Updated: 4 days ago
Like a phoenix rising from the ashes of a botched Coronavirus response and the wreckage of the November 2020 election, Jared Kushner will emerge the antihero in this nightmare we’re currently living. I’m sure of it, and here’s why.
If we accept the premise that America is a society predicated on racism, bigotry and greed, and that the cream always rises to the top, then President Kushner is the logical outcome of both American history and at least three generations of voters’ bad choices. In fact, this evolutionary train wreck goes further back into the American political time warp than anyone thinks.
The string-pullers and arch villains in this shabbiest of puppet theatres are the Koch Brothers and those who support their novelistic ‘Ayn Rand’ version of what’s best for the ultra-rich and, in their view at least, for the rest of us.
Charles Koch is the world’s 11th richest man, worth approximately $50.5 billion dollars, and Koch Industries is the second largest privately held company by revenue in the United States according to a 2010 Forbes survey. Like Donald Trump wallowing in the wealth created by his father, Fred, Charles and his brother David inherited Koch Industries from their late father, coincidentally also named Fred.
As a so-called philanthropist, Charles Koch supports a large number of conservative educational organizations, including the Institute for Humane Studies, the Ayn Rand Institute, and the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. He also contributes to the Republican Party and candidates, libertarian groups, and various charitable and cultural institutions. He co-founded the Washington, D.C.-based Cato Institute (ref: Wikipedia).
The Kochs and their Right-wing apparatchiks are smart; much smarter than their less wealthy counterparts on the Left who once in a blue moon get it right, rarely alluding to who’s really behind the shit show in Washington and why the rights and freedoms we once thought were guaranteed by an ironclad Constitution have been shrinking at such an alarming rate. The Left is too busy infighting to realize, or even suspect, that it’s already much too late to save the country.
President Obama pointed out years ago that America’s is a single, centrist party system. The baton is passed back and forth from election to election, but the core values and political objectives don’t change, while only the lesser details adapt to the populist narrative. What most Americans label a ‘socialist’ would be called centre rightist by European standards. There is no plurality in American politics. It’s merely a question of which of the red and blue pigs reach the trough first to vacuum up most of the slop. If you don’t think so, then look at every tax bill and bail-out ever approved by Congress. The filthy rich and corporate elite, that is, those who need it least, always get the lion’s share while real wages for the middle and lower classes – those who do all the work and pay the bulk of the taxes – keep on shrinking.
And if the difference in quality of education in America is taken into account, the private school versus the public-school systems, it becomes obvious why right-thinking (as opposed to thinking on the Right) folks are shaking their heads in dismay. And dread. Things aren’t likely to get better, but very likely to get a lot worse throughout the world, due to what’s happening in the USA. The malignancy in Washington has already metastasized to infect the United Kingdom, the USA’s progenitor both politically and culturally, while rapidly spreading to the rest of the international community. Witness Boris Johnson and the British cult of ignorance that ushered in Brexit and the semi-solid Tory alignment with Trumpism. The Koch-Trump-Johnson message resonates at opposite ends of the social spectrum, with the ultra-rich – the entitled products of elite private schools and undeserved privilege – at one end, and the alcohol-soaked, drug-addled, religion-addicted, maliciously ignorant majority of the nation’s voters at the other.
Why Jared Kushner for President? Well, that’s not so complicated. Kushner is not just the standard bearer for nepotism in America, he is the end product of a process begun in the 1950s and a vision that’s been quietly and persistently pursued by those with sufficient money and influence to cut the bottom out of the American democracy; and they have succeeded beyond their dreams. The Covid-19 pandemic and Washington’s botched emergency response was taken into account decades ago. The pandemic – or something very much like it – was scheduled to happen and merely put the finishing touches on a masterpiece of planning and intrigue: the overthrow of a once powerful democratic system. Bill Gates, the world's second-richest man, predicted it back in 2017 (https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=bill+gates+predicts+pandemic+video).
Is this just another conspiracy theory? Yes, it is. Yet at the same time, it isn’t. And I’m going to explain why it isn’t.
