Thursday, October 23, 2014

Nelson Bunker Hunt

So Nelson Bunker Hunt seems to have died yesterday.  The essence of all the reporting on him seems to be that he was an oil billionaire, who inherited his money from his oilman father and in concert with his brother, lost most of it in a harebrained scheme to corner the world silver market, and then got a lot of it back.  The reporting, and the information easily available on the web sort of stop there.  Examine, for example, the Wikipedia page on him, which only devotes a couple of sentences to the real reason for remembering him, his brother and his father: their rabid right wing politics, backed up by massive amounts of their oil money.  In fact, the Hunts were the prototype for the malignant Koch brothers, who have taken upon themselves the right to do so much damage to the country today.
Hunt with his brother

Their father was an uneducated wildcatter who made a lot of money and left it to the brothers, along with their thirteen other siblings.  The Hunt brothers were also "privately" educated (i.e. they never went to school) and steeped in their father's beliefs, which were pretty much in alignment with the John Birch Society, with which he was involved, exactly like the Koch Brothers' father.  What none of the web sources that I saw mentioned, and what I think is the most important fact of all is that, between them and their father, the Hunts were the number one factor in the creation of right wing talk radio in the 1960's, financing both shows like the Voice of Americanism, and radio stations that carried their propaganda.  They were also among the creators of the Conservative "think tank;" their Western Goals Foundation being the grandfather of the Heritage Foundation, the American Enterprise Institute and countless other right wing propaganda mills following in their footsteps. 
 Daddy H. L. Hunt in front of his ludicrous J. R. Ewing style mansion

Thus, we get the current political climate in this country, where massive propaganda expenditures by a few billionaires pollute our electoral processes to the point where democracy is nothing but a pathetic fiction, and this is considered entirely acceptable.  These are the original Koch brothers, and although their malicious political career was cut short by their disastrous overreach in the silver market, they had blazed the path for the many rich sociopaths that have come after them.

1 comment:

JohninOregon said...

I was reminded of that semi-famous 1954 letter in which President Eisenhower essentially called Bunker's father a wingnut.

http://web.archive.org/web/20051124190902/http://www.eisenhowermemorial.org/presidential-papers/first-term/documents/1147.cfm