The billionaire Koch brothers are funding a school to promote their views, but the message is hard to swallow.
Breaking news: An amazing new school for political activists is training thousands of people to be community organizers. They’re using Saul Alinsky’s classic manual, Rules for Radicals.
The Grassroots Leadership Academy gives how-to lessons in everything from mounting successful protest actions to recruiting middle-of-the-road voters. But, wait — who’s that hiding behind Saul Alinsky?
Good grief, it’s the Koch brothers!
Yes, this “grassroots” outfit has been set up by the gabillionaires Charles and David Koch to train cadres of right-wing corporatists to spread their ideological laissez-fairydust across the land.
The academy is run through Americans for Prosperity, the Kochs’ political wing, which put up $3 million to get it going. About 10,000 people have gone through training sessions in three dozen states. The brothers’ grandiose scheme is to take over the Republican Party and use it as a tool to rebuild America itself into a Kochlandia, ruled by the superrich.
Even their money, however, can’t overcome one huge barrier: their message.
The academy’s curriculum, for example, is loaded with such corporate nonsense as a course titled “The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels.”
Attendees are indoctrinated with two overarching lessons: First, freewheeling corporate power — unrestrained by labor, environmental, or other public protections — GOOD. Second, Social Security, unemployment benefits, and other social programs — VERY BAD.
Koch Kollege for right-wing social engineers is peddling a status quo agenda of corporate elitism and trickle-down ideology, which the vast majority of Americans are now openly rebelling against. It’s like trying to sell chicken salad made out of chicken manure. There’s not enough sugar in the world to make people swallow that.
OtherWords columnist Jim Hightower is a radio commentator, writer, and public speaker. He’s the editor of the populist newsletter, The Hightower Lowdown.