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OpEdNews Op Eds    H1'ed 1/6/18

How America Ended Up With Donald Trump

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From Thom Hartmann Blog

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The thing that you are not going to hear so much about in the corporate media is how we got to here. How is it that we have this man as our president?

And it turns out if you do a deep dive into this, if you look at the research and the reporting that's been done on on Robert and Rebecca Mercer's company Cambridge Analytica and the incredibly good work that they did on behalf of the Trump campaign slicing, dicing and parsing information, we'll find out to what extent that they were using that information for micro targeting individual consumers at the level typically of Facebook, among other things.

But I think to some extent this is going to come out in the Mueller investigations, whether and who it was who was buying these Facebook ads and whether the Russian troll farms are being paid for by the Russian government or by Paul Manafort and all that other stuff.

These are things inquiring minds want to know. And it's not just Trump, but how did we get George W Bush and pretty much everything else. Arguably, how did we get Ronald Reagan?

And I would say it all goes back to 1976 in the US Supreme Court. In 1973 after Nixon resigned, Congress passed a whole series of really good laws to get money out of politics: you can't give over a certain amount to an individual politician, you can't give over a certain amount to a political party.

There were all these very specific limits on money and politics, and a bunch of billionaires said, no, we've got to be able to own politicians. And they took it to the Supreme Court. The case was Buckley v. Valeo in 1976 and the Supreme Court said, sure enough, giving money to politicians or giving money to influence elections is considered constitutionally protected First Amendment free speech, that money is speech.

I've never seen a dollar bill talk, but apparently in the world of Lewis Powell and William Rehnquist it does, and had it not been for that Supreme Court decision, the billionaires Robert and Rebecca Mercer would not have been able to go all in on Trump and he would have faded early on.

All the other Republican candidates wouldn't have had their own individual special interest billionaires.

You wouldn't have had the Democratic Party being corrupted by billionaires in the banking and pharmaceutical industries.

You wouldn't have had the Republican Party being corrupted by billionaires in the fossil fuel and chemical and defense industries.

None of this would have happened, or it wouldn't have happened with such severity if the Supreme Court had not discovered in the Constitution that the founders wanted rich people to be able to control our political system.

We have just a couple thousand people in the United States who fund more than half of all the political campaigns in this country. There's something fundamentally wrong with that. That's called oligarchy, as Jimmy Carter pointed out on this program.

And then once the oligarchs get their oligarch -- in this case Donald Trump -- they're going to do everything they can to defend him and keep him in place unless he's no longer useful to the oligarchs.

Throughout last year I kept saying the Republicans are going to throw Donald Trump under the bus as soon as they get their tax breaks, because the oligarchs who own the Republican Party are interested in only one thing: money.

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Thom Hartmann is a Project Censored Award-winning New York Times best-selling author, and host of a nationally syndicated daily progressive talk program on the Air America Radio Network, live noon-3 PM ET. www.thomhartmann.com His most recent books are "The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight," "Unequal Protection: The Rise of Corporate Dominance and the Theft of Human Rights," "We The People," "What Would Jefferson Do?," "Screwed: The Undeclared War Against the Middle (more...)

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