Opinion » Bill Cope

Mr. Cope's Cave: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly Truth

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Dear Mark Zuckerburg,

Thanks. I really mean it. Aside from the obvious benefits to humanity that $45 billion in charitable contributions will mean, what you and your wife have done—or announced you will do—has given my outlook a much needed freshening. I admit, over the past few years, I have drifted into thinking of super, super rich people as a blight on society and the human condition in general. I should know better. It is a lazy mistake to assume everyone with a billion dollars or more in their pocket is out to enslave the world into insectoid servitude in a soulless colony whose only purpose is to further enrich and empower the plutocratic overlords. I and every other American should constantly remind ourselves that real life is never so simple as a comic book.

However, even you will admit, it is an easy mistake to make, given that the super, super rich people we hear the most about tend to run more towards the Koch/Adelson/Lex Luthor stripe than the Gates/Buffett/Daddy Warbucks variety. You know the sort I mean: their idea of charity seems to be only those contributions that pay off, with dividends, for themselves, or allows them even greater access to power.

This raises a concern I feel compelled to address before you give all of your money away, Mr. Zuckerburg. As long as there are super, super rich people trying to reshape the political sphere to conform to their own unquenchable lust for more, I suggest it would be a good idea for you to hang onto enough of your assets that, whenever the need arises, you have enough cash available to counteract, if not neutralize, their attempts. You might want to bring this up to Bill and Warren the next time you're having lunch down at the Super, Super Rich Peoples' Club. Like it or not, until somebody does something about the current atmosphere of no-holds-barred influence peddling, I submit the only way to fight the influence of super, super rich greedy people is the equivalent influence of super, super rich benevolent people.

Believe me, when it comes to the money supply in modern political warfare, you must not rely on us regular citizens for any significant firepower. We just simply ain't got it. I mean, sure... we're doing OK, most of us. We're not going hungry. We have a roof over our heads and we don't have to send our kids to school in rags—most of us, anyway.

But when it comes to throwing a million bucks into the campaign coffers of our favorite candidate, there's no way. No way in hell. If I manage to drop a C-note to my presidential candidate of choice, then a Jackson here and there to a handful of my preferred legislative races, I feel like I've done about all I can do and still have something left to get buried with when the time comes.

Then we hear about how the Kochs or some hedge fund weasel is dumping hundreds of millions into unaccountable super PACs to get some corporate stooge elected, we think Holy shit! Why do I even bother?

So we need you, Mr. Zuckerburg. America needs you. You and Gates and Warren and anybody else with a good heart and a boatload of money to spare. I can understand that, perhaps, you and some of the others would rather stay above the political feeding frenzy and focus your charitable natures on those things that directly benefit the most people—curing diseases, educating the masses, feeding the malnourished, making Facebook accessible to Third World children... all noble causes, to be sure. But I fear none of that would matter much in a world where Donald Trump or Ted Cruz was the most powerful person alive. Not to pick on those particularly odious individuals, because let's face it... that entire party is being controlled by people who have no use for science, for healthy children, for an environmental conscience, not even for the lives of innocent people caught up in...

Mr. Cope, I'm sorry to interrupt, but I can't believe you're not writing about the massacre.

Which massacre, Junior?

The last one! Two days ago! Fourteen people! And actually, you haven't written anything yet about the other massacre either. The one at that Planned Parenthood place a week ago. What the heck, Mr. Cope!? Don't you care anymore?

What would you suggest I write?

Well... heck, I don't know. How would I know? But something should be said, don't you think? I mean, if we start letting these awful things happen without saying something about them... whatever that might be... well... crap! We might as well just give up.

Yes. We might as well just give up.

What does that mean? You can't be serious. We can't just give up!

Then what's your idea for an alternative?

Doing something about it, of course!

Bud, I'm sorry, but as long as we have people in high office who would sacrifice 30,000 Americans a year to their insatiable gun lobby gods, they will continue to prevent any and every attempt to do something about it. Like yesterday, when they defeated the Democrats' proposal to expand background checks. They are operating in a moral vacuum, the entire f***ing Republican Party... as devoid of decency as any terrorist threat to this country there is. Only, they manage to get a lot more innocent people killed than the jihadists can even dream of.

No, it's too far, Mr. Cope. I can't go along with the idea the whole Republican Party is a deadly threat.

And there you have it... the main reason there's nothing to do about it. We can't even fight a war... let alone win it... when people refuse to see who the real enemy is. And as long as that enemy is not recognized for what they are... the filth that provides arms to the murderers... they will continue to enable the murderers to murder. It's that simple.

That's bleak.

Well hold on, Junior. I suspect it's going to get a whole lot bleaker before it gets any better.