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Op-Ed

David Koch's Legacy and the Necessity of Defeating the Left

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Billionaire capitalist titan David Koch passed away last month following a 27-year bout with prostate cancer. His legacy was a controversial one, due to his powerful financial network that promoted his principled libertarian outlook that had a tendency to press people’s buttons all across the volatile political spectrum.

David, alongside his brother Charles, became the villains of the tea party era as their groups such as the Cato Institute and Americans for Prosperity gained grassroots support across the United States as limited government swelled in popularity for a short time.

It was easy for leftists, lost in idolatry of their deity Barack Obama, to envision the Koch Brothers as the modern-aged robber barons using their ill-gotten gains to stand in the way of their Dear Leader’s electoral mandate of sweeping change.

However, their actual legacy is a bit different. While the Koch brothers certainly curried favor in the Washington, D.C. swamp with great effectiveness funding establishment Republican politicians to make sure favorable policies were put in place to secure their business interests, they also funded causes that are more frequently associated with progressivism.

The Koch network has pushed homosexual marriage, criminal justice reform, job opportunities for felons, legalization of drugs and open borders — and done so well before it became politically expedient to do so.

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The Koch brothers have been demonized by Republicans in recent years for their progressive streak, as they have feuded with President Donald Trump over his various “America First” initiatives. Trump’s embrace of nationalist trade and immigration policies have caused the Koch brothers to drift left-ward, even supporting Democrats through their various organizations in recent years.

The Koch network intends to give no support to Trump’s re-election campaign, which has prompted the president to call the Koch brothers “two nice guys with bad ideas” who have become “a total joke in real Republican circles.”

Regardless of what anyone may think of David’s political beliefs, he showed a unique willingness to take a stunning amount of partisan flak to defend his principles.

In a conservative movement that espouses limited government rhetoric to win elections only to jettison it when it is in power, the Koch brothers always stayed consistent. Stopping impediments to world trade, preventing interdictions against illegal drugs, and curtailing border enforcement measures made them pariahs on the right while opposing spending increases, tax hikes, gun freedom and environmental regulation made them villains to the left.

Still, despite plenty of disagreements, we only see one polarized political faction spewing vicious personal attacks against David — and that is the left. Many on the right did offer their condolences, from the libertarian activists who were his benefactors to his ideological opponents who appreciated his good demeanor despite their differences, with perhaps a few in the margins who classlessly wished him ill will.

It was quite different from liberals, as mainstream commentators immediately formed a conga line to dance on his grave. This is the same dance they will do when all of their ideological opponents turn up dead, which is a goal they pine for.

“When a bad person dies they don’t suddenly become a saint. Their legacy of destruction and pain doesn’t just float away. David Koch is dead, we have to deal with the fallout of his villainy for hundreds of years,” wrote progressive news writer Oliver Willis in a tweet.

Willis then compared Koch to some of history’s most reviled mass murderers by writing: “i hope the conservatives saying that in death someone deserves grace no matter what they did also wept on the days when bin laden and mcveigh died, right?”

“david koch died before he could be prosecuted for destroying the planet. sad !” tweeted Hasan Piker, the video streamer with The Young Turks who recently claimed that the United States “deserved” 9/11.

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“Wishing the Koch brothers a speedy reunion,” wrote actor Ron Perlman in a since-removed tweet.

“He economically enslaved thousands ; ruined the lives of many more through propaganda and exploitation; elevated the rich; and fought to force millions into poverty. He is the worst,” wrote freelance journalist Jules Suzdaltsev in a tweet.

“David Koch was a villain who devoted his wealth to further enriching himself and his fellow plutocrats, while spinning us all toward environmental doom. I don’t believe in an afterlife, but if there is one, I hope his soul suffers for eternity,” tweeted Jordan Weissman, a public policy and economics writer for Slate.

“They poisoned our politics to pollute our planet. The Koch name should be infamous,” wrote Democratic Rhode Island Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse in a tweet.

“Yesterday David Koch of the zillionaire Koch brothers died…of prostate cancer. I guess I’m going to have to re-evaluate my low opinion of prostate cancer,” left-wing comedian Bill Maher said on his HBO talk show.

“F— him. The Amazon is burning up. I’m glad he’s dead and I hope the end was painful,” he added.

This overwhelming response of hate and disgust from the left to Koch’s death should be an eye-opener for conservatives and libertarians who want to appease them. It is impossible and only shows weakness to an enemy that is quite literally engaged in total war. No matter how much their concerns are placated about race, gender, class, inequality, human rights, or any of their tropes, they still want everybody to the right of Karl Marx in a grave, and as soon as they are able to do so, they will send their government enforcers to make it happen.

Anyone who wants to get in the way of their ruthless power-seeking deserves the most painful of deaths, in their minds, and as the upright and sacrosanct crusaders for virtue, they are morally justified to make it so by any means necessary. Libertarians, like those in the Koch network, tend to masquerade as if both political tribes are the same, and only a third option can smash through the partisan divide.

Believing this is contrary to the political reality, in which one tribe wants a violent end to the market system and to crush anything that stands in its path. The left holds as much murderous contempt for all libertarian activists as they do the Koch brothers.

Conservatives, too, can become gaslighted into doing the bidding of the left. It can be seen time and again, with a great recent example of the pro-life protesters from Covington Catholic, as mainstream commentators like Ben Shapiro threw a teenager wearing a MAGA hat under the bus because he had the audacity to smile in the face of a leftist activist invading his personal space for the purposes of intimidation. Too frequently conservatives fall prey to the liberal outrage ecosystem buoyed by the fake news media and, desperate to protect their status and prestige, hurt their own cause immeasurably.

The Koch network, to its great discredit, is the worst offender when it comes to dancing to the beat of their enemy. As 42-year-old Chase Koch, son of Charles, takes power over the network, it is becoming a vessel to promote the dominance of leftism.

The network is openly embracing social justice under the “Stand Together” banner, using philanthropy to advance liberal humanitarian causes. It even signed onto a thought control summit this year among the likes of the Soros Fund and Anti-Defamation League lobbying Big Tech to advance censorship policies that are an existential threat to digital free speech.

The Koch network is now directly sponsoring the cultural revolution that, if left unimpeded, will stomp out the market system on a global basis.

The blind spot of the Koch legacy is being exacerbated by the next generation of their family’s leadership. David and his brother Charles may have been principled, but they failed to adequately address the main threat to their cosmopolitan vision of a world liberated from government shackles.

By refusing to devote resources toward combating leftism, they unwittingly put the future of liberty in grave danger. These people want capitalism snuffed out, and mountains of corpses are just a means to an end for their warped agenda, as they have shown regularly throughout history.

Let the vitriolic and inhumane response to David’s passing be a long-lasting lesson that the leftist scourge must be soundly defeated before a free society can flourish.

The views expressed in this opinion article are those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by the owners of this website. If you are interested in contributing an Op-Ed to The Western Journal, you can learn about our submission guidelines and process here.

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Gavin Wax is the 73rd president of the New York Young Republican Club, chairman of the Association of Young Republican Clubs, digital director of the Young Republican National Federation and an associate fellow at the London Center for Policy Research.
Gavin Wax is the 73rd president of the New York Young Republican Club, chairman of the Association of Young Republican Clubs, digital director of the Young Republican National Federation and an associate fellow at the London Center for Policy Research.




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