The secretive and influential American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) has been toiling in the political shadows to advance a far-right agenda aimed at enhancing the power of corporations and suppressing the voice of the people. Their so-called “voter integrity” initiatives are thinly disguised efforts to obstruct the voting rights of minorities, students, seniors, and low income citizens. The Center for American Progress authored a study that details ALEC’s operations, it’s ties to the powerful in politics and business, and its pride in concealing its activities from the public.
ecently, a campaign was launched by Color of Change and other activists to hold some of the enterprises bankrolling ALEC accountable for their support of the extremist organization. They include Altria, AT&T, ExxonMobil, Phizer, Wal-Mart, and, of course, the Koch brothers. The campaign has enjoyed some success in compelling Coca-Cola to terminate their relationshipwith ALEC. Pepsi and Kraft Foods are also severing ties with ALEC.
This citizen-driven movement is effective because free people in democratic societies are entitled to express themselves and redress their grievances with public and private institutions that have an impact on their lives. However, some rightist defenders of the ruling elite are appalled that ordinary citizens have found a way to join together and make their concerns heard. One of those is Breitbart editor Dana Loesch, who had this to say on her radio show in response to Coke’s announcement:
“Coca-Cola decided to side with an admitted Marxist, 9/11 truther, cop-killer supporter […] This is the guy whose company Coca-Cola is siding with. This is what happens. Progressives will target businesses and try to shut them down if they support those who are telling the truth. It’s a fascistic movement. Fascism is alive and well in the United States on the left.”
The alleged Marxist to whom Loesch is referring is Van Jones and her allegations are verifiably untrue. Jones is a firm believer in the ability of free markets to empower people and advance the goals of the American dream. In fact, he wrote the book on it. He never supported the 9/11 truth movement and even proved the allegation to be false. And his efforts on behalf of Mumia Abu-Jamal cannot be portrayed as supporting a cop-killer if the evidence shows that Abu-Jamal is innocent. Abu-Jamal’s death sentence was rescinded last year in a case that went all the way to the Supreme Court. Also, Jones left Color of Change over two years, so Loesch’s attempt to associate him with this campaign is merely her way of trying to demonize the organization by associating it with a public figure who is hated by right-wingers because of their prior and continuing efforts to demonize him.
With everything that Loesch has gotten wrong in this affair, it is unsurprising that she also doesn’t understand political theory. Her accusations of fascism directed at a citizen effort to persuade Coke and other corporations to refrain from funding an extremist right-wing organization demonstrates her ignorance of the subject.
Loesch has also accused the president of “siding with terrorists” and defended soldiers who urinated on the corpses of Afghan combatants. Now she maligns civic-minded Americans as akin to tyrants and perpetrators of torture and mass murder. Is that really the caliber of character that CNN wants to project? Unfortunately, based on the direction the network has taken the past couple of years, with the addition of people like Will Cain and Amy Holmes (of Glenn Beck’s Internet operation), and Erick Erickson (of RedState), it appears to be inescapably so.