Seeds of our divide were sown by plutocrats in the shadows

Bill McKibben astutely contemplates deep divisions within the United States (“Could Trump break up the United States?” Opinion, Oct. 30). But to attribute this breakdown of shared values solely to President Trump would be shortsighted. The current divide is the result of a sustained and successful propaganda campaign.

The seeds of division have been sown for decades by a small minority — a group of plutocrats who have organized to grow and protect their wealth. Their priorities do not have the support of mainstream America, so they must pursue their agenda through secretive back channels, as detailed in Jane Mayer’s acclaimed study “Dark Money.”

By acquiring control of many right-leaning radio and television networks, including Fox News, these ultra-wealthy operators have successfully radicalized the right. They have demonized liberal views and brazenly attacked the integrity of trustworthy news agencies. They have stopped action on climate change to protect their fossil fuel interests. And, through President Trump, deregulation and lopsided tax reform are taking shape. It appears they have effectively taken control of our government.


After two decades of propaganda, of course we are divided. Overturn Citizens United, hold news agencies accountable, and expose the conspiracy. Democracy is under attack.

Kerry Castonguay