentioned how stealthy they are and cited an example of what they have been able to accomplish by way of that stealth; well, they are just as deadly politically as they are stealthy. Those aforementioned concerned Americans must realize this and prevent them from dealing a lethal blow to voting rights and to middle class America.
If the Koch brothers and those organizations and people that they are affiliated with should ever be successful in their efforts to convene a convention of the 50 states and convince them to change the U.S. Constitution then, obviously, it will also affect local governance and communities in those states. On Tuesday November 7 – this past election day, states proved the power that they can wield and the kind of impact that they can have on politics from the local level all the way up to the highest federal level. States such as Virginia, Maine, New Jersey, New York, the entire west coast states and many others showed exactly the kind of power that the American voter can wield when their vote is combined and wielded with those votes of like-minded thinkers. Those states showed that even though our elected officials might kowtow to billionaires, millionaires, and other powerful people who feel that they should run America and it should not be run by the collective will of the American people, that does not have to be the case. The American people do not have to bow down to the rich and powerful when it comes to choosing a path forward for America!
Having said that, I will take this opportunity to address a problem that we are faced with in Colorado. A major issue that we are faced with and struggling to address in Denver is the use of force by police. Various Denver community members, community churches and other organizations are currently working with the police department in an effort to help them draft a “use of force” policy that will work for police officers and citizens. Media reports reflect the fact that many other states around the country are faced with this same problem. My point is that if the Koch brothers are successful in bringing the 50 states together and convincing them to change the U.S. Constitution, this is likely only to exacerbate the problem.
Why? Because the U. S. Department of Justice’s current ability to have leverage in their effort to work with states to assure a uniform system that incorporates “equal justice for all” throughout all states would likely be severely curtailed; at least, until any proposed changes to the revised Constitution could be implemented and established. The United States does not need to revise its Constitution, we need to have elected officials who are willing to engage in reasonable discourse and not be intimidated by billionaires and millionaires. And keep in mind, the Koch brothers concern is not about middle class Americans’ issues and the issues of poor people without a voice; their concern is about their own agenda and what can be done in every state where they have businesses that will have a positive impact on those businesses’ bottom line. And let there be no doubt that they would put money and other resources into influencing these states and others with regard to what these constitutional changes would entail. Because, for whatever reason, it seems that far too many rich people feel that they can never obtain enough money!
Republicans in Washington have long trumpeted “states rights” (including its dog whistle meaning) and the Koch brothers have long strongly supported these Republicans. According to realkochfacts.com the Koch brothers contributed substantial amounts of money to organizations that worked in support of voter suppression. Voter suppression in states and at the federal level might help to bolster the bottom line of big business but it is something that can only be good in further decimating the middle class and that is something that is not good for America overall. The fact of the matter is that there is a haunting thread that runs throughout the fabric of America that has always been there; that thread is “Big Money”.
And whether it is in our overall political system, election system, justice system, business system or anywhere else it is like a bad case of cancer. It is bad and has the potential to be lethal In all cases but just like some types of cancer have more of a potential to cause death than do others, “Big Money” in our election system is like the worse type of cancer. It has the greatest potential to kill America. Voting is an intricate part of the American way of life and is key among the things that make America the great country that it is! You might say that without the right to vote, you are not – or at least you don’t feel like – you are an American. That is one among the many reasons why it is so devastating to have the word “felon” next to your name. Felons are stripped of their right to vote. And in consideration of this kind of consequence alone, one would think that to try to prevent any legitimate American voter from voting would be unfathomable! …But, obviously, it is not.
America, we must find a way to get “Big Money” out of our election process because, ultimately, it affects far more than the bottom lines of big business. It, in essence, affects who we really are as Americans. If we can somehow find a way to get “Big Money” out of our election process, we will be able to work more effectively to solve our problems. Problems like healthcare, tax reform, infrastructure, gun laws, equal pay for equal work, housing, equal justice under the law and a host of other problems. Why will things change? Because, since statesmanship seems to have all but vanished under the relentless pressure of money and power, elected officials will finally feel the direct pressure from voters and, therefore, the need to be accountable to their country and all of their constituents. They would no longer be relegated to the constant temptation to morph into invertebrates and ignore the rest of their constituents during election cycles due to the demand on them by their deep pocket donors for fealty; and then, in between these election cycles, struggle to again grow -at least – a pseudo spine and return to some semblance of normalcy knowing that this process will only be an endless vicious cycle.
The catch is that the only way that we will ever bring about this change is through our vote. This change likely will not occur immediately but it will occur if we will value and use our right to vote. But for some reason that I have not yet been able to fully comprehend, far too many of us take our right to vote for granted! We treat the franchise like a trivial thing! We need to end that way of thinking right now and fulfill our responsibility to vote!
Obviously, we have responsibilities as American citizens and among those responsibilities is our responsibility to vote. We will never be happy as a whole with every outcome that our collective vote produces. But we can agree to disagree, remain civil toward one another and always willingly engage in any and all discourse that will continue to pull us together as Americans rather than divide us: because we are stronger together! So whether you are a Democrat, Republican or Independent; always remember, your vote is the most important one of all…unless you don’t use it! “Stay Focused” and let’s get to work!
Eulus Dennis – author, Operation Rubik’s Cube and Living Between The Line