Billionaire conservative political activist David Koch has just died. He was 79. With his brother he founded and ran the massive Koch Industries. He was worth an estimated $48 billion.
Koch will be lauded by some as a philanthropist – his name appears on buildings like New York City’s Lincoln Center, and he donated to hospitals, museums, and universities. But many Americans will remember him as one of the major players behind the Tea Party, and using his vast wealth to help massively reconstruct American politics into, some say, the vitriolic insanity we see today.
Jane Mayer, who literally wrote the book on “Dark Money” in politics, including the impact of the Koch brothers, last year penned another deep dive into their history.
She wrote at The New Yorker that in 1980 “Charles convinced his younger brother David to run for Vice-President on the Libertarian Party ticket. The brothers regarded Ronald Reagan, who was running for President that year, as too liberal. The Libertarian platform called for abolishing all federal income taxes and virtually every federal agency, including the I.R.S., the F.B.I., the C.I.A., the F.E.C., the E.P.A., the F.D.A., and the S.E.C. The party also opposed Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security, public education, and minimum-wage and child-labor laws. Charles and David, former members of the John Birch Society, which their father, Fred, helped found, regarded centralized government as a scourge akin to Communism. At the time, however, such views were considered kooky even by most conservatives. The conservative stalwart William F. Buckley, Jr., called the Kochs’ views “Anarcho-Totalitarianism.” The voters’ verdict was equally harsh. David spent two million dollars of his own money on his candidacy in 1980, but he was trounced. The Libertarian Party earned only one per cent of the vote.”
On social media some are sharing their remembrances of David Koch, and what he stood for.
Here’s CNN’s Keith Boykin:
David Koch wanted to abolish public schools, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and rent control. He financed groups that denied the research on climate change. He funded the Tea Party. And he used dark money to support right-wing causes and Republican candidates for office. https://t.co/x08wiaOh9p
— Keith Boykin (@keithboykin) August 23, 2019
Salon’s Amanda Marcotte:
I see some celebrating David Koch’s death. I’m not. I wish every major climate change denialist lived to be 200 years old, so they can see the horrors they are unleashing on the rest of us.
— Amanda Marcotte (@AmandaMarcotte) August 23, 2019
Millions of Americans have suffered because of David Koch's relentless drive to allow corporations to do anything they want to our communities and environment without any govt rules or oversight. The man's legacy is ruination.
— Oliver Willis (@owillis) August 23, 2019
David Koch is dead.
But his legacy of destroying the environment, fostering income inequality and manipulating our democratic process to favor minority rule will live on for a long time.#FridayFeeling
— Grant Stern (@grantstern) August 23, 2019
— Gregory Pecked (@Gregory_Pecked) August 23, 2019
David Koch accumulated a fortune of $42 billion and worked tirelessly for much of his life to make himself ever richer, at the expense of his workers, the country as a whole and the environment.
He wasn't able to take a penny of his fortune with him when he died this morning.
— Pé Resists (@4everNeverTrump) August 23, 2019
David Koch admits to using American for Prosperity to "support" Scott Walker. That's illegal, a violation of IRS laws and election laws.
— John Nichols (@NicholsUprising) February 24, 2012
Billionaire David Koch, of The Koch brothers, dies. Best known for “Kochtopus” a vast political network they built known for far-reaching tentacles in support of conservative causes, founded the anti-tax, small government group Americans for Prosperity. https://t.co/HAyXRLrieF
— Christian Borges (@christianborges) August 23, 2019
people will try to be nice & note David Koch opposed the war on drugs/militarism but the money he gave opposing these twin evils was trivial compared to the funds he gave supporting candidates that backed the war on drugs/militarism & the related ideology of starving poor people https://t.co/L00LKvebfF
— Adam H. Johnson (@adamjohnsonNYC) August 23, 2019
David Koch's biggest legacy was convincing aging white voters that it was OK to be mad at the black man who fixed the economy and tripled David Koch's wealth. https://t.co/dM9vMX6s0P
— The Daily Edge (@TheDailyEdge) August 23, 2019
David Koch leaves behind him a nasty legacy of:
– oil spils
– overall evil fuckery
Not a nice guy. https://t.co/kFdX5654SS
— BrooklynDad_Defiant! (@mmpadellan) August 23, 2019
Neo-feudalistic elitist David Koch, whose narcissistic hatred for democracy corrupted the American system of government on multiple fronts, has died. Also a well-known donor to the arts, Koch’s primary legacy will be that of a chaos agent.https://t.co/mFDwdGj5LE
— Resister In The Rain (@meerkatrodeo) August 23, 2019
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