Charles Koch, who helped fund a conservative revolution in American politics, told the Wall Street Journal that he regrets the fact that his donations fueled a partisan divide in America that is destroying the country.
The billionaire chairman of Koch Industries along with his brother David, who passed away last year, funneled billions of dollars into conservative political campaigns by creating a network of like-minded donors who created the modern Republican Party and changed the face of politics in the country. Koch funded think tanks, advocacy groups, and issue campaigns that drove the conservative agenda forward.
But he now realizes that his efforts contributed to the hyper-partisan nature of politics today.
His new book, Believe in People: Bottom-Up Solutions for a Top-Down World will be published next week.
“Boy, did we screw up!” Koch writes in his book.
Koch, who heads Koch Industries and is one of the 25 richest people in the world, according to Forbes, told the paper he is attempting to work with Democrats, saying he feels there is common ground on issues like criminal justice reform and immigration.
Regardless, his spending habits didn’t appear to change much this year. The Wall Street Journal, citing Center for Responsive Politics data, said Koch’s PAC donated $2.8 million to Republican candidates compared to $221,000 for Democrats during the 2020 election cycle.
Koch’s non-partisanship only goes so far. He is not a socialist and has feared a socialist takeover of the Democratic Party.
But he recognizes that there is common ground to be found with some Democrats and some Republicans. “I hope we all use this post-election period to find a better way forward,” Koch said to the newspaper in an email. “Because of partisanship, we’ve come to expect too much of politics and too little of ourselves and one another.”
Naturally, the left has chosen to kick Koch now that he’s on his knees begging forgiveness.
Journalist Jane Mayer, who had written extensively about the Kochs, tweeted: “Oops says Billionaire Political Donor Charles Koch in new book. He now regrets corrupting American democracy, along with the planet.”
“Corrupting American democracy”? Koch gave conservatives a voice when liberals had long silenced them. And let’s not pretend that George Soros hasn’t been doing his own corrupting for as long as the Kochs.
For 80 years the Supreme Court has ruled that money is political speech. Lots of money is probably “corrupting,” but how do you place limits on free speech in America? The left has been trying to do that ever since the rise of the Koch brothers leveled the playing field in the arena of ideas. Since leftists brook no opposition, any opposing voices must be silent or muted.
Koch is 85 years old and will continue to be a presence on the right. But his focus will be on a more libertarian approach to politics and government. He won’t be a healer as much as an uniter.
And we could use one of those right now.