TPM Cafe: Opinion

America's Ruling Class Hall of Shame

Health-care-overhaul--4
AP Photo / Harry Hamburg


Congressmen Eric Cantor and Paul Ryan


Corporate lobbyist and Americans for Tax Reform head Grover Norquist


Chase CEO Jamie Dimon



Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf



David and Charles Koch (Charles not pictured)



Walmart CEO Mike Duke



Sen. Mitch McConnell



Newt Gingrich



Wall Street titan and Fix-the-Debt funder Pete Peterson



Sen. Rand Paul



Sleazy corporate front man Rick Berman



Fox News president Roger Ailes



Media mogul Rupert Murdoch



Radio reactionary Rush Limbaugh



Casino billionaire benefactor Sheldon Adelson



Sen. Ted Cruz

 


Chamber of Commerce CEO Tom Donohue


NRA hit man Wayne LaPierre



As in all eras of American history, there are a handful of members of America's upper class who are traitors to their class. They sympathize with and even fund progressive causes, campaigns, and candidates. They side with the growing movement that is emerging to challenge the domination of America's power elite. 


Like Yertle the Turtle, these 20 men sit atop an unstable foundation of widening inequality and social injustice. And like Mack, the turtle at the bottom, there are more and more Americans angered and frustrated by the status quo. Polls show that most Americans prefer "responsible capitalism" over "no rules" capitalism. 

If history offers any lessons, it is that these men -- and the interests and ideas they represent -- are not invincible. Martin Luther King said, "the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice." But it takes movements and activists to bend it. 

This post was originally published at Huffington Post.

Dreier is the E.P. Clapp Distinguished Professor of Politics and chair of the Urban & Environmental Policy Department at Occidental College. His most recent book is The 100 Greatest Americans of the 20th Century: A Social Justice Hall of Fame (Nation Books, 2012).