In the mid-1950s, the kernel of a conspiracy with wide-ranging ramifications and profound consequences for American society quietly emerged from the University of Chicago. Milton Friedman, James McGill Buchanan, F.A. Hayek, and Ludwig von Mises are names that few Americans recognize but they are equivalent to the anti-Founding Fathers in terms of deconstruction of the American form of government. While Friedman is better known, the unsung hero among this cabal of plotters was the retiring but influential James McGill Buchanan, a Nobel Prize winner in economics.
Armed with Charles Koch’s money, these so-called intellectuals set out to reshape the political process in America for the sole benefit of their own social class: the overly entitled, racist, anti-democratic, billionaire class. Theirs was a model that rewarded the privileged and the hard working while marginalizing and punishing those of lesser birth, drive or ability, especially non-Whites. Novelists like Ayn Rand and the Objectivist Movement interpreted in art and literature their uniquely unsympathetic vision of a future world where all the power bases are controlled by those with inherited or acquired wealth while the majority of citizens struggle for subsistence, their very survival dependant on scraps thrown to them by their betters, denied education or the benefit of any social safety net; an uncompassionate and largely uncaring society in which only the strong survive. They hailed it as prosperity predicated on libertarianism and free markets which it certainly represented for some, but not all. Democracy is about all, not some. So democracy itself needed to go.
Koch and crew knew that if ordinary Americans truly understood the implications of their vision for the country, they would never support it. So, their economic revolution needed to be one of stealth, flying entirely under the radar. The work was, and continues to be, carried out by hundreds of front organizations of the Koch donor network under the banner of libertarianism and free markets, as opposed to 'socialism' and big government, and they have come dangerously close to tipping the scales with the 2016 election of Donald J. Trump as President. Oligarchic racism, unfettered capitalism, war for profit, rewards for the billionaire class in society, humiliation and punishment for the underclasses, especially immigrants, the elderly and the infirm, are all hallmarks of their philosophy. The 100,000-plus Covid-19 related deaths registered in under 12 weeks puts the finishing touches on an initial culling of the pariah class as defined by Koch, Friedman, Buchanan, Rand and their co-religionists.
In 1980, David Koch himself ran for office as Vice President under the Libertarian Party banner, once again keeping his head low, flying his stealth bomber well under the DEW line, headed surely if somewhat indirectly toward Washington. Here's a rundown of their platform (credit:
We urge the repeal of federal campaign finance laws, and the immediate abolition of the despotic Federal Election Commission.
We favor the abolition of Medicare and Medicaid programs.
We oppose any compulsory insurance or tax-supported plan to provide health services, including those which finance abortion services.
We also favor the deregulation of the medical insurance industry.
We favor the repeal of the fraudulent, virtually bankrupt, and increasingly oppressive Social Security system. Pending that repeal, participation in Social Security should be made voluntary.
We propose the abolition of the governmental Postal Service. The present system, in addition to being inefficient, encourages governmental surveillance of private correspondence. Pending abolition, we call for an end to the monopoly system and for allowing free competition in all aspects of postal service.
We oppose all personal and corporate income taxation, including capital gains taxes.
We support the eventual repeal of all taxation.
As an interim measure, all criminal and civil sanctions against tax evasion should be terminated immediately.
We support repeal of all law which impede the ability of any person to find employment, such as minimum wage laws.
We advocate the complete separation of education and State. Government schools lead to the indoctrination of children and interfere with the free choice of individuals. Government ownership, operation, regulation, and subsidy of schools and colleges should be ended.
We condemn compulsory education laws … and we call for the immediate repeal of such laws.
We support the repeal of all taxes on the income or property of private schools, whether profit or non-profit.
We support the abolition of the Environmental Protection Agency.
We support abolition of the Department of Energy.
We call for the dissolution of all government agencies concerned with transportation, including the Department of Transportation.
We demand the return of America's railroad system to private ownership. We call for the privatization of the public roads and national highway system.
We specifically oppose laws requiring an individual to buy or use so-called "self-protection" equipment such as safety belts, air bags, or crash helmets.
We advocate the abolition of the Federal Aviation Administration.
We advocate the abolition of the Food and Drug Administration.
We support an end to all subsidies for child-bearing built into our present laws, including all welfare plans and the provision of tax-supported services for children.
