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Trump Demands $1 Billion from Big Oil in Exchange for Doing Their Bidding

"Sometimes the corruption at the core of right-wing politics is so blatant, it just takes your breath away."

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By Kindler (please check out my Substack)

Sometimes the corruption at the core of right-wing politics is so blatant, it just takes your breath away.  That is certainly the case with the Washington Post’s recent bombshell, “What Trump promised oil CEOs as he asked them to steer $1 billion to his campaign”.

According to multiple attendees of a dinner with oil industry executives at Mar-a-Lago, Trump stated: “You all are wealthy enough…that you should raise $1 billion to return me to the White House” – in exchange for which, he promised to give them all the policy payoffs they are demanding, from ending restrictions on drilling in Alaska and the Gulf of Mexico to allowing more liquefied natural gas exports.

“Giving $1 billion would be a ‘deal,’ Trump said, because of the taxation and regulation they would avoid thanks to him.”

It’s hard to state a political quid-pro-quo more blatantly than GIVE ME LOTS OF MONEY AND I WILL GIVE YOUR INDUSTRY WHATEVER IT WANTS.  And I appreciate the Post refusing to sugarcoat what it called “Trump’s remarkably blunt and transactional pitch.” Instead of the New York Times’ trademark “both sides are always equal” spin, the Post emphasized here that “[t]he contrast between the two candidates on climate policy could not be more stark.”

It may be tempting for some folks to tune out a story like this as just more political noise, but such a shameless display of “pay to play” politics is precisely the type of corruption of our system that almost everyone claims to be passionately against.  Many cynics will dismiss Trump’s display as how all politicians operate, but as the Post documents, it’s not. In fact, the story begins with the anecdote of one of the Big Oil execs complaining to Trump “how they continued to face burdensome environmental regulations despite spending $400 million to lobby the Biden administration in the last year.”

How dare Joe Biden refuse to be bought out by the world’s worst polluters! The nerve of the man!

While our politics revolves around a lot of things, a great deal of it is about the oil, coal and gas industries’ corrupt and immoral efforts to keep their profits flowing at the expense of the lives and health of the rest of us.  There’s a reason why the Republican party’s grip is strongest in fossil fuel extraction states, from Texas and Oklahoma to West Virginia, Wyoming and Kentucky – and why most of Trump’s biggest foreign supporters are petro-dictators, especially those of Saudi Arabia and Russia.

Because ultimately, the Republican party is not about principles at all – it is about gaining and maintaining power by being shamelessly for sale to the highest bidder.  The rest is just window dressing to gain votes from people who don’t read stories about what is really happening in the dark halls of Mar-a-Lago or at steakhouses or fundraisers around the country.

We need to open more Americans’ eyes to the huge choice they face this November between the principled policies of Biden and the Democrats vs. the GOP vision of policy being dictated by those stuffing dollars into their pockets.  Young people who fear the risks of climate change most especially need to pay attention as Republicans bargain their futures away in a soulless trade for political power.  Vote wisely.

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