However, despite this, unless you can win over a large number of voters who do not support the economic agenda of billionaires, there is a limit to what you can achieve in America, imperfect and unjust as our democracy may be.
This is a simplification, but what I think is basically true is that the American right has won multiple elections by appealing to intolerance — racism, homophobia, and now anti-“woke” despite the very nature of its economic agenda not welcome. There is a risk, however, to the strategy: plutocrats who believe that intolerant forces are working for them may wake up and find the opposite to be the case.
Which brings us to the other stories I mentioned.
For a while, DeSantis seemed to be in the running for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination. His apparent rise largely reflects support from big Republican donors who see him as a more sensible alternative to Donald Trump — one who would serve their economic interests while exuding his social conservatism And a willingness to fight conspiracy theories attract working-class support.
But some of those donors are now giving up, as DeSantis’ intolerance and conspiracy theories increasingly look like a political show — and they are who he really is. Big money is looking for charlatans, not true fanatics.
Among forces driving DeSantis candidacy It’s always been Rupert Murdoch’s Fox News. Fox was created essentially to implement a right-wing strategy, to promote plutocratic policies, while winning over working-class whites with intolerance and conspiracy theories. But emails and texts unearthed by a defamation lawsuit filed by Dominion Voting Systems suggest that Fox has become a prisoner of the audience it created. It found itself supporting claims that elections were stolen, even though its own people knew they were false, because it feared losing market share with an audience that wanted to believe the big lie.
Does anyone doubt that if the Republican primary goes the way it seems, Fox will soon be back in Trump’s corner?
Murdoch’s organization, then, has effectively been taken hostage by forces he helped muster.
But Elon Musk’s story, if anything, is even sadder.As Kara Swisher recently pointed out time magazine, he has become “the richest Internet troll in the world.” The madness he helped foment didn’t take over his organization—it had taken over his mind.
I still believe that the concentration of wealth at the top is undermining democracy. But this is not a simple story about plutocracy. Instead, it’s a story of the super-rich trying to get what they want, unleashing forces that could destroy America as we know it. It’s scary.
This article originally appeared on New York Times.
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