We oppose all government welfare, relief projects, and ‘aid to the poor’ programs. All these government programs are privacy-invading, paternalistic, demeaning, and inefficient. The proper source of help for such persons is the voluntary efforts of private groups and individuals.
We call for the privatization of the inland waterways, and of the distribution system that brings water to industry, agriculture and households.
We call for the repeal of the Occupational Safety and Health Act.
We call for the abolition of the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
We support the repeal of all state usury laws.
The Koch-funded juggernaut cannot be stopped because there are no longer any alternatives on the political horizon. Since the Kochs' failed bid for election in 1980, the cards have been so thoroughly reshuffled, then stacked in their favour, that the system can never return to its pre-Koch origins, which is what they aimed to achieve in the first place. Thanks to the recent Citizens United Supreme Court decision, they can now spend unlimited amounts of money in buying the House, the Senate, and the next President (who will predictably be Jared Kushner). If you don't think so, just look at some 250 bills passed by the House that are gathering dust on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's desk and 'Moscow' Mitch's pledge to block any and all legislation generated or supported by the Democratic Party. While a deep dive into his personal finances may prove instructive, the patient spider in the centre of McConnell's web of political indebtedness can be none other than Charles Koch.
All the goals of the Koch gang's 1980 agenda have been, or are in the advanced stage of being, realized. The US Supreme Court is in their hands. The Justice Department is in their hands. The White House is in their hands. Social Security, Medicaid and the Post Office are in process of elimination. Education is in the hands of Betsy DeVos, arrogant patroness of multilevel marketing (Ponzi schemes) and the authoress of radical cuts to public education and grants to private schools. Americans have overwhelmingly endorsed their right to conduct undeclared wars for profit, to tamper with elections, to print money and steal it.
There is no turning back because not a single 2020 candidate (except Bernie Sanders who dropped out of the race) is not a product of the Koch-Friedman-Buchanan-Rand mold. Most political commentators, with the exception perhaps of Robert Reich, fail to grasp the implications of where the Koch-funded Pied Piper is leading us. Joe Biden is the only candidate with any chance to win the popular vote and unseat Donald Trump. Yet Biden has no platform. He promises a return to the ‘good ole days,’ more nepotism (remember Hunter?), and cozy political alliances with Southern racists and Neo-Nazis in a lame program designed merely to keep the country from descending onto civil war. The fact that Biden has Barak Obama watching his back is his only saving grace.
Charles Koch’s vision of a deconstructed democracy? Or the very real prospect of another civil war? Pick your poison. Koch is going to win. And this is why.
The USA has never been the land of the American revolutionary mythos. As explained in an earlier post (www.francescorizzuto.com/post/why-trump-will-win-in-2020), America was on the brink of civil war throughout the 1850s. It took the most corrupt administration in history, that of James Buchanan (1858-61) to tip it over into bloodshed. But the blood spilling wasn’t about freeing African-Americans. It was about maintaining an economic system predicated on the mortgaging of the human body and soul. By the time the shooting war began, there was more capital locked up in mortgages on human collateral, e.g., the approximately 4 million slaves out of a total population of only 31 million, than there was value in all the real estate and industrial holdings of the entire nation both North and South. Throughout the Civil War, right until its end in 1865, Northern States' sheriffs were capturing and returning runaway slaves to their Southern owners simply because this human property was the subject of bank mortgages.
The foregoing is not the version of history taught in American schools. If it were, then perhaps race would no longer play the central role in our political and social lives that it does today and America’s rating in public education would be higher vis-à-vis other nations. For generations, there has been a serious deficit in teaching not only history, but science and critical thinking skills (the USA’s rating globally is 26th, Finland is 1st), so it’s not difficult to understand why anyone would drink bleach or shove a tanning lamp up their caboose simply because a billionaire President told them it would eliminate Covid-19 spores. Americans have a historically unique romance with ignorance which they stubbornly insist is synonymous with ‘freedom.’ Some would argue that this is why the billionaire class is so rich and powerful and the rest are not. Meanwhile, Ayn Rand smiles agreeably from beyond the grave.
