Writer Reihan Salem describes the libertarian promoters, Charles (77) and David (81) Koch, as “very, very patient.” (Click) In the 2016 presidential election, they and their cohorts spent $889 million dollars to support candidates who espoused their views. Most of those aspirations were dashed. (Click) Still, they are at it again, having learned nothing from the experience. They’ve budgeted $400 million for the upcoming midterms.
Much of the money, they say, will go to television and online advertisements to tout the wonders of the recently passed tax bill. Well, why wouldn’t they want to promote it? That tax reform saved Koch Industries more than $1 billion a year.” (“The U.S. at a glance…” The Week, February 9, 2018, pg. 7.) When Charles Koch admits he’s seen more progress in recent years than in the past 50, we don’t have to ask why.
Progress, of course, is in the eye of the beholder. If he means there’s an increased interest in universal healthcare, a growing thirst for social justice and a desire to save the planet’s environment, he would be right. If he means a growth in unfettered financial systems, increased disparity between rich and poor and a government put to the service of oligarchs, few would agree.
For the Koch brothers to revive a strategy that failed in 2016 is puzzling, if not a little insane. They might be right to think money can disrupt an election, but the passion for social justice can’t be bought. The tide against oligarchs is turning. After the next election, the Koch brothers might awake to find their ideology has been reduced to an ancient relic and their history no more than a curiosity.
(Originally published 2/15/18)