Sunday, April 7, 2024

Something to Know - 7 April

There is a new free publication out on the web, which is interesting.  I am passing it on to you today.   Don't get used to it, because it is probably going to go the same way that Borowitz went.   My subscriptions to the Atlantic, New York Times, and the LA Times, HCR, Robert Reich, and the Claremont Courier, plus a few others, are about all I can afford now.  HCR is off today Enjoy "The Dean's Report":

Dean Obeidallah from The Dean's Report by Dean Obeidallah 

9:05 AM (24 minutes ago)
to me
Forwarded this email? Subscribe here for more


In February 1933, Herman Goering—one of Adolph Hitler's top leaders-- sent telegrams to Germany's 25 leading industrialists inviting them to a secret meeting in Berlin.  The reason for the clandestine gathering was that Hitler--who had been named Chancellor of Germany the month before--had just called for new elections to take place the following month. Hitler, though, had one problem: His Nazi party desperately needed funds to wage a campaign. 

At the meeting, Hitler spoke for nearly 90 minutes telling the German industrialists –such as  arms and steel tycoon Gustav Krupp—of his plans to end the nation's democracy after the upcoming election because they could better prosper in a dictatorship under his rule, explaining"Private enterprise cannot be maintained in the age of democracy."   And later Goering told these wealthy businessmen a Nazi victory in the upcoming election would guarantee a favorable climate for business.  In response, as Robert Jackson, the chief U.S. prosecutor at Nuremberg and former Supreme Court Justice noted, "[T]he industrialists…became so enthusiastic that they set about to raise three million Reichsmarks [worth about $30 million today] to strengthen and confirm the Nazi Party in power."

That brings us to Trump's fundraiser of modern era wealthy "industrialists" Saturday night in Palm Beach, Florida at the home of billionaire investor John Paulson--who made his wealth by betting against subprime mortgages right before the Great Recession.  An estimated 100 uber rich people gathered where they reportedly raised more than $50 million to help bankroll Trump's 2024 campaign. In normal times, this would be nothing more than a high-priced fundraiser featuring the elite backers of Trump who had to come up with a minimum of $250,000 to attend or shell out $824,600 to serve as a "co-chair" for the event.

But these aren't normal times. And despite the efforts of many to normalize Trump, he's anything but the typical GOP candidate. Trump attempted a coup to remain in power despite losing the 2020 for which he is now facing numerous felonies in both federal and state court.  And Paulson and these rich donors absolutely know that--yet they saw it fit to donate a huge amount of money to a man who attempted to end our democratic Republic.

These wealthy people bankrolling Trump are traitors to the United States. I know that sounds extreme but let's be clear, these people are not the run of the mill MAGA supporter who Trump has conned into believing the 2020 election was stolen. These people –like Paulson who has an MBA from Harvard business school—know full well that Trump attempted to end our democracy in 2020, both by way of a behind the scenes coup and the Jan 6 attack. These wildly rich people also fully grasp Trump has vowed to pardon his MAGA terrorists, has literally channeled Hitler with his language about immigrants "poisoning the blood" of America, intentionally incited violence, spoken about being a dictator, repeatedly praised autocrats, vowed to "liberate" America from Trump's political opponents and more that are all flashing red warning signs for our democracy.

In fact, earlier in the 2024 campaign, Paulson raised funds for Trump's GOP primary opponent Ron DeSantis despite making  big donations to Trump in 2016  and 2020. Obviously, Paulson must have had concerns about Trump in 2024 given his sudden support for DeSantis over Trump.

But all that changed when it became clear Trump would be the GOP nominee. As Paulson told CNN last month about Saturday's event, "I am pleased to support President Trump in his re-election efforts, adding, "His policies on the economy, energy, immigration and foreign policy will be very beneficial for the country." 

Of course, Paulson left out that the Trump tax cut enacted in 2017, greatly helped the very wealthy set of which Paulson and the others at Saturday's dinner are privileged enough to be a part of. And a short time after the Jan 6 attack, Chuck Collins, director of the Project on Inequality and the Common Good at the Institute for Policy Studies, told Common Dreams about Paulson and Trump's other uber wealthy backers, "They enabled Donald Trump. They bankrolled his campaigns," adding, "And they cheered as Trump cut their taxes, swept away regulations that pinched their profits, and packed the courts with judges eager to wink at their transgressions."

Is that why these very rich people are now turning a blind eye to threat Trump poses to our democratic Republic? Or is it worse? Do they fully grasp the danger Trump poses to our Republic but have decided they are on board with that? Perhaps they believe as wealthy friends of an autocratic leader they can do even better? After all, in Hungary led by Trump's ally Viktor Orban, a Reuters investigation found his inner circle had profited under his leadership with "Orban's friends and family have been increasingly successful in winning publicly funded business since he resumed power in 2010."

In 2023, The Guardian reported how Orban publicly denounced funding from the EU but then funneled EU grant money to his cronies. As the article noted, "Orb├ín has been bashing the EU for years; at the same time his inner circle is getting rich through EU funds."

In return for more wealth, all these people had to do was support Orban's efforts to grab more power—from closing down independent media outlets to his political party having  "control over auditing and investigative bodies" to running in essence rigged elections.

Then there's Vladimir Putin, who Trump has repeatedly praised, defended and views as an ally. Putin took a page from Hitler when just a few months after winning his first election to be Russia's President in 2000, he invited 21 of the country's wealthiest people to a meeting in the Kremlin.

At this meeting, Putin offered the oligarchs a deal: Don't oppose me in any way and you can not only keep your wealth, but flourish even more. As NPR detailed, "The loyalists who remained — and the new ones who got filthy rich during Putin's long reign — became like ATM machines for the president and his allies."  These wealthy Putin backers saw their riches expand as democracy contracted.  However, "the oligarchs who reneged on this deal and undermined Putin would be thrown into a Siberian prison or be forced into exile or die in suspicious circumstances." (A lesson for Trump's wealthy backers.)

Nearly 60% of those who voted for Trump in 2020  are people with a high school education or less.  These people may or may not fully grasp the threat Trump poses to our nation. They may not get what fascism is or how the fascist leader utilizes corruption to reward wealthy supporters with even more wealth. But I can guarantee that the obscenely wealthy people at Trump's event on Saturday do.

As detailed in the book Hell's Cartel about how the rise of Hitler, the history of the German industrialists' support of Hitler shows "what can go wrong when political objectives and the pursuit of profit become dangerously entwined." And in reality, studies after the war did find that those wealthy individuals who backed Hitler did see a windfall in profits—that was until some of them ended up before the Nuremberg trials as defendants.  Again, this is a lesson for the wealthy elite now donating to Trump.

Regardless how the 2024 election turns out, one thing is clear: These wealthy donors have chosen Trump and improving their bottom line over protecting our democratic Republic.


The Dean's Report by Dean Obeidallah is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.

You're currently a free subscriber to The Dean's Report by Dean Obeidallah. For the full experience, upgrade your subscription.

Upgrade to paid


© 2024 Dean Obeidallah
1221 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10020 USA

Get the appStart writing

Juan Matute
     (New link as of 29 March - click on it)
― The Lincoln Project

No comments:

Post a Comment