I like asking the Republicans I talk with if they know who the Koch brothers are. I do this because, shockingly enough, the overwhelming majority of them have never even heard of the multibillionaires. It’s also interesting considering the Koch brothers – and their vast fortunes – are the driving forces behind much of what the Republican party has been supporting for the last several years.
Many conservatives blindly support almost anything the GOP tells them to support without an inkling of an idea about the real force that’s almost singlehandedly buying their entire party.
Well, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders dug up an old campaign platform of the Libertarian party from 1980 when it just so happens that David Koch was running for Vice President on the Libertarian ticket.
Just take a look at what the party – and David Koch – was pushing for in 1980:
- “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.”
If we did everything on this list, our entire country would implode. No tax revenue? Goodbye military. No social safety nets? Let’s go ahead and add millions more to the homeless numbers. No public transportation? Good luck getting to work if you don’t have a car. Oh, and if you do have a car good luck affording to drive anywhere on roads that are all privatized.
No EPA or FDA? Enjoy drinking polluted water and food that’s contaminated. Hurricane or tornado rips through your town? Sorry, no FEMA or government money of any kind to help you out.
This list is pure insanity – but this is the ideology that David Koch ran on in 1980. It’s an ideology that both David and his brother Charles Koch continue to try to push for today; an ideology that’s sweeping through the Republican party.
And I don’t know about you, but this list absolutely terrified me. If anyone tried to create a country based on these principles, the results would be catastrophic.
But this is what the Republican party, more specifically the tea party, is trying to do to this country. It’s a wake-up call millions of Americans need to understand.
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