Americans are so inured to lies and 'alternate facts' spewing from the many Koch-funded front organizations and talking heads that they’ve become almost universally unaccepting of truth, never mind dismally ignorant of their own history. Every generation since Dwight D. Eisenhower left office has been bled by one senseless but economically enriching war after another because this is a pathetically under-educated nation with a defective self-image that must continually revalidate itself through violence. While pretending generosity, it behaves like a schoolyard bully on the world stage because, like its current President, its enormous ego and deficient self-image demand constant reaffirmation. Go out and humiliate a poor neighbour. Beat someone up. It feels good, especially if you can come away with some extra change in your pocket. Then do it again. For profit. That is the ‘America Way,’ what people living outside its borders fear and have come to loath.
These folks who’ve worked so hard to dismantle the Constitution while maintaining the war-for-profit economy are looking forward to the November 2020 federal election. It will put their leaden seal on over 60 years of skullduggery and behind-the-scenes manipulation with the result that the systemic wreckage can never be undone. If they’re really lucky, there won’t even be a November election.
The incumbent President is brash and uncouth, painfully ignorant, and without any moral or ethical compass whatsoever. His behavior is predictably un-presidential. Sooner or later, the Koch-led billionaire class is going to have to kick him to the curb. Who has the right pedigree and is just as unscrupulous, ineloquent, unthinking, cocksure of himself and with a lot more rubber to sacrifice to the road? You guessed it: Jared Kushner.
Like his despicable father-in-law and spoiled wife, Kushner couldn’t run a lemonade stand without wrecking it. But that’s what nepotism is all about. Nepotism comes from a Latin word meaning ‘nephew.’ Historically, powerful kings, popes, and emperors have placed their own offspring in positions of power and influence simply because, as puppet masters, they could easily control the narrative. From the Borgias to the Trumps, there’s nothing new here.
There’s virtually no politician on either side of the floor who hasn’t at some point dipped into the slush pot to enrich themselves and/or their relatives. I won’t go into a detailed analysis of the faux pas of every member of Congress because, given the current state of things, I think we all know that there isn’t any real difference between Dems and GOP in this respect – they’re all cut from the same cloth. As President Obama pointed out, America’s is essentially a single party system. What this system has been really good at is masking the corruption and hiding the hijacking of the American system of government. Now the architects of deconstruction can safely tip their hand, having ‘trumped’ the Founding Fathers and destroyed democracy.
Getting back to Jared, an excellent Vanity Fair article hits the nail right on the head (see https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2020/04/jared-kushner-keeps-proving-nepotism-is-a-bad-way-to-handle-pandemics).
Jared Kushner has botched every portfolio handed to him by his clownish, larger-than-life father-in-law. And why not? His only achievements in life were to have been born to the right parents who then bribed his way, thanks to millions in endowments, through the best schools despite his mediocre academic record. He married into money. All the rest is a sordid history of nepotism, corruption and crime. The Kushner and Trump families and their partners in grift, with the Kochs at their backs, have set, and will continue to set, new standards for corruption the more the federalist system is deconstructed, as more and more power is consolidated in their own corner.
If you don’t think these folks are criminals then consider how young Jared repaid his patrimony, no doubt believing that all he’d received in life thus far had been earned by his own hand. Jared’s father, Charles Kushner, served time in federal prison for tax evasion, as well as for entrapping his own daughter’s husband with a prostitute and videotaping the encounter, then blackmailing the son-in-law to resolve a family dispute over money. It was Jared who stood steadfastly by his father’s side throughout the sordid ordeal, the classic payback.
Kushner's performance as a senior White House advisor is even more impressive. Less than 20 years after a Saudi-inspired terrorist act brought down New York's Twin Towers and killed over 3,000 Americans in only a few hours, the current Saudi leader, Prince Mohammed bin Salman - better known as Prince Bonesaw for his gangland-style assassination and dismembering of a Washington Post journalist - publicly bragged that Jared Kushner gave him CIA intelligence about other Saudis saying "here are your enemies" days before a so-called 'corruption crackdown' that led to the torture and death of said individuals. Kushner, like his father-in-law and mentor, denies everything.
