ALEC Members Refuse to Sign a Pledge Supporting Democracy
Last Thursday while ALEC was holding its annual meeting in Washington D.C., a group of working family activists, AFSCME, the Postal Workers union (APWU), AFT, and Jobs with Justice appeared at the meeting and asked ALEC members to sign a pledge “upholding the will of the people and support democracy, or leave their states.” The people at ALEC’s meeting did not sign the pledge and corporate-controlled media did not report the event because a revelation that an organization dedicated to serving corporate interests represented by the Republican Party refusing to support democracy would not play well with the public. In fact, for about 30 years ALEC has quietly been dismantling America’s democracy while hiding in the shadows, and it is just recently that a very tiny minority of the population even know ALEC exists.
Those Americans who know about ALEC and the Koch’s assault on democracy are rightly incensed that a small number of very rich Americans are responsible for authoring legislation robbing Americans of their rights and freedoms with a view towards government by corporate oligarchy. The anger at the people behind ALEC such as the Koch brothers, Wall Street, and the largest corporations in America, is truly justified, but the truth is that ALEC’s real power is not the Koch brothers, corporations, or the richest people in America. It is true their funding allows them to write template legislation responsible for destroying democracy, create a nation of peasants, and attempt to privatize and hijack the government using public dollars, but without loyal Republican legislators in the states and Congress, neither ALEC, the Koch brothers, nor wealthy corporations would have the power to dismantle America’s democracy.
It is fortunate that ALEC, the Koch brothers, and corporate influence on government is finally being exposed, and it partially explains why ALEC was furiously writing legislation Republicans introduced and voted for to restrict the right to vote; particularly in Republican-controlled states. In some areas of the country, the exposure was too little too late, and laws such as stand your ground, right to work for less, and privatized public education are likely going to stay in place for a decade or more even if voters begin voting Republicans out of office in the next election. It does not mean that all is lost, but it does mean that it will take a long time to turn America around; especially in parts of the country where people are resistant to, and suspicious, of change and it is why ALEC targeted those areas first. It is also why the Koch brothers and their surrogates are spending millions upon millions of dollars in those areas to restrict voting rights and undermine education by portraying real democracy as an evil usurpation of their religious freedom, gun ownership, and responsible for government intrusion in their daily lives. It is an evil ploy, but it is successful because the population is inherently stupid and ignorant of how government works to benefit their well-being, and increasingly, their very survival.
It is no coincidence that Republicans have been successful in portraying President Obama as a dictator who suspended the Constitution and imposed tyrannical rule. Let’s face it, when nearly half the population actually believes a president has the authority to suspend the Constitution, it is little wonder they believe conservative propaganda from Fox News, Glenn Beck, and Rush Limbaugh that their only recourse to restore the Constitution and preserve their way of life is electing Republicans.