America’s “Funding Fathers”
By Scott Rohter, January 2020
You have heard of the Founding Fathers. You probably learned about them in your 8th grade history class, but if you are like most Americans you probably didn’t learn much about them… maybe a little bit about the Boston Tea Party, something about Paul Revere’s midnight ride, and how Benjamin Franklin discovered electricity by flying a kite…
I am sure you didn’t learn anything about America’s “funding fathers” in school and how through a terrible Supreme Court decision, America’s wealthiest citizens have perverted the meaning of freedom of speech to include campaign contributions made to out of state political candidates by them and some of America’s largest corporations.
More than a few of America’s Founding Fathers had distinguished careers as President of the United States. George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and James Monroe, the first five Presidents of the United States were all Founding Fathers, but unlike these leaders, our Nation’s “funding fathers” prefer to remain in the background… out of sight and out of office. They pull the strings from behind the political curtain like many little Wizard of Oz’s.
A famous Supreme Court Justice named Felix Frankfurter observed that, “the real rulers in Washington are invisible. They exercise their power from behind the scenes”. He was referring to America’s “funding fathers”… those powerful people who prefer to remain anonymous and out of the political limelight. When the distinguished Justice made that remark he was merely echoing the observation of another political observer of the 18th Century… a member of the British Parliament named Sir William Pitt who said that there were political forces behind the throne even greater than the King himself. That was in 1770, six years before the signing of the Declaration of Independence and the American Revolution. Not much has changed since then. Powerful people are still controlling our respective governments from behind the scenes and they still prefer to remain anonymous.
These puppet masters who pull the strings in Washington are the real movers and shakers in America’s political drama, They flex their muscle in ways that you don’t ever hear about on the evening news or read about in the morning newspaper. Their manipulation of our government represents a very real threat to the legitimacy of our representative republic because they are even more powerful than the people we actually elect and send to Washington.
In the world of politics money is power… and those who have the most money have the most power. Whether or not they actually choose to use their own power is their own choice. Some of America’s wealthiest citizens don’t try to influence decisions made in Washington, but many do, and the more money they have, the more likely they are to have real influence over what goes on in Washington…
So in order to find out just who America’s funding fathers are all you need to do is look at at a list of Americans wealthiest citizens published annually by Forbes Magazine.
There are ten people on the list with the last name of Pritzker. You probably never heard of them. That is the way they like it, but if you have ever traveled you have probably stayed at one of their hotels. They made a fortune in the hotel business, and they are some of America’s funding fathers.
There are six people on the list whose last name is Walton. They own Wall Mart. They are some of America’s funding fathers.
Three people on the list have the last name of Mars. If you have ever had a candy bar then you have probably helped to make the members of this family some of America’s funding fathers.
Three people who regularly show up on the Forbes List have the last name of Koch. The Koch brothers are funding fathers.
Of course there is old money on the list too. David Rockefeller’s name always appears.. He is the son of the late John D. Rockefeller and one of the heirs to the Standard Oil fortune. The Rockefellers of course are funding fathers along with the Morgans, the Stanleys, and the Vanderbilts.
Other prominent names on the list include Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, Larry Ellison, Michael Bloomberg, Mark Zuckerberg, Sheldon Adelson, Jeff Bezos, Carl Icahn, and George Soros. While you recognize these names, most of them are never mentioned in the classroom in connection with politics, yet they all exert a more powerful influence on our politicians than our Nation’s Founding Fathers do. Sheldon Adelson single handedly bankrolled John McCain’s presidential campaign in 2008..
America has always had powerful people who are interested in politics… but who don’t like to be in the spotlight. Like Justice Frankfurter observed over a hundred years ago these people pose a very real challenge to the legitimacy of our representative government. Their vast financial resources which allows them to have influence over Congress and over the White House, gets worse with each passing year since the Citizens United Supreme Court decision was made which ruled that money is the same thing as speech and it cannot be limited. This gives American corporations the same constitutional rights as American citizens and allows them to influence and even buy our elections.