President Donald J. Trump is trying his damnedest to portray Jared Kushner as a meritocrat and future populist candidate for office, despite the fact that his own security services won’t grant Kushner a clearance. No matter. According to the Dershowitz Principle and Trump’s own assessment of Article 2, the President can do anything he wants. So, despite a history of failures, Kushner continues to find powerful patrons to pull his fat out of the fire and advances toward the presidency, one cockup at a time. Nevertheless, a botched peace policy for the Middle East, the betrayal of a Saudi dictator's rivals, and the facilitating of arms sales to said dictator in defiance of Congress, don’t quite match up to the death of over a hundred-thousand (and rising) Americans due to a botched Covid-19 response championed by this prince of nepotism.
This is exactly why the Koch crowd wants this incoherent babbler of business school jargon as the country’s next President.
What Jared Kushner, whom Last Week Tonight host John Oliver labels the "alt-right Pinocchio," is really good at, besides sucking up to his despicable father-in-law, is self-aggrandizement. Like the current President, Kushner thinks a lot of himself and his largely imagined capacities. This, of course, is exactly what the puppet masters want. The dark side of this sick comedy is that Covid-19 super-coordinator Kushner’s denial that so many ventilators were urgently needed and that a large stockpile of unused ventilators was ‘ours’ resulted in literally thousands of deaths, never mind the 18 tons of masks, ventilators and other donor-supplied medical supplies sent to China in February 2020 then purchased back again using taxpayers’ money. By the time of Kushner’s announcement, the death toll attributed to the pandemic in America, within a 2-month window, had already exceeded by a large margin the number of Americans killed in Vietnam over 20 years of a vicious war, and for largely the same reasons: total lack of leadership, disinformation and ‘alternate facts,’ profiteering, and a stubborn refusal to do the right thing. All underwritten by corruption and orchestrated by a billionaire class in whose interest it is to sweep the entire system aside.
Face it, folks. The rich one-percent ran America during George Washington’s time, and the rich one percent run America now. That’s very unlikely to change with the coming election, if there will even be an election.
This is, of course, both the fault of Congress and the American people who put these clowns in office in the first place. The recent multi-trillion-dollar relief package approved by Congress sets up the Koch-sponsored and Kushner-dominated slum-lord class for heretofore unimagined enrichment, another win in the thieves’ paradise called ‘politics’ in America. At a personal net worth of $750 million plus, the Javanka dynamic duo, and the even richer Kushner real estate empire, don’t need mortgage relief under this new Bill. That was a gift handed them by an elected, Democrat-controlled House to stave off the inevitable. And what is the inevitable?
Now that the ship of civility has sailed, the ship of state itself is headed to the bottom. Half the American electorate decided in 2016 that corruption was okay – we all knew Trump’s history – and that nepotism was just part of the package. Run America like the Trumps run their businesses, right? Perfectly A-Okay. The abuse of women (and men) emblematic of the Trumps generally (“grab-em-by-the-pussy”…You’re fired!”), was okay with half the eligible voters in America, and half of those were women. So, go figure.
Now is a good time for reflection, as if we didn’t have enough time on our hands during the so-called ‘lockdown.’
All the symptoms of an ever-worsening situation are painfully obvious. The Administration is cooking the statistics to appear that the Covid-19 “curve has flattened” and it’s okay to come out of isolation. In fact, the curve has not flattened. The death toll is still peaking and, in some areas only, has merely plateau-ed. Plateau-ing and flattening are two different phenomena. But the American system of education failed to teach us science and critical thinking skills. So, okay. Accept the alternate facts and figures. Yet again. It’s what THEY want. The Koch class are tickled pink that their 60 years of influence buying has come to fruition.
The appearance of thousands of heavily armed protestors at state capitols demanding their so-called ‘freedom’ should be a red flag for any right-thinking person left in America. The country is wallowing knee-deep in its own kah-kah. Trump will win the November election but for all the wrong reasons. An electoral loss – which appears inevitable if elections in America were clean and fair, which they are not – promises a descent into bloodshed.
