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Friday, 25 February 2011
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The Koch Brothers Aren't Conservative

One of the more interesting things to come out of the Koch Brother's episode with Scott Walker is everyone's description of the Koch Brothers.  Both Democrats and Republicans keep talking about the Koch brothers, and most often describe them as being "conservative" philanthropists. I hate to break it to both sides, but the Koch brothers aren't Conservative... they're Libertarian.

It's an important distinction that both sides should pay attention too, because Democrats certainly shouldn't vilify them, and Republicans shouldn't be taking so much credit as if they're cut from the same cloth. As has been noted in several web sites, the Koch brothers are major donors to different Libertarian think tanks including the CATO Institute and the Reason Foundation (which publishes Reason Magazine) and the Institute for Justice.

Among the various "conservative" causes that CATO and Reason support are:

  • Ending the Drug War
  • Legalizing the Gay Marriage
  • Cutting Defense Spending

More specifically, they both joined with George Soros (*gasp*), and donated millions of dollars to the ACLU for the specific purpose of defeating the Patriot Act. Talk about Conservative right? And all those are definitely things that Liberals would hate supporting huh?

But hey, maybe the Koch brothers are only fans of the "conservative" parts of those organizations... except of course for the fact that David Koch was on the Libertarian Party Ticket in 1980 as the Vice Presidential Candidate.

So to those Liberals who vilify the Koch brothers for what they support, why don't you want to legalize Gay Marriage, end the Drug War or roll back the Patriot Act? And to those Conservatives who are so willing to turn a blind eye to their support for those same causes which you obviously disagree with... why are you so willing throw away your core beliefs for money? Do you give them a kiss after they leave their money on the pillow for you?

# Posted at 19:12 by Nick  |  Comment Feed Link 6 Comments  |  No Trackbacks

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Friday, 25 February 2011 19:22:25 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)
I think the real problem isn't that their positions are varied on different subjects, but rather that economically they seem to lobby very hard for wealthy people at the expense of working people. What you point out is interesting, but it isn't likely to make anyone change their feelings about the role they're playing in our current situation.
Friday, 25 February 2011 19:29:11 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)
They lobby hard for wealthy people at the expense of working people? You do realize that one of the things that the Institute for Justice is most known for is stopping Eminent Domain Abuse right? And as you should hopefully know, cities mostly use Eminent Domain to allow wealthy developers and large corporations to take homes usually from poor people at below market prices for their own benefit.

Ironically, most liberals seems to approve of Eminent Domain as a way of increasing the tax base that they can then use for other purposes. Strangely, they seem to ignore the fact that it mostly comes at the cost of the poor. That's just one example.
Friday, 25 February 2011 19:34:03 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)
They also give millions to cancer research, the arts, and other non-political causes as well.
Saturday, 26 February 2011 17:15:05 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)
I'm not so sure the eminent domain thing is solely about concern for the poor, Nick. But whatever the case may be, perhaps they're perfectly lovely people who just happen to be wrong, wrong, wrong on the issues of the day in the state of Wisconsin. While what you bring up is interesting, it does not make me or anyone a hypocrite for disliking their influence in this regard.
Saturday, 26 February 2011 23:19:38 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)
I'm suspicious.

"He joined candy manufacturer Robert Welch to be one of the charter members of the John Birch Society (along with JBS board member Fred Koch, the father of Koch Industries executives Charles and David Koch), and financed other right-wing firebrands"
Sunday, 27 February 2011 01:01:55 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)
And then there is this?

Distribution is a conversation that we need to have.

It would be nice if we could have it coming in the front door and not dictated from the back.
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