Is Harry Reid Driving Americans to Reject Prosperity?

Jen Kuznicki
By Jen Kuznicki | June 30, 2014 | 10:22 AM EDT

The art of listening to people and caring about what they say is a gift.  In politics, that art is often a tricky exercise.

Politicians are called great when they have mastered the ability to not say anything, but still sound like they are trying to help.  They have consultants who offer them the latest poll-tested buzz words to plug into sentences, and the better a politician is at smoothly operating, seamlessly moving from buzz word to buzz word, the less scrutiny they receive because gosh, he sounds like he's thinking what we are thinking, doesn't he?

Harry Reid is not exactly what I would call a smooth operator.  His voice has gotten raspy and quieter, but lately, you can always hear the buzz word, "Koch" plugged into every speech he gives.

Reid, as Senate Majority Leader, has blamed Charles and David Koch for nearly every difference of opinion on Capitol Hill, and it has gotten ridiculous.  He has accused these men of being the main cause of climate change, he said they were at fault for GOP opposition to a federal increase in the minimum wage, he renamed the Ryan Budget the "Koch" Budget, he blamed the brothers for slowing down aid to Ukraine, and for hurting the reputation of Obamacare.  See, there can be no opposition to Reid's world view, and now he wants an amendment to silence them.

Of course there are tactics behind what all politicians do.  If you blame all of the world's ills on George W. Bush, people tend to think he's the worst thing in the world, but he's a politician, so that kind of rhetoric is going to happen, to target him politically. So now, the strategy is to blame all the worst possible things that happen on the Koch brothers.  But the Koch brothers are not politicians, they are private citizens who are involved in educating the public on free market principles, and using activism to promote the proper American economic system. But, a good political listener hears what the politician does not say.

Early on in the tea party movement, Obama said that Americans for Prosperity was a harmless-sounding, yet nefarious, organization that did not disclose who donated to them, and who were spending millions of dollars to defeat Democrats.  The Koch brothers started Americans for Prosperity to promote the free market principles that made this country a world power.  So, why doesn't Harry Reid use the term, "Americans for Prosperity" instead of "Koch" as his new-found cuss word?

I am sure that if Harry Reid started saying, "Americans for Prosperity is the main cause for climate change," or, "Americans for Prosperity is the reason people think Obamacare is a failure," it would sound even nuttier than he normally does.  But, if he successfully ruins the reputations of the private citizens, the brothers Koch, he will have stomped all over prosperity and silenced the main activist-based driver of free market principles in every state in this country.

The fact is, politicians know how to name things to catch people off-guard.  The Affordable Care Act is a pretty good example of this, especially since it's not affordable and people have lost their doctors, so it's not caring either.  But, the grassroots army of those who comprise Americans for Prosperity are working to educate people on the free market, and how policies that hurt the free market must be changed.  They don't have the force of government behind them, as the ACA does, telling you that you have to pay a fine if you don't want to buy a specific product.

So though his voice is weak and raspy, and his pistons don't seem to be firing properly, Harry Reid still has the force of government behind him.  He defends government representatives who agree with him, and he disparages private citizens for political gain.  Some can remember his fight with Rush Limbaugh, distorting the term "phony soldiers" and going after Limbaugh's livelihood.  This is much, much worse, because though it is a governmental representative attacking private citizens, as he did in the case of Limbaugh, the difference is that he would silence all Americans who don't agree with him, and that's the work of a despot.

It is always helpful to remember that when private citizens use the right of assembly, and organize to change the direction of the government, they are not doing it by force.

Government forces you to act, the Koch brothers can only ask that you listen.