Don’t agree? Like I said, the current Administration in Washington is undisputedly the most corrupt since that of James Buchanan (1858-61) that ushered in the Civil War. Politically and societally, America has not changed since President Buchanan’s days; only the general standard of living for Whites and the degree of wealth for the already wealthy has altered. Within only a few decades, the Constitution has been neutralized and most of our rights and freedoms stripped away, leaving us with what can only be described as a police state, a soft cage where Facebook, Twitter and Instagram condition our thinking and determine our choices, joined at the hip to our smartphones and addicted to our ‘meds’. Black citizens for the most part can see this. Right-thinking White citizens have only to remove their blinders. And, of course, there is the absurdly large number of firearms in private hands. The country is still steeped in race hatred and widespread poverty. Drug addiction and homelessness are emblematic of today’s America. It’s a tinderbox.
To avoid this rather unpalatable outcome, states like California on the West Coast and New York on the East will be left with no alternative but to secede from the federalist system if they wish to survive. The remainder of the country will reflect fondly on an era when Walmart-type massacres, school and church shootings, and drive-by murders characterized a relatively peaceful period in America history. Thanks to the depredations of Covid-19, few among earlier generations will remain to remind us of a time when everyone enjoyed full employment, when crime was more-or-less under control, and when there really was a modicum of freedom, when government pit bulls didn’t monitor our every movement and record every conversation (via mobile phone tracking) and when we didn’t believe that Facebook was real life. A time when we didn’t dread that knock at the door at midnight. A time when there was no ICE. A time before the University of Chicago spawned stable geniuses like Milton Friedman and James Buchanan. Before anyone had ever heard of Ayn Rand. Before Charles Koch decided to use his vast wealth to destroy a democracy.
The maelstrom will subside and the dust will eventually settle, of course. Except for a few of the richer states that may succeed in breaking away, the rest of the country will have descended into the miasma of a new American order, where the cunning fox is rewarded with wealth and power, while the sheep wallow in a morass of disenfranchisement, a pariah class living and dying in extreme poverty and denied assistance or even a shred of empathy by an uncaring state apparatus owned by the wealthy. Public education will disappear. An abbreviated system of training will condition an indentured class doomed to shoulder the burden of manufacturing and essential services. Only children of the super-rich will rise to prominence and power in this altered reality, ensuring the continued dominance of the predator class. Great swathes of the country will rival the favelas of Rio de Janeiro and the slums of Mumbai. And it will all have come about by design.
If you don’t think this rather bleak vision is already with us, consider the fact that Sidwell Friends, a super-elitist school that has hosted the children of four US presidents, has received $5.2 million in Covid-19 assistance. Clay Lacy Aviation, a private jet company catering to the super-rich, has received a $27 million-dollar bailout. Jeff Bezos, the Emperor of Amazon on track to become the world’s first trillionaire, has ended overtime pay for frontline Amazon workers in the middle of a pandemic. Telsa founder Elon Musk has sued Alameda Country, threatening to move his production facilities to less Covid-19 restrictive states while ordering employees back to work, despite worker protests, at the same time Musk awards himself a $700 million-dollar bonus. What these observations have in common is that billions of dollars in bailouts are being funneled to institutions and companies on the basis of their donations to the Trump campaign fund, while their CEOs don't give a rat's ass about democracy or the quality of life for anyone but themselves.
And that, folk's, is the Koch message.
Back in the epicentre of the American crisis, it would be difficult to find any Republican legislator with clean hands, or a clean conscience, assuming that psychopaths and sociopaths have consciences. Or any Democrats, for that matter. Alex Azar, Trump’s director of Health and Human Services, has publicly bragged that America will be the first to develop a Covid-19 vaccine, but it may be too expensive for many Americans to access. So, there you have it: Ayn Rand, all over again.
I could go on, but I think you get the picture.
Who but the uninspiring, puppet-like Jared Kushner would make a better President? Or a better King? And who but Ivanka Trump would make a better Queen? She may be only half-Slovakian, but at least she’s not a porn queen (see www.francescorizzuto.com/post/first-lady-of-porn). Well, not yet anyway. I wouldn’t underestimate the Trumps. They’re not off the world stage just yet.
More on Jared Kushner:
More on the Koch Brothers:
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