I had heard of Mercer and his daughter but never the possible reasons that he is considered a power unto himself and as occasional discussions in other threads have noted, someone intellectually detached may not have the same view of one's activities. Lots of questions come to mind:

Is this http://http://www.cbc.ca/news2/inter...r-billionaire/ depiction of Mercer fairly accurate in your opinion of the man himself?

Would his money and companies like, data analysis company Cambridge Analytica, have that much
power in a national vote?

Can the extraordinarily wealthy have that much influence over a country as large as the US?

Is there a countering wealthy family for Democrats or Libertarians?

Is this possible degree of power violating the concept of 'by the people for the people"?

If yes, can it be controlled? How?

Some quotes that especially startled me:
Mercer’s fortune and Bannon’s media instincts combined with a shared ideology to produce the anti-liberal, anti-Clinton ecosystem that includes Breitbart, the conservative non-profit Citizens United, the book Clinton Cash and much more. Together, they oversaw the data analysis company Cambridge Analytica, whose impact on the UK’s Brexit referendum and the 2016 U.S. election remain troublesomely murky.

“The ultra-wealthy of today differ from the ultra-wealthy in past eras in that they have, a lot of them, no stake in the infrastructure of society,” Magerman said. He’s seen that their wealth does not depend on the health and stability of the country. In fact, they get rich on volatility and instability. Organizations that track who spends money in politics have noted the same thing. Sarah Bryner, research director at the Washington-based Center for Responsive Politics, said “hedge fund wealth is a sort of recent phenomenon, at least in the campaign finance world.”

The truly awesome money machine at Renaissance is a private fund called Medallion, which is only open to Renaissance employees. According to a Bloomberg report, “Medallion has pumped out annualized returns of almost 80 per cent a year, before fees.” Even in a bad year, it churns out more than 20 per cent returns.

They talked about Obamacare and the social safety net and disagreed about Trump’s positions on those issues. Then, Magerman says Mercer made a series of comments on U.S. society:

The United States began to go in the wrong direction after the passage of the Civil Rights Act in the 1960s;
African-Americans were doing fine in the late ‘50s and early ‘60s before The Civil Rights Act; 

The Civil Rights Act “infantilized” African Americans by making them dependent on government and removing any incentive to work; 

The only racist people remaining in the U.S. are black; and 

White people have no racial animus toward African-Americans anymore, and if there is any, it’s not something the government should be concerned with.
Magerman felt he couldn’t keep that to himself.

One of Magerman’s cautions about “instant billionaires” is that they really don’t understand what the government is for. They didn’t get rich by providing the goods, services and infrastructure that bring people into direct contact with their community and its interests — they got rich in financial markets, making money for the sake of it.

Often cited among the accomplishments of the Trump administration’s first year are the number of regulations that have been eliminated in the name of freeing businesses to create jobs. But the real shrinking of the role of government has been in Trump’s choice of cabinet members, whose aim seems to be to assail the policy goals of their departments.

Thus, the secretary of energy is someone who once campaigned to get rid of the Energy Department; the Secretary of Education has advocated against the public schools system; the Environmental Protection Agency director has a record of repeatedly suing the EPA; and the Attorney General has a reputation for opposing the expansion of civil rights.