Over the past few days I’ve had the misfortune of simultaneously having to weed thousands of unwanted plants from my garden and reading Jane Mayer’s Dark Money. For anyone who has not yet read this instructive piece of nonfiction, Dark Money is about the undermining of our country’s democratic system by the infamous libertarian Koch brothers and other billionaire business owners, men who are determined to influence elections in order to protect their vast fortunes. Forget Russian influence--these American magnates are the guys to worry about--far more insidious, in my opinion.
Though I spend hours in my garden pulling unwanted plants, seedlings, and shoots of aggressive perennials, I know that beneath the surface, weeds continue to seed and spread even as I labor, which means I will be weeding again later this summer or into the fall and next year. It’s a tedious task--somewhat futile, perhaps--but one that is unavoidable if I want my garden to thrive and not get completely overrun. As I’ve been weeding I’ve been thinking about the Koch brothers and their right wing buddies feeding their dark money into our political races, unseating Democratic candidates wherever they can. The Kochs and their operatives systematically scatter lies and character assassinations to seed their ideology into the soil of the American populace, poisoning the well of democratic spirit.
With regard to my garden, one might ask, why don’t I just use a weed killer? Why not hire a landscape crew to pull those nasty weeds? Well, it’s not that simple. Weed killers kill nearby plants, so that’s not an option. And the landscapers don’t always know the subtleties of what’s a weed and what isn’t. So, that leaves most of the cleanup pretty much to me.
And what about those dark money guys? Why can’t they be exterminated or brought down by the government? Well, unfortunately they now have their fingers in all branches of our government, and taking them out will be no easy task. Not until the populace comes to understand these billionaire’s true purpose will anything get done. Makes me wonder if, when we rail against Trump, we are aiming at the wrong target.
All I know is, as I pluck and pull and toss weeds into my wheelbarrow, I wish with each yank I could be extricating the dark money people from our society and keeping their evil seeds from spreading and destroying our democracy. Stretch, pull, yank, and toss. I just have to keep at it.
Here’s a link to some reviews of Dark Money on Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/book/show/27833494-dark-money?ac=1&from_search=true