There was a time when Randolph Scott’s movies made more money than anybody’s, but if he were around today he’d find the situation much changed. Randolph used to be the hero of the picture. Now, he and people like him — the lone warrior riding out for justice, defending the ladies and the little guys — those are the villains of the modern melodrama. The new hero is the giant corporation, buying lawmakers by the trainload, standing up to the consumers, environmentalists and government regulators, collecting huge profits and paying no taxes. The Tea Party, the right-wing media, the corporations themselves have altered attitudes.

“Mama, I want to be like GM when I grow up.” “We’ll see, Johnny, we’ll see.”


The Koch brothers are representative of the new breed of champions. Though born to wealth, they didn’t stop there, but instead rolled up their sleeves and made themselves and their companies even richer, crushing competiton in the process. Mercy is no longer considered a virtue. The Kochs buy federal and state lawmakers to serve their purposes, and elements of the news media to keep the truth out of print and off the airwaves. (“You can’t buy Beef Stroganoff with truth,” David Koch likes to say. “Or Vienna sausage, either.”) They wage war without quarter against workers and the middle class. More Koch advice: “The best person to fight is somebody who’s smaller, weaker and poorer than you.” The theater erupts in cheers when they say it on-screen.

People who stand up for the common man and woman are called “terrorists” by the corporations and Fox News. Thus the vilification of Sen. Mark Pryor, who believes it is desirable, even moral, to feed poor children and to allow the poor, adult and child, access to adequate health care. Kochs and corporations strongly disagree.


The Koch man in the Arkansas Senate race is Tom Cotton. He supports a Koch-proposed national budget that would, among other things, turn Social Security into a voucher program, at great expense to older Americans, while giving tax breaks to billionaires like the Kochs. Cotton recently challenged Pryor to debate him without a moderator present. That means he doesn’t want a referee around who might call fouls. “Lies” they’re known as in this context, and Cotton employs them liberally.

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